Daniels compares Illinois government to 'The Simpsons'

2011-01-11T07:30:00Z 2011-01-14T15:19:24Z Daniels compares Illinois government to 'The Simpsons'By Times Staff nwitimes.com
January 11, 2011 7:30 am  • 

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels compared Illinois government to the television show "The Simpsons" while speaking to a Chicago radio station Tuesday morning.

"You guys are nothing if not entertaining over there," Daniels told Don Wade and Roma by phone on their show on WLS 890 AM. "It's like living next door to 'The Simpsons,' you know, the dysfunctional family down the block."

Daniels was responding to questions about Illinois' proposal to raise income taxes by 66 percent and corporate taxes by 46 percent.

"Raising taxes on people who are struggling anyway is a very bad thing to do," Daniels said, adding that to do so without creating jobs is particularly difficult.

He went on to say that he shouldn't joke about the situation in Illinois.

"We're rooting for Illinois," Daniels said. "We are all part of one region. Long term, it's not good for the Midwest, it's not good for America if Illinois and Michigan stay as inhospitable to growth as they are."

Daniels' comments came hours before his State of the State address.

On the criminal justice front, Daniels said he wants to see the incarceration time better fit the offense.

"Low-level property-offense (prisoners) are only in our system long enough to meet some real criminals," he said.

Instead, Daniels said he would like to see nonviolent offenders, "closer to home and direct our resources to the really bad guys and put them deeper in the hole."

Daniels said when he took office six years ago, one of the first things his advisers told him was he would have to build new prisons.

"Six years later, we've never built another cell," he said, crediting smart fiscal management.

Daniels also spoke on a number of other issues, including the appointment of former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley to White House chief of staff.

"I think it's a good sign," Daniels said. "I know his reputation well, and he's a very well-balanced, responsible fellow."

Daniels suggested Daley's appointment, given his background in the business sector, could point to a greater emphasis on the economy.

"We've got to get the private economy growing at a very fast rate," he said.

Addressing speculation he may be seeking a run at the White House himself, Daniels said, "I wouldn't hold your breath for that."

"We're thinking about it," he said. "A lot of people have asked me to think about it, so we will."



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