The Ohio Constitution mandates that Ohio’s budget be balanced. And yet, at best, only five of the twenty-two GOP State Senators is willing to vote for the necessary plan to balance the budget. Republicans cannot on one hand attack the State’s Democrats for balancing the budget by freezing a tax cut that the GOP implemented five years ago with no real plan to pay for it while claiming to support balance budgeting and fiscal conservativism. It’s an impossible feat when you realize that given the opportunity to show dedication to the issue– they bailed and left it largely to the Democrats to balance the budget.
That 2005 tax cut plan, by definition, was not fiscally conservative because a fiscal conservative would have enacted real structural reform to pay for such tax cuts instead of hoping the magic economy genie, or the next Governor, could find a way to pay it for them. Five GOP Senators are willing to fulfill their oath of office and support a constitutionally mandated balanced budget. The rest have no real plan.
And to make matters worse, the Ohio GOP plans on repeating the same mistake again, this time by a fiscal factor of ten. John Kasich wants to repeal the state estate tax and the income tax. Despite campaigning on this promise for a year, Kasich has yet to identify any means of how he’ll balance the budget despite the projected loss of over 40% of the state’s revenues his policies would like incur unless he merely shifts the tax burden to small businesses and the middle class by raising property and sales taxes. He hasn’t even offered any projection of how much revenue will be generated by “economic growth.” Therefore, he’s more fiscally reckless than the worst, drunk supply-sider could ever be.
And yet, Kasich criticizes Strickland over a budget deficit that is an ice cube compared to the fiscal iceberg Kasich is gleefully promising to steer the ship of State full steam ahead into. And the Old Media dutifully reports every Republican attack on Strickland on the budget without calling them out on the Kasich hypocrisy.
Nobody who voted for Bush-Cheney twice can call themselves a fiscal conservative. Cheney actually said the words “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” For the Republicans to claim that fiscal conservatism is their path back to power is an assumption that voters forget how AWOL the GOP has been on matters of fiscal discipline nationally and in Ohio.
What’s worse about Kasich is that he’s already hinted at punting his tax reform down the road into what would by his hypothetically second term, thus forcing his successor into the politically unpopular spot of either breaking from Kasich’s promise to repeal taxes or making the politically unpopular choices that need to be made in order to pay for it that Kasich doesn’t want to have to face until he’s a lame duck, at best.
This is neither leadership, nor fiscal conservatism. John Kasich is proposing something so nutty, so ridiculous, not even KEN BLACKWELL considered proposing it in his campaign.
As a Democrat, I am so sick of seeing how we’re cleaning up the Republican’s fiscal, foreign policy, economic, etc. messes while the GOP preens around like they’d be more responsible if they were still in charge. John Kasich isn’t a fiscal conservative. He’s a fly-by-night economic snake oil salesman who hopes he’s back in the corporate lecture circuit before the good people of Ohio realize the fiscal tab he’s left them holding.
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