Unlike Mitch Daniels eight years ago, the next governor of Indiana will inherit nothing like the mess that awaited him. Daniels, a Republican and former White House budget chief, was about to assume a $600 million deficit built up under Democratic governors and a Democratic House of Representatives. In fact, the state even owed more than the $600 million, having deferred payments to schools and to local governments. Indeed, Indiana government was in a state of stagnation.
Fast-forward to the current gubernatorial election, which finds Republican Congressman Mike Pence, former Democratic Indiana Speaker of the House John Gregg and reality television celebrity Rupert Boneham, the Libertarian candidate, vying to succeed Daniels. The winner will face difficulties, but nothing as challenging as the deficit Democrats left for Daniels.
It was announced recently Indiana has ended the fiscal year with an extra $2.1 billion in hand. That’s remarkable, considering where Indiana came from while weathering the national recession. It is difficult to direct credit anywhere other than to Daniels, who stubbornly insisted on unpopular spending cuts.
All content copyright ©2013 The Tribune, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.