Usually politicians author lofty treatises on their ideas or plans for changing, transforming or fixing America when they aspire to higher office. These books tend to be one part biography, one part historical and one part multi-point road map to fixing a problem.
The fact the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has already declared his non-candidacy for the President, makes his new book Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans more intriguing.
Daniels’ book is a guide book for American exceptionalism. He not only understands that the only way out of the country’s current financial mess is to get government out of the way of the American people, he advocates that the answer lies with the people. Daniels knows that the more that government tries to fix the problem (that more often than not they created) the worse the problem becomes.
Daniels outlines the sheer immensity of the problem we are facing and ties it directly to the growth of government in our lives. In the chapter entitled “Shrunken Citizens” Daniels addresses the reduction of freedoms tied to government growth. It brings to mind the analogy of the frog dropped into a pot of boiling water that hops back out versus the frog in the pot of warm water that slowly has the heat turned up until it is cooked alive. The government intrusion has come a slow, steady, pace.
Daniels drives home the point while outlining the damage done by the passage of Obamacare. He details how government wage and price controls lead to business offering healthcare coverage. This has created the mindset is that somebody else will pay the bill, which has turned into an “inefficient model that has allowed Americans to grow accustomed to the idea to the idea that when it comes to the most personal and important purchase of all, those affecting their health, they are sheep, bystanders to the process in which they have neither the competence to decide what services to buy nor the intelligence to determine for themselves what price is too high for the value they are likely to obtain.”
Amazingly, Daniels approached his job with the seemingly unique mindset that he shouldn’t spend more of the taxpayers money than he takes in. Daniels is an example, or should be, of the new American mindset when it comes to government overspending.
It’s easy to understand why big government, Democrats misread the American people, thinking Daniels would be an easy political target when he ran for re-election. It was Daniels taking a tough stance on spending that transformed his state deficit to a surplus and positioned Indiana in a way to better absorb the recession of 2008.
Daniels approach to governance would not only see him easily win a second term, but also serve as a guidepost to leaders like Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey, Rick Scott in Florida, John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker in Wisconsin.