WASHINGTON — The Concord Coalition last night honored Mitch Daniels and Evan Bayh III — two former Indiana governors who both built strong fiscal records in the state — with the 2015 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award.
Bayh, a Democrat, served as Indiana’s 46th governor from 1989 to 1997, presiding over eight consecutive balanced budgets. Daniels, a Republican, was the state’s 49th governor from 2005 to 2013, quickly turning a large budget deficit into a surplus in his first term.
“Both of our honorees this evening have had to make difficult decisions as chief executives of the great state of Indiana, and each faced obstacles from the other side of the aisle, and even from their own party,” said Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director. “One a Democrat and one a Republican, they found a way to work in a bipartisan way for the good of their state. They personify what we mean by ‘economic patriot.’ ”
In accepting the award, Bayh recalled the sacrifices of previous generations of Americans and contrasted that record with “the legacy of debt and deficits we will leave to our children and grandchildren if nothing is done.” He also warned that the nation’s fiscal problems threatened its ability to make needed investments in areas such as education and research that could help create “a more productive economy and a better standard of living for those who follow us.”
Daniels described the fiscal situation as “an existential threat to the nation we love” and a fundamental test of American self government: “It’s an open question whether this system we take for granted really can run the distance or whether we will spend ourselves broke . . . .” But he added that he was optimistic that the country would eventually meet its fiscal and economic challenges, recalling the saying: “Now that the money has run out, we’ll have to begin to think.”
The award ceremony was held at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington.
The Patriot Award is named for the late Paul E. Tsongas, one of Concord’s founding co-chairmen. It honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to fiscal responsibility and the protection of younger generations from irresponsible fiscal policies. Over the years the award has been given to individuals of varied backgrounds and political affiliations.
Media Contact: Steve Winn, (703) 254-7828, [email protected]
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org or see us on facebook.com/concordcoalition and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC