TNDP Chair: Daniels’ record an ‘excellent blueprint’ for harming schools, working class
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester issued the following statement criticizing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ visit to Tennessee to participate in a state GOP fundraiser to be held later this week:
Tennessee Republicans have a surplus of bad ideas that make it harder for working people to get by or for their kids to get a decent education — there’s no need to steal inspiration from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the man who wrote the failed economic policies that led us into Bush’s recession.
There’s no doubt tea party Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Gov. Bill Haslam will be gleefully taking notes and fawning over Daniels’ anti-middle class record.
Daniels is really the perfect dinner guest for the Tennessee G.O.P., after all Indiana’s Republican governor has been slashing funding for public schools, attacking the rights of teachers and workers, and advocating for unfair economic policies his entire political career. In Nashville, he’ll fit right in.
If Tennessee Republicans aspire to do more damage to public schools and further setback working-class Tennesseans, Daniels’ record is an excellent blueprint for destruction.
Engineered the Current National Fiscal Crisis As President Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Daniels presided over a historic turnaround in the nation’s fiscal fortunes, in which the $5.6 trillion surplus that emerged from the Clinton administration morphed into a 10-year forecast for a $2.1 trillion deficit by early 2003.” [Guardian, 5/17/11]
Mitch Daniels fought to take away rights from Indiana educators and forced $1.4B in cuts to public education. Since 2008, Daniels’ disastrous local revenue cap has forced $1.4 billion worth of cuts to public education that has closed schools, increased class sizes, prompted mass layoffs and frozen teacher salaries. In April he signed into law a bill similar to Tennessee’s law stripping teachers of their collective bargaining powers that was vehemently opposed by Indiana educators. [Courier Press, 5/20/11]
Indiana’s families have suffered under Mitch Daniel’s economic leadership. For the second year in a row, Indiana ranked fifth nationally in personal bankruptcies, at 7.1 people per 1,000 residents. Indiana’s median family income is just 86 percent of that of the rest of the country. Median income is falling — by 15 percent in the last decade. The real unemployment rate, which includes those too discouraged to look for work, stood at 17.4 percent last year. [New York Times, 6/23/11]
Daniels’ believes in Paul Ryan-style cuts to Medicare and endorsed President Bush’s push to privatize Social Security: “[We] have to fundamentally change all the welfare and entitlement programs. What Bush tried to do [in proposing private accounts for Social Security] was mild compared to what needs to be done. You have to have a completely new compact for people under a certain age, for Medicare and Social Security.” [Weekly Standard, 6/14/11]
Refused to Accept $4 Billion in Federal Funding for Women’s Health Care: Signed into law a ban on state funding for Planned Parenthood, even after Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Michael Gargano and the Indiana Legislative Services Agency issued opinions saying it was most likely illegal and the courts would strike it down. The fact is that Indiana stands to lose $4 billion in funding while at the same time ending the ability of at risk women to receive preventive care for cancer screenings, family planning services, and sexually transmitted disease screenings. [Slate, 6/3/11]
Enacted Radical Immigration That Have Cost Hoosiers Expensive Legal Fees: Enacted radical, draconian immigration laws that have been enjoined by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker. Barker concluded the state overstepped its boundaries in the statue. [Indy Star, 6/24/11]