“You’re Either for Taxpayers or You’re Not”

After the continual thrashing of his privatization initiatives by gubernatorial challenger Jill Long Thompson, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels responds, short and sweet:

[In the first Indiana gubernatorial debate Tuesday,] Long Thompson criticized Daniels’ decision to lease the Indiana Toll Road in northern Indiana to a private company for 75 years, to allow a private company to run a state prison in New Castle and the state’s 10-year contract with a private consortium to process enrollment in food stamps, Medicaid, and other public safety net benefits received by 1.1 million disabled and needy Hoosiers. “We know that privatizing our FSSA program has been disastrous,” she said. “Not only has it hurt families in need, but it’s not saving the state any money.” Daniels, however, said privatization has saved the state millions of dollars. “You’re either for taxpayers or you’re not. We view every service in government from a very practical standpoint. What’s the best way to deliver it, what’s the lowest cost to taxpayers,” he said.

Ouch. Pretty much any retort to that will come off weak, by comparison. Here’s another gem:

Government does not create jobs,” he said. “Men and women of enterprise do. Government at its best creates conditions whereby they do that well.”

If only more of our elected leaders really understood this…(sigh) For more on Daniels’ views of reforming government through competition, go straight to the source.