According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the special bipartisan panel convened to work on a bipartisan plan to solve what has been projected to be a potential $8 billion deficit (if the economy doesn’t pick up enough to generate more revenues and the federal government does not continue to give stimulus aid to the States next year) heard testimony from a national expert from the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL).

The NCSL is an organization in which state legislators, from all parties, exchange policy ideas and conduct objective research on a variety of state issues from across the nation.  It is a well respected and regarded objective organization.

It’s fiscal policy expert’s opinion? 

“There are many states that you can say are worse off,” said Todd Haggerty, a fiscal affairs staffer with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Haggerty’s research shows a grimmer picture in states such as Nevada and Illinois, where officials face a staggering budget gap amounting to 45 percent of their current budgets. Or consider that 21 states plus Puerto Rico are seeing spending overruns in Medicaid.

In contrast, Ohio’s $50.5 billion, two-year general revenue fund budget would face a 16 percent gap if the next budget hole turns out to be $8 billion, which also depends on how much revenues grow — or don’t grow. And Ohio is sitting on a $500 million Medicaid cushion built up over the past year by underspending on the program.

In other words, unlike 21 other States, Ohio has a budget surplus in Medicaid where those States are running deficits in what is one of the largest expenditures for State spending.  Also, Ohio is doing better fiscally than many other States, which was also confirmed by an earlier report than the non-partisan Pew Center on the States last year.  According to the Pew’s Scorecard, Ohio is facing a smaller fiscal crisis than, well, the federal government, Alabama, Alaska (A non-income tax state, you betcha!), Arizona (Maverick), California, Colorado (Home of the TEL Amendment!), Florida (No income tax state), Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois (I blame Blago), Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan (yet again, Ohio beats Michigan), Mississippi (RGA Chair/Gov. Haley Barbour’s State), Nevada (another no-income tax State), New Jersey,  New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island (I blame Family Guy), South Carolina, Washington (another no income tax State), and Wisconsin.  Ohio ties another four States.  Over  half of the no-income tax States are ranked as being in more fiscal peril than Ohio.  When you consider that only seven States have no personal income tax, that’s quite a feat to have so many facing huge budget problems.

That means that most of the States are in as good as fiscal shape or worse than Ohio is in under Governor Strickland if the economy fails to grow revenues or the federal government fails to continue to provide stimulus assistance to the States.

But, wait, what was that about Nevada and Illinois?

Haggerty’s research shows a grimmer picture in states such as Nevada and Illinois, where officials face a staggering budget gap amounting to 45 percent of their current budgets.

45% of their budgets where have I heard that before?

“If elected, Congressman Kasich vows to eliminate the state income tax.

How would he replace 46 percent of our state revenue – revenue that helps pay for schools and universities, first responders and libraries, parks and prisons and most everything else our state does?

Well, apparently he believes in Tooth Fairy Economics. That somehow, some way, money will come in from some unknown source while he sleeps.”—Gov. Ted Strickland on Tuesday talking about John Kasich’s tax plan

When fully implemented, John Kasich’s tax plan alone will blow a hole in the State budget that rivals the worst budget crisis in the nation already.

The only State to face a bigger percentage of their budget hole?  California which is considering paying all State employees the federal minimum wage to balance their budget.

When asked when Kasich plans on releasing his plans to pay for his tax plans, Jon Keeling retorts that Ted Strickland must first announce how to solve the projected $8 billion deficit that exists only if you believe that the economy next year is the same, and not better, than it is now.  That’s something no economist is projecting, quite the contrary.

But that begs the question—if even John Kasich’s biggest online cheerleader says Strickland should be the one to fix the budget next term, why, then should he not do so as our Governor?

But beyond that ridiculous dodge by the Carpetblogger, it points out the false equivalence between Strickland’s non-answer to the projected deficit that could largely be erased by better than projected economic growth (or in actually in the case of State Auditor Mary Taylor’s projection… growth at all) and Kasich’s inability to address the deficit causes solely by his tax plans.

You see, when you compare the percentage of the budget caused by Taylor’s projected deficit to Kasich’s income tax repeal plan deficit (which does not even include his estate tax repeal plan), the Kasich created deficit will be nearly THREE TIMES as large as the deficit Taylor has predicted.  A prediction by Taylor that lead to a special bipartisan commission that heard testimony that Ohio should be glad it’s not losing as much revenue… as it would be if it adopted John Kasich and Mary Taylor’s tax schemes.  If anything, there should be more pressure on Kasich to explain how he would solve his policies self-created deficits than on Strickland.

And yet, John Kasich continues to campaign to turn Ohio into Nevada… budget problems and all.

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