Bailout Watch 179: Finally, An Honest Governor

bailout watch 179 finally an honest governor

While Michigan Governer Jennifer Granholm spreads hysteria and misinformation in aid of her state’s struggling automakers, Indiana Governer Mitch Daniels is taking far more honest position on the the proposed bailout. “Let’s give Congress a chance, but there’s nothing in recent history that suggests they have an answer for this,” Daniels tells the Indianapolis Star. “The only thing we know for certain is the way they’ve been doing business does not work and throwing taxpayer dollars after it won’t make it work.” And before you accuse Daniels of throwing more vulnerable states to the wolves, consider that Indiana is the fifth-biggest auto manufacturer in the union, with some 61k auto industry jobs. Oh yeah, and his state’s unemployment fund is running low, thanks to the hard times. Daniels, who is in DC to receive an award from Governing Magazine for his accomplishments as a first-term governor, knows that once bailouts start there’s no telling where they will end. “If they send money, we’ll cash the check,” says Daniels. “But I didn’t come down here with a tin cup. I just think caution is the watch word. And I don’t know where it ends. I didn’t notice anyone throwing money at the RV industry and that cost Indiana a lot of jobs. Our position all along has been that any solution has got to be a solution leading to long-term viability.” Needless to say, short-term bridge loans don’t meet that criteria. Then again, maybe Daniels’ principled stand has more to do with the fact that the major manufacturers in his state (Toyota, Honda, Subaru) are doing fine, and aren’t asking anyone for a bailout.

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Nov 13, 2008
    Daniels deserves no praise. Two years ago he insisted on investing teachers, police, state employee retirements in more “aggressive” investments. These included funding risky projects in Indiana which no one else would fund. This has now collapsed. This just has not been communicated to the public very well, when he it does get out, he is toast. He has had a falling out with Bush (nothing wrong with that). He has sold off state assetts for short term gain, making the budget look good in the short run, bad in the long run. He has long lobbied for pork for the drug industry, he used to work for Eli Lilly. He loves pork, just depends on who is getting it. Here, here. I live in Indiana, and this is correct. I certainly agree that simply handing money to Rick and Nardelli would be a mistake, but we'd better come up with some kind of orderly transition to a smaller manufacturing base or we're going to have a mess much worse than we're headed for now.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Nov 13, 2008
    matt51: He has long lobbied for pork for the drug industry, he used to work for Eli Lilly. He loves pork, just depends on who is getting it. As an employee of the drug industry, I'll agree that there's some truth to that. But the government is a huge consumer and regulator of the industry. Some level of slimy co-dependence is to be expected. And in spite of what everyone hears about the decline of American manufacturing, big Pharma still has a solid (albeit mostly non-union) US footprint.