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The Indiana Exception? Yes, but...
|Last Edited||ArmyDem Jun 24, 2011 05:35am|
|Media||Newspaper - New York Times|
|News Date||Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:00:00 AM UTC0:0|
|Description||By MICHAEL POWELL and MONICA DAVEY |
Published: June 23, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels sits in his grand cave of a Renaissance Revival office and reviews Indiana’s economic fortunes, his self-effacing manner not entirely disguising satisfaction. The state’s pension funds are relatively healthy, the unemployment rate is dropping slowly and per capita income is ticking up, slowly.
But Indiana is no world apart, even if Mr. Daniels would like to suggest it is. Large cracks have opened in its economic foundation, a sign of just how severe the downturn remains.
Mr. Daniels alone cannot take all credit or shoulder blame for the health of Indiana’s economy. But it is his work here — and his reputation as a cost-cutting, tough-on-labor conservative obsessed with fiscal problems — that fueled interest in his presidential ambitions before he announced that he would not run because of family considerations.
The state also serves as a case study of the often large tradeoffs required to balance the books when political leaders take the possibility of raising income taxes off the table. Fiscal conservatism, in other words, comes with its own costs.
“Much like the rest of the country, we did not survive unscathed,” said Jessica Fraser, a research analyst with the Indiana Institute for Working Families.
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