Kasich is once again touting that he balanced the federal budget back in 1995 in an effort to justify his plan to implement the Medicaid expansion proposal. Like every word that utters forth from a politician’s mouth there is more tall tale than truth, and so too it is with Kasich’s.
While Newt’s republicans should receive credit for the balanced budget in 1995, and so too should Kasich, the truth of the matter is the budget became balanced for that year, not because of reductions to federal government, but because the economy was strong and tax revenues increased, and the military budget was reduced substantially at the conclusion of the Cold War. (See this 1998 article from the Cato Institute for more details.) It was a perfect situation where there was a window of opportunity to pull off what can be considered political theater. But the balance didn’t last because there were no meaningful cuts to the federal government. In actually the federal government continued to grow all through the Clinton and Gingrich era.
Knowing this makes its very clear as to what Kasich is really doing in Columbus. He is merely looking for ways to keep the bloated Ohio state government running without fixing the real problems facing the state. Namely, he hasn’t attempted to reduce the size of the state government to match the means of the taxpayers; nor reduced taxes and government regulations to make Ohio more attractive for people and business to move here (not the pet businesses that he often touts, who are getting the selective tax abatement); and worse, with all the natural gas Ohio is pumping out of the ground, he hasn’t led any plan to build new natural gas generated electric power plants through out the state; power plants that would provide low cost electricity to match the needs of the industrial business sector that could return to Ohio, and the huge increasing consumer demand especially in the northeast corridor, which could provide a substantial amount of business revenue (which always equates to tax revenue) and at the same time making a Ohio leader in electricity production. Instead he allowing for most of the natural gas to be exported to China and India to fuel their economies.
If one compares Ohio with the state with the best economy in the United States, North Dakota, Ohio should be head and shoulders above North Dakota in every category simply because of our geography, our location in reference to the east coast, natural resources, our climate, education system (which is being systematically ruined because of more federal involvement), agriculture strength, access to worldwide shipping through the Great Lakes, our fresh water, the list could go on and on. But what is truly lacking in Ohio is leadership. Instead of electing a leader that has a vision to guide a transformation in Ohio to become a business leader in this period of change, not only in the US but the world, we instead have an abrasive little man who is keeping a comatose patient on life support to milk every last dollar out of its bank account rather than treating the illness.
To blame only Kasich would be dishonest. Both the Ohio Republican and Democrat parties bear tremendous responsibly and so do the people of Ohio. But right now Kasich has the helm of the ship, and so bears the responsibility, not for our present condition, but knowing what that condition is and failing to act, and worse, failing to lead.
We have given him plenty of time and he has failed. Let’s not waste another day; the “small and limited government” minded folks in this state have a clear majority, if only we move. Let’s send Ohio politicians a clear message and defeat Kasich in the next primary. But that will not happen until we act. The time is now to dump Kasich, dump the professional politicians in both parties and find an independent leader supported by all Ohioans, not by New York bankers and Washington insiders. Let’s put forth a candidate that can lead, act and move this state to the position it most certainly should be; number one in the nation.