Tuesday, June 02, 2009

governor's compromise budget is "a hundred percent wrong", says governor

mitch daniel, in march:

Gov. Mitch Daniels said the state has a very serious problem, but he continues to insist that the surplus must be preserved at all costs in case the recession drags on and that money is needed even more down the line.

"Well, they're a hundred percent wrong," he said of the Democrats' proposal. "Until someone can show us persuasively how long this is going to last and how deep this recession is going to get, we're simply not going to do that."

mitch daniels, yesterday:

As always, I am ready to compromise and cooperate with the legislature, up to a point. I'm willing to see us use about a quarter of our surplus, leaving a billion dollars in reserve, but not a penny less.

as much as i appreciate that governor daniels has seen the light about tapping into the state's surplus, i'd be remiss if i didn't point out that his compromising now proves what BS his previous rhetoric was. despite what deodorant commercials would have you believe, you can't be more than 100% wrong.

abdul protests that the governor isn't moving the goalposts here: "it was the economy moving the goalpost." but of course, if mitch's argument—that dipping into the surplus now will screw us in the future if the economy gets even worse—has been correct back then, it would still be correct now. if anything, the economy being worse now would make it even more important to preserve the surplus, because it could make a hypothetical future economy that much worse.

then again, the logical conclusion of that line of thinking is that the surplus must never be spent, because there's always some theoretical future economy that's even worse than the current crisis—even an escape from new york scenario wouldn't be as bad as mad max, which wouldn't be as bad as the terminator, and so on. so perhaps it was inevitable that the governor would eventually relent on this point; it's just a shame that he didn't do so a month ago, when it could have prevented the legislature from having to go into a special session.

1 comment:

Doghouse Riley said...

What I suspect has changed--I don't really know how much of a change this would be, but--I think Team Daniels now believes he could actually get the nomination in 2012, and they've decided he needs to swap a portion of his slush fund as a means of ameliorating the possibility that, in four, strike, two years' time, he emerges as a sort of Midwest Nero, sitting on "his" "surplus" with a state economy gone to hell...I can't figure out, otherwise, why he suddenly wants to increase education spending when the increase--it was the Democrat's, after all--was the reason he torpedoed a regular session budget agreement in the first place. He can siphon off $250 M per year for the rest of his term and still wind up claiming a surplus, but deep cutting from here is going to hurt politically (at least nationally) in pretty short order.