Indiana governor speaks at county GOP dinner

Indiana governor speaks at county GOP dinner

CHAMPAIGN — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says every time government takes $5 from a person through taxes, that person becomes a little less free to pursue his dreams.

"When you take money away from people, you leave them a little less free," said Daniels.

Daniels was the keynote speaker Thursday night at the Champaign County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Champaign.

Audio of his speech is available at WDWS' website here.

Champaign County Republican Party Chairman Habeeb Habeeb said the estimated 450 people who turned out for the dinner was the event's largest crowd ever.

Daniels, a former executive at Eli Lilly and Company, said the key to turning around America's economy is to create a business climate that attracts better jobs.

"It leaves more disposable money in the pockets of those who earned it," he said. "When you approach the public mission that way, you maximize freedom."

When government increases spending and increases its debt, Daniels said, the middle class is hurt.

"For the first time in our history, people do not have the hope that has always been there in the darkest hour that my children will live better than I do," Daniels said. "We are seeing an eroding of the opportunity, and therefore the hope, for a vibrant, stable middle class in this country."

One way to improve the business climate, Daniels said, it to keep taxes as low as possible. The governor noted that Indiana corporate income taxes, worker's compensation, unemployment insurance and property taxes are all lower than those in Illinois.

"The lower our taxes are compared to the neighboring states, the more competitive we are," Daniels said.

Daniels said he isn't saying what he has done in Indiana is good for Illinois.

"If you are asking me if Illinois should pass a right to work law, please don't," Daniels said. "We're welcoming businesses every day and would hate to have that advantage neutralized."

Daniels said government must be careful to use the power of taxation prudently and use the money wisely.

Before becoming governor of Indiana, Daniels was an adviser to President Ronald Reagan and served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush's administration.

"When we use the coercive power of the state to take money from people who need it, we need to be careful about it," Daniels said.

The Republican governor's appearance in Champaign came a little more than a year after more than 30 Indiana House Democrats walked out of the House chamber in Indianapolis and spent more than a month at the Comfort Suites in Urbana for a self-proclaimed "time out."

"Those folks over there don't think you can cut it," Daniels said, speaking of the Democrats. "They don't think you can possibly make your own decisions about your mortgage or health insurance or health care choices or the light bulbs that are best for you.

"We (Republicans) believe you are fully capable. You are a creature of dignity; not an object of therapy."

Daniels noted that President Barack Obama got elected with a slogan, "Change you can believe in."

"I asked myself, 'What the hell does that mean?'" Daniels said. "It doesn't mean anything, and that was its magic as a marketing device.

"I decided we as Republicans ought to twist that slogan into something that does have meaning. That would be 'Change that believes in you.'"

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jthartke wrote on April 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Is that $5 more free to drive on roads, to have health insurance in old age, to have a quality education for your kids, to have a park to go to, to have an aircraft carrier to defend your home, to have a cop to do the same, and a fireman.  Maybe its $5 more free to hire people for your business who can count your money and write a sentence because of public education.  Maybe its having a cop who has a union contract so he is guaranteed a good retirement for his service. 

$5 less freedom...please...  You cheapen the lives of those who have truly lived without freedom (like gay folks who cannot marry the person they love or women who are told what to do with their bodies).

You really mean five dollars someone could have spent on getting the nicer Lexus to drive to the Republican dinner, instead of $5 for a math textbook for the kid that has to count the cash register in their restaraunt some day.

Joe Lawyer wrote on April 20, 2012 at 12:04 am

More like $5 less free buy food for my kids, or $5 less free to pay for a gallon of gas, or $5 less free to do whatever the heck I want with the money I earned through years of hard work. 


rsp wrote on April 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

Some of us want to drive on the roads, some of us want the potholes fixed so we can. Some of us want our kids to have a good education so they can get good jobs, some just want to think about the jobs and money they have. Is there a middle ground? 

vnp wrote on April 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm


fortherecord wrote on April 20, 2012 at 2:04 am

I don't have a problem paying for the education of children, helping the less fortunate, local parks, road repairs, and police/fire services. Not one bit. I DO have a problem paying for unnecessary parking signs, useless "works of art" and roudabouts. 

It's not THAT I am paying taxes that angers me, its where the money goes. 

bremax wrote on April 20, 2012 at 9:04 am

Come on, 40 North does all kinds of good stuff for our community, like...

... um ...

.. providing jobs for 40 north employees, ... 

.. and parties for 40 north board members.

wayward wrote on April 20, 2012 at 9:04 am

"I decided we as Republicans ought to twist that slogan into something that does have meaning. That would be 'Change that believes in you.'"

That would be a good example of reification.

independent voter wrote on April 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

wheres the coverage of the thousands of union demonstrators outside

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

He speaks like an ex-CEO.  The Koch brothers got their money's worth with him; just like Walker, and Christie.  He is nothing more than a talkiing head.  Notice all of the governors of other states coming to Illinois.  Think that they creating news for a chance at becoming a VISE presidential candidate?  Of course if they gave the same speeches at home, the demonstrations would be bigger.  They do help divide the nation's voters with their anti-union talk.  They raise money for the Republican party from the wealthy, local lords.  Thank goodness we live in a democracy where their hypocrisy can be exposed. 

Mike Howie wrote on April 20, 2012 at 11:04 am
Profile Picture

Thanks for the question. This was posted about 6:30 last night:

and there's a photo gallery of both events here:


Hope this helps.

Mike Howie

online editor

JeffCarroll wrote on April 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

It's not surprising to see another rich, white male politician asking for freedom, as if that's not part of his everyday life.

When you're in the majority you demand democracy/freedom. When you're in the minority, you care about basic human rights.

Joe Lawyer wrote on April 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I'm not rich.  But, I was at the event last night, where, at no time, did MItch Daniels "ask" for freedom.  Had you actually read what Governor Daniels said, you would understand this.

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

Before you fall head over heels in love with Gov. Daniels, check out the missing millions in money to the local communities in Indiana.  Last December, it was disclosed that $320,000,000.00 of monies owed to local governments was not available due to a "programming error".  The appointed State Budget Director retired after the disclosure.  Gov. Daniels, and the GOP legislators rejected an outside, independent audit.  Last week, the amount was $200,000,000.00 after a second "programming error".  Gov. Daniels, and the GOP legislators still reject an outside, independent audit.  The local governments are still without the money owed to them by the State of Indiana based on taxes collected.  Sounds familiar, right?  All states are doing creative budgeting.  "Figures lie; and liars figure".  Maybe, Mitch should stay home; and preach there rather than coming to Illinois, and bragging.