Howey Political Report
Questions for Mourdock PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 21:16

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS - I’m opening this column by acknowledging a mistake I made last week. I attributed a news story that detailed Indiana pension fund losses of $1.2 billion since last June, or 11.2 percent, to the Indianapolis Business Journal, when it should have been the Evansville Courier & Press.
The U.S. Senate campaign of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has asked me to make a second correction, when I said that he “presides” over the Indiana Public Retirement System, which lost the $1.2 billion.
Prior to writing that column, based on an Aug. 15 HPI news story, I had asked the Mourdock campaign several questions on the subject that were ignored. The Mourdock campaign is in a snit over analysis I wrote in July about the campaign’s “June swoon” about his poor fundraising, his campaign manager’s altercation with a blogger and failed bids by his staff for the Indiana Republican Central Committee.
I’ve been writing this political column since 1985 and in that time, I’ve probably spent less than an hour concentrating on the Treasurer of State office. It is a Constitutional office, but in reality a bureaucratic backwater that shouldn’t even be elected. It should be part of a gubernatorial administration. It’s like an overloaded electrical circuit with a mishmash of boards and quasi-government entities.
Since Mourdock’s campaign says he doesn’t “preside” over the IPRS investments, I asked for a detailed account of his portfolio. Rather than answer my specific questions, spokesman Chris Conner instructed me to read the Treasurer’s 2010 annual report. In doing so, I’ve learned he chairs the Indiana Bond Bank, the Indiana Education Authority, Wireless Enhanced 911 Advisory Board, is trustee of the Indiana State Police Pension Fund and is investment manager/secretary of the Indiana Board of Depositories. He serves on about 10 other financial boards.
In an Oct. 20, 2010 press released from the Treasurer’s office, Mourdock claimed credit for a 6.99 percent return - or $480 million - in interest on “state investments.”
In an interview with the Wabash Conservative Union in 2007, Mourdock was asked to define his duties. He responded, “Simultaneously very narrow, which is to say, in the constitution the only description of this office, is that the State Treasurer shall serve as the state’s chief financial officer. The only constitutional duty I have is to make sure we earn the highest possible grade of interest on the funds of the State of Indiana.”
He added, “I believe that I have the greatest job in all of Indiana government because I have huge responsibilities, which I like, I have tremendous latitude, I get to be creative, and I don’t think any newspaper reporter knows we exist. It can’t get any better than that.”
Just as the current secretary of state says he’s not the state’s chief elections officer, Mourdock appears to be saying he’s the state’s chief financial officer - but only for the good parts.
Now the reason I was even writing about Treasurer Mourdock’s state duties, as opposed to his challenge to U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, stem from his comment to the Huffington Post on Aug. 12: “Ten days ago, I sold all my stock. I spend two hours every morning looking at market indicators.” And he told the Indianapolis Star, “I kept my energy stocks, my oil stocks, but everything else I sold, because I kept looking at what was happening in Washington, D.C., and I saw what its potential was on the markets, and I’m too old to have the volatility that we see today and what I expect the longer term will be.”
I can’t remember a single politician ever talking about his own personal stock portfolios. And Mourdock is no ordinary politician. He’s the treasurer of Indiana.
Why aren’t his personal stocks in a blind trust, so those wires don’t get crossed with his state duties? I thought the timing of his personal sell off - three days before Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating - was curious. And it made me wonder about Mourdock’s temperament for office. His challenge to the Chrysler/Fiat merger after bankruptcy, he claims, was based on principle, but it smacked of political grandstanding with thousands of Indiana jobs (and future tax revenue) at stake. If he had won, it would have cratered the Indiana auto sector. A prudent leader would have looked for another way.
I agree with the assessment of Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus on the Lugar/Mourdock showdown that primary challenges are good for the process. As an opinion columnist, however, as I look at the Indiana GOP universe when it comes to a successor for Lugar, Mourdock would not make my top 10. I see him as overly ambitious, very emotional, and he always seems to be running for something.
I have an array of questions for candidate Mourdock, which his campaign has ignored, so I will ask them here: How does Treasurer Mourdock define, in detail, his duties? Is he still investing state funds in junk bonds, as he did with Chrysler? What is Treasurer Mourdock’s attendance at his own Statehouse office, with the Indiana State Board of Finance, and the Public Employee Retirement Fund? Is his treasurer’s office chief of staff bonded? Can he provide a detailed account of his oversight, investment, spending and withholdings of the Emergency 911 fund?
If I hear anything, I’ll let all of you know.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - I’m opening this column by acknowledging a mistake I made last week. I attributed a news story that detailed Indiana pension fund losses of $1.2 billion since last June, or 11.2 percent, to the Indianapolis Business Journal, when it should have been the Evansville Courier & Press.

The U.S. Senate campaign of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has asked me to make a second correction, when I said that he “presides” over the Indiana Public Retirement System, which lost the $1.2 billion.

 
More Mourdock curiosity as Delph ponders Senate bid PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 21:53

by Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the man responsible for the state’s investments, has pulled much of his personal money out of the stock market. “Ten days ago, I sold all my stock,” Mourdock told the Huffington Post earlier this month. “I spend two hours every morning looking at market indicators.”
He had a different version for the Indianapolis Star on Sunday, saying, “I kept my energy stocks, my oil stocks, but everything else I sold, because I kept looking at what was happening in Washington, D.C., and I saw what its potential was on the markets, and I’m too old to have the volatility that we see today and what I expect the longer term will be.” Mourdock, 59, said he is “sitting” on his cash rather than investing it elsewhere.
It was just another curious twist in Mourdock’s challenge to U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar. Mourdock ran into an array of campaign miscues in June that included an anemic second quarter fundraisng total of just $300,000, and now faces the specter of State Sen. Mike Delph entering the race.
As the Indiana pension funds Mourdock presides over lost 11.2 percent of value since June – or $1.2 billion, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal – Mourdock unloaded his personal stock portfolio on Aug. 2, the day Congress passed and President Obama signed the debt ceiling deal into law.
On Aug. 5, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+. Hours after the debt ceiling vote, Mourdock called for the resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and suggested the Senate remove its consent of the secretary to serve. “The Senate confirmed Mr. Geithner in January of 2009,” said Mourdock. “They ought to now take a vote of no confidence and withdraw that confirmation.”
Lugar, however, voted against the Geithner nomination. When WISH-TV reminded Mourdock of that, he responded, “He did? Well, he gets a chance to lead now to vote to withdraw the confirmation of the entire Senate.”
The problem with that statement is the Constitution does not give Congress the ability to “withdraw a confirmation,” a surprising gaffe from a candidate who claims to be a student of the Constitution.
The Washington Post reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into whether certain market participants learned of the downgrade before its announcement.
David Willkie, political director for the Friends of Lugar campaign, said of Mourdock personally pulling out of the stock market, “While the Indiana pension funds are taking a bath, this is not a way to promote market stability.”
It’s not the first time that Mourdock has found controversy with Indiana pension investments. He invested in Chrysler stocks at a time when they were at junk bond status, then sought to kill the Chrysler/Fiat merger, maintaining that it hurt Indiana teacher and police pension funds. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Critics like U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate, say that Mourdock’s position would have done even more damage to the pension funds and could have cost the state millions of dollars in lost Chrysler and supplier company jobs, and state revenue.
The potential Delph entry is the last news the Mourdock campaign needed. It has the potential of keeping the forces aligning against Lugar from consolidating their efforts behind Mourdock, who has lost congressional campaigns in 1988 and 1990, as well as a secretary of state showdown with Delph in 2002.
Delph, R-Carmel, said he is “deeply moved by the encouragement and attention” of a potential Senate bid. Republican sources tell me that Delph is in the process of lining up campaign assets for a potential Senate run. There had been speculation that Delph might try and succeed U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, who is facing challenges from former congressman David McIntosh, former district attorney Susan Brooks and Dr. John McGoff. McIntosh raised more than $100,000 at a fundraiser at Jim Kittle’s home last week and Burton appears to be digging in to defend his seat.
Delph issued a statement calling on 2012 candidates to put aside their campaigns this year and help 2011 municipal candidates. “We seem to be speeding past 2011 to 2012,” said Delph. “So Sen. Lugar, Richard Mourdock, John McGoff, David McIntosh, Susan Brooks, Dan Burton, Mike Pence, Jim Wallace, and whoever else may have an interest in 2012, stop campaigning for yourselves and start helping your teammates who stand for election in just about 90 days. That is my aim and afterward I will let all inquiring minds know my own 2012 intentions, assuming they have crystallized by then.”
A potential Delph entry is the kind of perfect storm development that Lugar forces hope for. It has the potential to further crimp Mourdock’s already poor fundraising ability, and split the challenger forces two ways. While the Indiana Tea Party movement has scheduled an endorsement caucus on Sept. 24 in Greenfield, it is unclear who gets to vote and how it will handle a Delph entry into the race following the Nov. 8 municipal election, which Delph appears to be suggesting.
The danger for the Lugar campaign is that a Delph entry into the race could mean a better-financed and operationally more credible opponent.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the man responsible for the state’s investments, has pulled much of his personal money out of the stock market. “Ten days ago, I sold all my stock,” Mourdock told the Huffington Post earlier this month. “I spend two hours every morning looking at market indicators.”

 
As American anxiety builds, London calling PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 17:13

by Brian Howey
NASHVILLE, Ind. - It was fascinating to watch the "Arab Spring" go viral over the Internet last winter, from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Syria. This is the reality of the interconnected world we live in.
This past week, we've witnessed something our parents and grandparents did: London is burning.
The spark that ignited riots in London was a police shooting. But at this writing, the rioting had spread to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol. The shooting was a mere trigger in Britain, which underwent an austerity program well before the Tea Party forged a Republican takeover of the U.S. House last November.
We've witnessed this in Athens, where the corrupt Greek government tried to rein in spending and was met by riots. There have been massive protests over cost of living, pension cuts and corruption in Spain, the Philippines, Israel and even China.
America, these are shots across our bow.
We are mired in a jobless rate hovering around 9.1 percent. In Indiana, it has been above 8 percent since 2009 and there appears to be no light at the end of this tunnel. Experts say these figures don't truly reflect the jobless rate which would include people too discouraged to look for work anymore. Others have slipped into the underground economy, selling drugs, doing construction work and other day jobs for cash, and a myriad of off-the-books commerce as they try to survive.
And I'll remind you of a statistic the Washington Post reported earlier this summer: the top .1 percent of Americans earn 10 percent of all income, and the top 1 percent earn 20 percent.
Folks, this income disparity is as unsustainable as this nation's balance books.
Since President Obama took office in January 2009 and the GOP lash back of 2010, the message from this writer has been the same: Government needs to be doing all it can to create jobs.
Some, like U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, are advocating a thorough reworking of our federal tax code - the Fair Tax - which would create the greatest incentive in the world for job creation to take place here and not in violent Mexico or authoritarian China.
“The current tax code warps household and business decisions, discourages investment, is constantly evaded, is arduous to enforce, and is disconnected from the need to stimulate growth, savings and investment in our economy,” Lugar explained.
He strongly believes, “Without strong growth, new jobs are not created, wages are not increased and wealth for all Americans will not grow.”
Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 13) abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.
The danger today is that the Republican/Tea Party emphasis is about cutting debt and deficits. To its credit, the Tea Party movement has elevated this true national threat to the forefront of debate. The problem is that they want to do it by just cutting government spending. Over the past year, 340,000 state and local government jobs have been eliminated. Federal government employment has been mostly flat; 3.1 million in 1992 to 2.8 million in 2010.
This past week, Congress created a new Super Committee (officially named the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction) to determine how America can live within its means. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Poll released last Tuesday, 62 percent think taxes on the wealthy should be hiked so the government can fund programs that help lower-income Americans. Just 34 percent said taxes should be kept low for the wealthy because they help create jobs. Just 35 percent think the Super Committee should propose significant changes to Social Security and Medicare.
During the debt ceiling debate, poll after poll showed Americans favoring a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. But it is hard to find a House Republican who even wanted to close tax loopholes to raise more revenue. When President Obama finally signed the debt ceiling bill into law, House Speaker John Boehner bragged that he got "98 percent" of what Republicans wanted. This was greeted by Standard & Poor's historic downgrade of U.S. credit on Aug. 5.
S&P is hardly a font of credibility, having missed the 2007-08 mortgage bubble fiasco (as well as the fall of Lehman Brothers). But as flawed as S&P is, there is more than a kernel of truth when it explained, "The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenge.”
In the wake of the debt ceiling and subsequent downgrade, we've watched President Obama's approve/disapprove sag to 41/51 percent in Gallup polling, and a record low 21 percent say Congress should not be reelected. The CNN/Opinion Research Poll found the approve/disapprove of the Republican Party at 33/59 percent, and the Tea Party stands at a dismal 31/51 percent.
And what I fear now, during these dog days of August, is the anxiety moving from the family kitchen table and into the streets of America. If you don't believe it, London is calling.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

NASHVILLE, Ind. - It was fascinating to watch the "Arab Spring" go viral over the Internet last winter, from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Syria. This is the reality of the interconnected world we live in.

This past week, we've witnessed something our parents and grandparents did: London is burning.

The spark that ignited riots in London was a police shooting. But at this writing, the rioting had spread to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol. The shooting was a mere trigger in Britain, which underwent an austerity program well before the Tea Party forged a Republican takeover of the U.S. House last November.

 
A first step toward an uncertain future PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 21:47

by Brian Howey
WASHINGTON - The Tea Party set the agenda.
The Republican old-guard reasserted itself in the final hours and forged a deal no one is really happy with. President Obama, faced with a 9.2 percent jobless rate, couldn’t afford to let the United States slip into default, which was the universally unacceptable result to everyone but elements of the Tea Party and Club for Growth.
Republicans, controlling a little over half of one chamber in Congress, called the President’s bluff on this “manufactured crisis” while manufacturing plants across the country were quiet. Obama, without a deal of his own, had to swallow this deal while his base grimaced over a “Satan sandwich.”
There were $1.5 trillion in cuts, no tax increases, and a new 12-person super committee that will try to find more permanent solutions this fall.
Indiana’s congressional delegation was split five to six over this matter, almost in half, as was the House Tea Party Caucus. Two Republicans, U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, facing the races of their political lives in 2012, voted for the measure.
Two Republicans in the safest districts, U.S. Reps. Todd Rokita and Marlin Stutzman, voted against the measure, joining liberal Reps. Andre Carson and Pete Visclosky, as well as Sen. Dan Coats. And the most vulnerable, U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, also voted no.
“I don’t see this so much as a good deal. I see it as a good start,” said Pence in a Wednesday interview at the Rathskeller in Indianapolis. “We have a long way to go. This is a first step in a long process to restore fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C. I thought it was worth supporting. I don’t think it was anything to write home about,” reiterating that it is a modest, but meaningful step toward fiscal discipline.
“All we did here was stop digging,” said Pence, who left Washington on Tuesday and ended up at the Morgan County 4-H Fair watching bull competition, even standing in the inevitable bovine by-product, which he said he preferred over the Capitol Hill marble.
“That’s all we did. If you owe debts, pay debts, we had to find an obligation to pay the nation’s bills. But my requirement was to do that in a fiscally responsible way,” Pence said.
The New York Times reported: By the end of the 10-year deal, the federal debt would be much larger than it is today. Indeed, both the government and its debts will continue to grow faster than the American economy, primarily because the new law does not address federal spending on health care. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal debt is likely to exceed 100 percent of the nation’s annual economic output by 2021, largely because of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Opposition ran from the liberal to conservative within the Indiana delegation. Rep. Visclosky called it “inadequate” and noted that two wars are being funded and a dozen big corporations earning $171 billion in profits pay no taxes.
“It’s important to remember that this debate is only one symptom of our nation’s larger debt problem,” Stutzman said. “I have consistently sought a solution that is grounded on the conservative principles of cut, cap and balance.”
Rokita said, “For decades now, we have spent too much money on ourselves and have intentionally allowed our kids and grandkids to pay for it. It is intergenerational theft – literally stealing from our best asset, our posterity. The correct course of action, as I have said from the beginning, is to enact permanent and structural reform as the price for raising the debt ceiling.” He said the bill failed to do that.
That may be true. But the alternative in the end was not a better bill. The other option was to have the country default on its debt. That outcome could have dealt a devastating setback to the U.S. and global economy and potentially sent interest rates skyrocketing. Every Hoosier could have been hurt.
And Indiana becomes a vivid battleground in 2012 over this matter, with Lugar and Indiana Treasurer Richard Moudock taking opposite sides.
Lugar defied political observers, who thought he would cave to the Tea Party by voting against the debt-ceiling deal. In typical Lugar fashion, he cast a vote for the agreement that achieved significant conservative wins in terms of budget and tax policy. “Initially, President Obama asked Congress to raise the limit on U.S. debt without any cuts in spending,” Lugar explained. “He then asked for increases in taxes. Republicans succeeded in gaining substantial cuts in spending and no increases in taxes. We were also successful in gaining spending caps to restrain future spending.”
Mourdock was defiantly against the deal, embracing a Tea Party perspective. “The ‘tin can of responsibility’ was once again kicked down the road,” he said. “Our debt will grow another four billion dollars today, tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. Today merely sets the stage for an even bigger crisis.”
This is a debate that will continue through the 2012 elections.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

WASHINGTON - The Tea Party set the agenda.

The Republican old-guard reasserted itself in the final hours and forged a deal no one is really happy with. President Obama, faced with a 9.2 percent jobless rate, couldn’t afford to let the United States slip into default, which was the universally unacceptable result to everyone but elements of the Tea Party and Club for Growth.

Republicans, controlling a little over half of one chamber in Congress, called the President’s bluff on this “manufactured crisis” while manufacturing plants across the country were quiet. Obama, without a deal of his own, had to swallow this deal while his base grimaced over a “Satan sandwich.”

 
Daniels warns of spending (and a U.S. default) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 17:04

by Brian Howey
WEST BADEN, Ind. – When it comes to federal budgets, deficits and debt, Mitch Daniels probably knows more about the inner workings of the U.S. colossus than any other breathing Hoosier.
So I wanted to know his take on the debt ceiling showdown that has embroiled Washington in a crisis atmosphere this week. At this writing, Congress and the Obama White House are creeping toward a haywire showdown.
Gov. Daniels cited President Obama’s “intransigence” as the biggest problem in the gathering meltdown. But the former White House budget director painted a dire scenario if the United States were to default on its obligations, as some members of his own Republican party are advocating.
The remarks were among his most detailed on the emerging crisis since he bowed out of the Republican presidential race in June. Many Republicans believe that Daniels would have been a leading voice in the nation’s budget deficits and debt crises that he described as the “red menace” when he addressed CPAC in February. He has written a book about the American fiscal house, due for release in September.
In February, Daniels told CPAC in Washington, “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.”
Daniels spoke of a “morbidly obese” American government in need of “bariatric surgery.”
Thursday morning, Daniels urged passage of House Speaker John Boehner's plan. “I hope the Indiana Congressional Delegation will support Speaker Boehner’s proposal,” he said. “The terrifying, nation-threatening debt levels caused by past and present overspending and future overpromising will not be solved by any one action or in any one year. But the Boehner plan begins in the right place, with real spending restraint and would show Americans and world markets that we do not intend to commit financial suicide. I hope Congress passes it and then begins work immediately on step two of our long march back to national solvency and economic prosperity.”
Two days before at a Statehouse news conference, he said, “Far and away the biggest problems are the intransigence of the President and his allies.” Asked by Howey Politics Indiana what his perspective on the crisis is, Daniels responded, “Everybody who honestly approaches this subject knows we have a huge problem. We cannot possibly generate the revenues to pay for it and go on borrowing 40 cents on every dollar like we’ve been doing. So the starting point, not the ending point, should be some meaningful step to reduce the blowout levels of spending we’re at today and start reducing the unaffordable commitments we’ve made for tomorrow. And so this elephant is going to have to be eaten one bite at a time. The first bite would be something that demonstrates to Americans, and by the way, the markets, that we don’t intend to spend and borrow our way over a cliff.”
Daniels added, “You’re never going to solve this problem in one great step. It’s going to take actually years of steps if you look at the arithmetic. Therefore, don’t let the perfect be enemy of the good. If you can get, as they’ve been close to with the President, if they can get a meaningful first step on spending – and of course you have to raise the debt ceiling at some point – they ought to do that and the next morning start discussing step two.”
Asked if allowing a default would be a good thing, as U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann - who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination - have all advocated, Daniels said, “I disagree with that. Their intentions are good but I don’t think they’ve thought through the potential consequences to the country.”
Mourdock is challenging U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary. On May 16, Mourdock said on his campaign website, “Negotiating a deal across the political aisle to simply cut spending at any level is a folly. Numerous times in the past such deals were agreed to, but once the debt limit was raised there were no serious efforts at reducing spending. If it had worked in the past, we wouldn’t be in this current mess. Many in government again want to raise the limit on its credit card but we must say no!”
And what would those consequences be? Daniels, who served as OMB director from 2001 to 2003 under President George W. Bush, said, “A giant leap in the interest rate. Probably an end to investment in the country, which probably leads to more lost jobs. You’d probably have a big run up of commodity prices like gasoline because the world would assume that instead of doing what’s right, starting to limit our spending, we’re just going to print money. The first thing you’d see is $5 or $6 (a gallon) gas. Followed by a big increase in the interest rate for the money you’ve borrowed.”
Daniels did give some cover for Republican freshmen, noting that they weren’t there to vote for the spending that got the U.S. in this dilemma.
Daniels’ remarks will likely bring a wistful response from Hoosier Republicans and others who wanted him to seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. The events of July – with a deadlocked showdown in Washington between President Obama and both congressional Republicans and Democrats – would have played into Daniels’ wheelhouse, where he would have presented a message of tough love, and a roadmap to the future that would feature arduous fiscal discipline and entitlement reform.
(The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Contact Howey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

by Brian Howey

WEST BADEN, Ind. – When it comes to federal budgets, deficits and debt, Mitch Daniels probably knows more about the inner workings of the U.S. colossus than any other breathing Hoosier.

So I wanted to know his take on the debt ceiling showdown that has embroiled Washington in a crisis atmosphere this week. At this writing, Congress and the Obama White House are creeping toward a haywire showdown.

 
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