Hoosiers better off because of fiscal prudence, Daniels says

2010-08-19T00:00:00Z 2010-08-20T00:00:02Z Hoosiers better off because of fiscal prudence, Daniels saysBy Brian Williams brian.williams@nwi.com, (219) 548-4348 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Boosting Hoosiers' disposable income while creating an environment attractive to business investment has been the aim of the Daniels administration -- and it has succeeded at that.

That was Gov. Mitch Daniels' assessment in an address sponsored by the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday at Valparaiso University.

The state government has operated lean the past five and a half years so Hoosiers can keep more of their money, he said.

As a result, the state has been able to weather the current recession better than most other states, he said.

Reduced state spending and a cash balance built up since he entered office helped offset a $1 billion revenue collection shortfall in fiscal year 2010, Daniels said.

Since the recession started, Daniels said, he has worked to continue and extend Indiana's competitive edge by not raising taxes.

The state is now more attractive to business investment because of reduced costs of doing business, property tax relief and the addition of infrastructure through the Major Moves initiative, Daniels said.

While making up 2 percent of the U.S. population, Indiana has accounted for 9 percent of private sector jobs added nationwide this year, he said.

"It's all about the jobs for us," Daniels said.

Daniels also urged a yes vote on November's ballot initiative to put property tax caps into the Indiana Constitution. He cited a Ball State University study saying the caps would lead to a 2 percent rise in net household income and 97,000 new jobs.

Daniels, addressing national health care, said the recent legislation should not be called reform and should be repealed. The plan pays for quantity, not quality, driving up the cost of health care, he said. In its place should be a "consumerist" plan that puts individuals in greater control of care decisions, he said.

The national debt that will be passed on to future generations amounts to "a type of child abuse," Daniels said. The political parties need to agree "the arithmetic doesn't work" and put even entitlements such as Social Security on the table to cut deficits, he said.

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