INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mitch Daniels cautioned lawmakers about Indiana's fiscal challenges during his State of the State speech Tuesday night, saying that drafting a new two-year budget this session will be full of hard decisions and unwelcome choices.Thank goodness! Here I was worried that rising unemployment was an indication that we were more than a little "challenged." Thank the powers that be we have Mitch Daniels to reassure us that no matter how bad things get, they're not getting bad for people whose fates weigh in, whose success is connected to mine, and his, and yours.
But Daniels, sworn in to a second term on Monday, said spending restraints and other actions taken during his first term have left Indiana in better shape than many states and in a strong position not only to weather economic hard times, but make progress.
"Thanks in large part to the people here assembled, we can speak tonight of challenge, but not crisis; issues but not emergencies," Daniels said in prepared remarks.
Seriously, this is the thinking you get from a guy who sees state government primarily as a competition with other states. Indiana can have plenty of jobless, plenty of people with no insurance, plenty of people with no food or stable living arrangements. But that's okay. Their crises are not our measure of our emergencies, and their success has nothing to do with Indiana's certain victory.
It makes perfect sense! They're not important anymore, because Indiana is going to win and if these people aren't gonna get with the game and keep Indiana competitive... well, then I suppose they'll just get "cut from the team," won't they?
And then we won't ever have to think about them again. *contented sigh* Doesn't that feel better?