Wow, Kasich’s statement in the Cleveland Plain Dealer all but puts the final nail in the coffin that is Kasich’s reckless income tax repeal plan:

Kasich said the state’s top personal income tax bracket – through which many small businesses pay taxes – was too high but didn’t offer specifics on how to address it.

“There is no doubt that we need to lower these taxes because it make us less competitive,” he said.

We’ve gone from a total repeal of the Ohio income tax code to trying to figure out a way to cut taxes for the top income brackets more than the 17% cut they, and all of us, got over the past four years.

Which is politically worse: 1) a reckless income tax repeal that would require massive and unpopular cuts in education, health, and public safety or 2) running after a recession on a platform to cut only the richest folks’ taxes and giving big business carte blanche to do as it pleases if they pinkie swear it will create jobs?  Boy, that John Kasich sure is a different kind of Republican!

Regardless, this comment, and Kasich’s comment yesterday in a separate interview in which he called his income tax repeal only a “goal” and no longer a committed promise, make it pretty clear Kasich is trying to walk away from his signature campaign promise.  Unfortunately, it’s been the only one he’s been willing to make publicly so it’s all the more awkward.

Incidentally, if you were wondering, the top income tax rate in Ohio currently is $9,573.30 on the first $200,000 in income (less than 4.8%) and 6.24% for any amount in excess of $200,000.  (Compared to a federal marginal rate of 35% for income over $373,650, which works out to roughly be a 29% effective tax rate, in comparison.)

So if you were paid a $500,000 bonus managing a two-man office in Columbus and a top-floor corner office in NYC’s financial district while the company was marching defiantly into bankruptcy, you’d pay roughly $28,293.30 in Ohio income taxes at an effective tax rate of less than 5.7%.  (Before Ted Strickland was Governor, the same bonus check would have had an effective tax rate of 6.5%.)  Also, one reason Kasich worked in Ohio despite his NYC financial district office?  Because New York’s taxes on that same bonus check would be nearly 9%.

And yet, Kasich claims that but for this 5.7% tax on his bonus check, he would have been managing a THREE-man office for Lehman Brothers in Columbus.

Anyone buying that?

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