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Mitch Daniels on Tax Reform

Republican IN Governor


Fewer loopholes and lower rates

The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy. It must be replaced by a passionate pro-growth approach that breaks all ties and calls all close ones in favor of private sector jobs that restore opportunity for all and generate the public revenues to pay our bills.

That means a dramatically simpler tax system of fewer loopholes and lower rates. A pause in the mindless piling on of expensive new regulations that devour dollars that otherwise could be used to hire somebody. It means maximizing on the new domestic energy technologies that are the best break our economy has gotten in years.

Source: GOP response to the 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

Reform the income tax; raise tax rate if necessary

The fundamentals of a pro-growth tax system are simplicity and low rates. The innumerable special deals in our tax code impose an enormous drag on the economy. Raising tax rates on individuals or businesses may be emotionally satisfying to some people, but if it delivers less revenue and higher unemployment, then the satisfaction isn't worth it and it won't last long. There is wide concurrence on the essence of a growth-friendly tax code. It involves the elimination of all or almost all current exclusions and deductions.

Clearly I am an advocate of the lowest taxes consistent with national necessity. The national necessity of our age is to overcome our debt burden. This is no time for theological, think-tank arguments about 18% versus 19% versus 20% of GDP. We can resume those debates after the enemy is thrown back from our gates. If it takes a slightly higher rate to bring together the majorities necessary to pass radical simplification & a pro-growth federal tax structure, count me in.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.216-218 , Sep 20, 2011

Solemn duty to spend wisely when taking from free citizens

There is a game I like to play whenever I visit high school classrooms. I ask if anyone has a dollar bill handy and when a youngster produces one, I thank him, stick it in my pocket. I make the following point: Please note that Brandon is now a dollar less free than he was a minute ago. If he still had that dollar bill, he could decide what to do with it. Now I get to decide. And that's why we need to be so careful before we take away Brandon's money, or yours, through the coercive power of taxation. If we really value personal freedom the way we say we do, then we should never take a dollar away from a free citizen without a very good reason. And then we have a solemn duty to spend it as wisely and effectively as possible. Otherwise, we should never have taken it in the first place.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 72 , Sep 20, 2011

Wrong ever to take an unnecessary dollar from a free citizen

We Hoosiers hold to some quaint notions. Some might say we "cling" to them, though not out of fear or ignorance. We believe in paying our bills. We have kept our state in the black throughout the recent unpleasantness, while cutting rather than raising taxes, by practicing an old tribal ritual--we spend less money than we take in.

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

We say that anytime budgets are balanced and an ample savings account has been set aside, government should just stop collecting taxes. Better to leave that money in the pockets of those who earned it, than to let it burn a hole, as it always does, in the pockets of government.

Source: 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. Keynote , Feb 10, 2011

Raising taxes is the worst thing possible in a recession

Around our nation, states have closed parks, thrown people off Medicaid, & stopped plowing snow. We have done none of those things and don't intend to. Saddest of all, our sister states, at least forty of them, are doing the worst thing possible in times like these. They are raising taxes, adding to the burden on families, and making their economic climates even less attractive to new jobs. We will do whatever is necessary but we will not make this recession worse by adding one cent to the tax burden.
Source: Indiana 2010 State of the State Address , Jan 19, 2010

Other governors on Tax Reform: Mitch Daniels on other issues:
IN Gubernatorial:
Mike Pence
IN Senatorial:
Daniel Coats
Joe Donnelly

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013