Indana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, did something pretty amazing recently. With bipartisan approval in the legislature and working with state employees, he was able to bring about a surplus in the state's budget. He generated $1.2 billion dollars worth of surplus by not raising taxes.

All of the savings were from carefully cutting expenses. Indiana's financial situation is far better than its neighboring states, particularly Illinois, which implemented massive tax increases to shore up its finances. Indiana can also boast the lowest unemployment rate in the Midwest. I'm convinced that businesses would be much more willing to hire people if they don't think their expenses would increase due to higher taxes.

These are uncertain times, and a sure way to help settle things down and allow strong investments to grow again is for strong leaders to be willing to show a good effort in fiscal responsibility in cutting back on many programs that we just don't have the money to support at this time. I know it can upset some people and many are hurting and need some help, but a growing economy that reassures the people that do the hiring that it would be OK to take more risks in investing into their companies again would be the best medicine for all the people at this time.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is made better off. A rising tide raises all boats."

Earle Hutchison