Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is delivering a stinging indictment of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, calling his approach to creating jobs “as pure an antigrowth economic policy as one could imagine.”
“They have been regulation crazy; they have piled cost after cost, delay after delay, in the path of those that would hire . . . Americans,” Daniels said Monday night on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
“They have been for more taxes, or the threat of more taxes on a recurring basis. And, as if that wasn’t enough to stop economic growth, they have chosen to be sadly divisive, castigating individual businesses, business sectors, even individuals by name,” Daniels said. “And so, they have had as pure an antigrowth economic policy as one could imagine.”
The Republican, one of the earliest to endorse Mitt Romney for president, said he was concerned that unless something is done soon the nation’s economy will continue “drifting toward Niagara Falls on the current track.”
Asked what should be done immediately to correct course and jump-start the economy again, Daniels said entitlements would have to be cut and brought under control as quickly as possible.
He said reconciling “our long-term commitments” would “make a dramatic difference in growth and jobs.”
Daniels said immediate approaches should involve “means testing” so that Social Security and other entitlement programs can concentrate on reaching the “really low-income people who need it.”
He also called for raising the retirement age “very gradually to something that lines up with today’s actuary realities.”
“You say to people in the program today, ‘You’re good to go, nothing’s going to change, but help us make sure that younger people have something waiting for them too,” Daniels said.
Secondly, Daniels said the country should move toward “a full-throated growth policy” designed specifically to address those who are jobless or underemployed, and the younger generation just coming out of college.
He said the policy should involve “lower, flatter tax rates” and the elimination of tax preferences and the “bookshelves of tax code” that individuals and businesses have to deal with.
The governor also called for “maximizing” the nation’s “energy opportunities,” as he put it, referring specifically to increased development of natural gas, oil sands, and new means of extracting oil from hard to reach areas.
“We could be the energy producer of the world,” he said.
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