Thank Goodness For Football

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels – who favored tax cuts for the wealthy over disaster relief when he was budget director for President Bush – has found a peculiar reason to raise taxes in Indiana: football.

As President Bush’s first term budget director, Daniels (aka “The Blade“) earned a reputation for being particularly aggressive about slashing federal programs to support the president’s tax cuts. For instance, Daniels recommended zeroing out the Boys and Girls Club, even though the president himself said he “believe[d] strongly” in the program. He proposed major funding cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, including allegedly thwarting major public health warnings advocated by the agency. And he “sent his own coat-appraisal team to the wreckage of Tropical Storm Allison” to kill a Federal Emergency Management Agency request for more disaster relief in Texas.

All the while, Daniels insisted the president’s tax cuts were stimulating the economy and that deficits and funding cuts would be even worse without them. “Thank goodness for tax cuts,” Daniels liked to say.

It must come as a surprise, then, to the citizens of Indiana, that Daniels – already advocating a 1 percent income tax increase to help deal with the state’s $700 million projected deficit – is now supporting a plan that will raise their taxes to fund a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts. Daniels’s plan, approved by a state Senate committee yesterday, calls for tax hikes that will affect Hoosiers going out to dinner, renting cars, attending concerts and staying in hotels. The money will go towards a new football stadium with a retractable roof.

The Colts have a had a tough time beating the Patriots these last couple years, but “disaster relief” this is not.