The highly-partisan folks over at the Buckeye Institute love to take big sets of numbers and twist them around so they can get themselves a good headline. Their latest “report” titled “State of the State Update: It’s Worse Than We Thought” perfectly illustrates this trend.

Buckeye Institute’s new President Matt Mayer knows full well that very few people are going to read all of his so-called analysis and even fewer people are actually going to go look at the data he references in his ‘report’. And why would they? The headline tells it all.

The problem is that the numbers are cherry-picked to fit his agenda. Even the way he decides to group the numbers by decade or the way he compares totals over 20 years completely oversimplifies the data and helps him ‘prove’ his point: under Democrats government grows and the private sector loses jobs.

If all you did was read his ‘analysis’ you’d come away thinking Voinovich and Taft shrank state government and created jobs and Governor Strickland did the opposite.

But if you take a look at the actual numbers you find the exact opposite to be true.

When Republican George Voinovich became governor in January 1990, the number of statewide government employees in Ohio was 714,800. By the time Republican Bob Taft left office in December of 2006 that number had jumped up to 802,000. That’s an increase of over 12% in the number of statewide Government employees in Ohio during the 16 years Ohio had a Republican Governor.

Compare that to the current estimate for January of this year: 781,900.

The facts are pretty clear when you strip away all of Matt’s double talk and magic math:the number of statewide government jobs in Ohio went down over 2% under Governor Strickland after double-digit growth under Republican leadership.

While the Republicans are out there talking about being the party of small government Ted Strickland is actually walking the walk.