Posted by: Debby Durkee | February 12, 2011

Daniels at CPAC.

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Daniels at CPAC.

If you’re interested in Mitch Daniel’s speech at last night’s CPAC conference, you can see it all at the link below. George Will introduced him as someone who has the charisma of the competent. I think many Americans will find that refreshing after the Obama Administration’s incompetence in everything but left-wing strong-arming. Daniels is a man who believes in the country and the ability of Americans to chart their own destiny and to direct the country toward survival. If you want to skip George Will’s introduction, skip to 7:47 on the time:

Here are a few snippets of the speech.

I bring greetings from a place called Indiana.  The coastal types present may think of it as a “flyover” state, or one of those “I” states.  Perhaps a quick anthropological summary would help.

We Hoosiers hold to some quaint notions.  Some might say we “cling” to them, though not out of fear or ignorance.  We believe in paying our bills.  We have kept our state in the black throughout the recent unpleasantness, while cutting rather than raising taxes, by practicing an old tribal ritual – we spend less money than we take in.

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer.  When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

Before our General Assembly now is my proposal for an automatic refund of tax dollars beyond a specified level of state reserves.  We say that anytime budgets are balanced and an ample savings account has been set aside, government should just stop collecting taxes.  Better to leave that money in the pockets of those who earned it, than to let it burn a hole, as it always does, in the pockets of government.

We believe that government works for the benefit of private life, and not the other way around…

…When business leaders ask me what they can do for Indiana, I always reply:  “Make money. Go make money. That’s the first act of ‘corporate citizenship.’ If you do that, you’ll have to hire someone else, and you’ll have enough profit to help one of those non-profits we’re so proud of.”

We place our trust in average people.  We are confident in their ability to decide wisely for themselves, on the important matters of their lives.  So when we cut property taxes, to the lowest level in America, we left flexibility for localities to raise them, but only by securing the permission of their taxpayers, voting in referendum.  We designed both our state employee health plans and the one we created for low-income Hoosiers as Health Savings Accounts, and now in the tens of thousands these citizens are proving that they are fully capable of making smart, consumerist choices about their own health care.   Snip —

The national elections of 2010 carried an instruction.  In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War.   As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat.  We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before.  We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose.  We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.

I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence.  It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. We can debate its origins endlessly and search for villains on ideological grounds, but the reality is pure arithmetic.  No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be.  Snip —

If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help.  We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled.  That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do.  It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era.

It was a call to arms. He was serious and witty. He was a leader not a preacher. Please either read the whole thing or watch the whole thing. You can read it all here:

If you’re interested in any other CPAC information or news, here’s their website:


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