COVINGTON, Ind. —
Much has already been written blaming the tea party for the “failed” Republican election results. Certainly, many disheartened tea party conservatives are worthy of condolences normally reserved for families of the departed.
But, as Paul Harvey said, “Here is the rest of the story.” During the past eight years, Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Republican legislature of Indiana have been doing exactly what the tea party advocates: making government smaller. Today, Indiana has a budget surplus and income tax rate is likely to drop from 3.4 percent to 3.1 percent.
Indiana has fewer state employees than in 1976 and property taxes have been capped. New businesses are entering the state and population is increasing. Pensions are fully funded and bills are paid on time.
In contrast, Illinois has perpetually been Democratic. It is massively in debt, has a 5 percent state tax rate, cannot fund pensions that were rightfully earned nor pay bills on time. Businesses are leaving the state, and property taxes are likely to skyrocket when the state passes the teacher pension buck to local schools.
These facts do not suggest the Democratic Party has an inside track to successful governance, nor does it suggest a reason why tea party ideas should be branded as “radical.”
If voters, who desire successful government, re-elect those who, in fact, have created the problems, it suggests voters are either irrational or uninformed, not that something is necessarily wrong with the Republican Party.
Furthermore, if the Republican Party needs fixing, it sure isn’t in Indiana.