Governor Mitch Daniels spoke to a capacity crowd at the Economic Club of Indiana luncheon today. Daniels, who replaced Steve Forbes as the original keynote for the event, had the audience laughing early by comparing himself to Forbes in a quip about his own future ambitions.
“He’s run for President of the United States…I’ll just leave it at that,” Daniels teased.
Daniels’ presentation came on the heels of a legislative session he characterized as hard-fought and the passage of a national health insurance reform bill he strongly opposes.
“It is fraudulent to assert it (health insurance legislation) will not add to the debt of this country,” Daniels stated. Asked if Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller would join other state attorneys general in pursuing legal challenges to the legislation, Daniels replied, “I believe he will; I’ve encouraged him to,” adding, “This is the first time the federal government has ordered citizens to purchase something.”
On the home front, Daniels spoke of previous accomplishments – receiving loud applause for reducing BMV wait times – and reiterated his administration’s stated mission from day one of making Indiana a better place to live and do business. He outlined why the state has achieved high marks for business friendliness and how everyone can help attract jobs to Indiana.
In looking forward, Daniels acknowledged some looming economic challenges, telling business owners, “If you think budgeting was difficult last year, just wait.” He stressed the need to meet these challenges by building on our strengths and continuing to stand out among our peers.
“Every month that goes by that we find a way to not raise taxes and other states raise them, Indiana gets a little more competitive.”
The next Economic Club event will be held on April 28 and feature C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb.