"America's best governor" (Ross Douthat, The New York Times) offers a plan for limited but effective government, before it's too late. Governments at every level keep getting bigger yet effective while the freedoms of individuals continue to be diminished. In the meantime, our public schools have produced an underprepared workforce, mostly ignorant of the rights and responsibilities of free citizens. This is exactly what the Founding Fathers feared: politicians who would give voters unsustainable benefits at the expense of society's long-term health. But according to Mitch Daniels, the acclaimed governor of Indiana, it's not too late to reverse America's decline. Daniels offers the way out of America's toughest problems, from stubbornly high unemployment to the terrifyingly huge federal debt. As he writes, "I devoutly believe there is a way to reconstruct both our economy and an ethic of citizenship that will preserve both prosperity and liberty." Daniels has practiced what he preaches. Before he became governor, Indiana hadn't balanced its budget in seven years and faced a $600 million deficit. It now boasts the fewest state employees per capita in the nation, but service levels have improved across the board, including at its Bureau of Motor Vehicles, heralded as the best in the country. Daniels avoids the partisan insults that too often divide Americans into warring camps.
He stresses the common threats we all face and offers a path to real change-change that believes in the power of individuals to do more for themselves while government focuses on the essential tasks that only it can do.