I’m mystified that some conservatives and libertarians are sympathetic to the idea that Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, might be a good candidate in 2012. The main challenge for our nation is the growing burden of government, so it seems that this would disqualify anybody who served as Budget Director for President George W. Bush.
It’s possible, to be sure, that Daniels didn’t want the no-bureaucrat-left-behind education bill, the corrupt farm bill, the pork-filled transporation bill, or any of the other big-spending bills that became law during the early years of the Bush Administration. But there certainly is no evidence that he used his position as Director of OMB to resist these terrible ideas. And he certainly hasn’t gone out of his way to disavow any of the fiscal excesses that occurred during his tenure.
Indeed, it’s quite likely that Governor Daniels is a supporter of big government, just like President Bush. Is there any other explanation that fits? And if you need any additional evidence, Daniels has indicated that he is open to a value-added tax (and energy taxes as well). A VAT would be a fiscal catastrophe for America, paving the way for European-style statism. Here’s an excerpt from Politico.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels opened the door Thursday to supporting both a value added tax and a tariff on imported oil, bold proposals that could cause trouble for him with conservatives as he flirts with a long-shot bid for the presidency. …The so-called VAT, common in European economies which have stagnated, is a toxic acronym to fiscally conservative activists… Daniels also suggested support for increasing gasoline taxes. …These comments come on the heels of a September profile in Newsweek, in which Daniels said tax increases might be necessary… Daniels has previously clashed with Norquist over the former’s refusal to sign the “No New Taxes” pledge. …In a brief interview after his speech, Daniels downplayed the significance of his comments. He stressed that he would support a VAT “under only the right circumstances,” reiterating his desire for it to be paired with a flat income tax.