Right now is the political hangover season. The election's over, and the decisions are being made for the next term. In the 24 hour world we live in where you can instantly get information (like the blog you're reading), there is a risk of overload. Ignoring the situation will get it out of the mindset of some, but the situation is still there.
Currently, Gov.-elect Daniels is putting together his team for the next four years. I think he has his heart in the right place, and I think the results will be better than the previous administration. I don't think that he'll achieve everything I'd like to see, but the challenge before him and the General Assembly is very intimidating. Legislators will be making tough decisions on how to compensate for the $800 million structural deficit facing Indiana.
If my family didn't have the money for extras in our life, we simply tightened our belt and made do. That could have meant no vacation, but looking back, it was the right thing to do. If that means no porkbarreling for a couple of years, a legislator can look back and say, "I did my part to shrink the size of the government for my constituents." I respect that. Legislator X stood up and realized these are indeed tough times, and sacrifices have to be made for the greater good of the state.
I understand that Indiana did suffer worse than the nation when the recession hit in the early part of the decade, and we're just now recovering. In order to keep the recovery going, the General Assembly, and Gov.-elect Daniels are going to have to make the tough choices necessary to show the people of Indiana that they made the right choices November 2.
On the federal level, with Republicans in the White House, and in both chambers of Congress, federal spending increased domestically 7-10% in Bush's first term. Let's see if My Man Mitch, Speaker Bosma, and the Republicans in the General Assembly can give our state a 7-10% reduction in spending. That is my challenge to the Indiana GOP. You say you're the party of small government, so put your money where your mouth is.