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Daniels warns of health bill's 'immorally huge' taxes

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels repeated his opposition to the newly approved federal health care overhaul Wednesday, warning it will place an "immorally huge" tax burden on younger Americans by worsening the nation's mounting debt.

Daniels told members of the Economic Club of Indianapolis that it's ridiculous for anyone to suggest the nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama won't add to the nation's debt.

"I'm here to tell you that it's fraudulent to assert that it will not add to the debt of this country," the Republican governor said to applause. "... I think you've read enough to know that that's absolute bunk."

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the law will cut federal budget deficits by an estimated $143 billion over a decade, but conservatives fear an expansion of government and the associated costs they say will bankrupt the country. Most experts believe the CBO's estimate is misleading because some costly measures were eliminated from the bill that still must be addressed separately as part of health care reform.

Daniels said he's encouraged Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to join 13 other attorneys general in challenging the health care overhaul in court, adding that "there are some very good arguments" to be made in that litigation.

"I think there are some important principles to be spoken for and I do believe that Indiana should join what looks like to be a large number of states," he said.

The governor, however, said he's skeptical the states' litigation would succeed.

Daniels devoted most of his speech to his accomplishments as governor, detailing steps his administration has taken to make Indiana more competitive to new businesses.

Afterward, he answered audience questions, the first of which touched on his recent comments that he was keeping the door open to a possible 2012 presidential run.

Daniels smiled but did not directly answer when asked whether he had made a decision on who his running mate might be.

He then was asked whether he thought there would be proposals to help pay for the health overhaul plan through a federal value-added tax — a consumption tax on businesses at various points in the production of goods or services.

Daniels said he wouldn't be surprised if such a tax is proposed to handle the big increase in the nation's debt he contends the health care proposal will bring.

"This is going to be an immorally — and I choose that word carefully — immorally huge burden we're about to place on our children. I wouldn't rule anything out," he said.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said Daniels, who was former President George W. Bush's budget director for two years, should not be talking about the federal deficit because he said he shares some of the blame for that debt.

"Given his atrocious record as OMB director under George W. Bush, which set this nation on a course for the deficit that we've had over the last 10 years, he's the last person who should be talking about debt," he said.

Parker said Daniels needs to devote more time to being governor of a state with a nearly 10-percent unemployment rate, "and less time worrying about what's going on in Washington."

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  • Healthcare isn't the subject of healthcare anymore.
    Per Senator Max Baccus this is about redistribution of wealth: http://www.floppingaces.net/2010/03/25/senator-admits-obamacare-about-income-redistribution/

    Additionally, healthcare isn't being given, I'm being fined $1,600 a year if the gov doesn't like the insurance I choose (Starting in 2014). And not only that but that because $1,600 payable to the Internal REVENUE Service.
  • it's not really about healthcare
    His statement has little to do about healthcare. His statement is that we cannot afford this bill. I did not see anywhere in Mr. Daniel's statement that he was against healthcare. He is against the cost of this bill. I am for healthcare, but against this bill only because I believe it does nothing to reduce the cost, will increase taxes, and expand the federal government. I certainly believe it needs a second look. Maybe we need an independent panel to construct a bill to submit to Congress. Much like the Manhattan project.
  • SO WHY was he called "The Blade" at OMB?
    Parker just can't deal with the TRUTH, can he?

    Maybe, Parker might want to move to Illinois where The Chicago Tribune recently cited that the state government is BROKE? I think Governor Daniels is devoting ample attention to Indiana state government!

    Just the other day, I was asking some young people WHY they would be in favor of a law which would increase the government debt burden which THEY would have to pay?
  • immorally huge?
    And it's not 'hugely immoral' to let thousands of US citizen to continue to suffer by not having suffcient access to health care?

    Of course universal health care is going to cost something, but to say that the costs outweigh the benefits is ridiculous. I am one of our nation's young people and not being able to doctor when I'm sick because I can't afford it is a lot scarier than worsening our nation's debt.
  • Seriously?
    Some of these comments are absolutely hilarious! Do you seriously think government healthcare can reduce the budget? What government run program has EVER decreased the budget? What government program has ever been started and not grown into a massive bureaucracy? The CBO is not the issue here. The information that was given to the CBO is the issue. I find it ironic that the estimated cost of this bill was kept just under the $1 trillion mark, as that number would have made the American people gasp. Let's not think for one second that this bill has anything to do with cost or helping people. It has everything to do with a massive ego that wants to leave some sort of legacy behind. If you do not think that is the truth, than why would anyone push a bill through that is so publicly unpopular? You would be swimming with the sharks to put that much political capital into something and come out with nothing. That is why this bill was passed.
  • Congressional Budget office
    Apparently Gov. Daniels doesn't believe the CBO which says the bill is not only budget neutrqal but will actually save money. The CBO isn't partisan- the Republicans have used their statistics on many occasions when it suited their position.
  • Example
    I'm not sure Jimmy Carter is a good example. Sure 70% tax can balance a budget, while it bankrupts the people of the country. Interest rates alone would hinder economic growth due to the lack of credit being issued to comapnies for cap ex. Clinton may have been a better example.
  • What Hypocrisy
    Like most conservatives, Mitch Daniels is a hypocrite when it comes to fiscal responsibility. When Jimmy Carter left office in the early 1980s, he had nearly balanced the budget. Then, Reagan, Daniels and the rest of the conservative wrecking crew took control of the executive branch and left it eight years later with the worst budget deficit to that time in U.S. history. Twenty years later, the Reagan deficit was only exceeded by another conservative, George W. Bush. Spare us, Mitch Daniels, your sanctimony about responsible fiscal management.
  • what what
    What you all got to be about? I get mines and you pays, get it quick, ya,,plus i needs my rent paid too, tax dat hoez. I got down out the PO, plus the COs get me that pillz free up in the DOC, pay mee!
  • Another CBO Doubter
    I guess we can add the former Bush budget director to the long list of Republicans who would toss out the conclusions of the most highly respected bi-partisan congressional group in existence. This sounds to me like one who is putting more than a toe in the water to check the temperature for a possible presidential bid.
  • Understands
    Dan Parker has no clue of the repercussions of this bill. Gov. Daniels knows that this is an inevitable conclusion. This is why UK's healthcare system is the 3rd largest employer in the world (behind China's Red Army and the India's National Railroad). November will find the Dems wanting as they join the ranks of the unemployed.

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