It’s actually surprising to realize that it hasn’t even been a week since Kasich won the election. And yet, the stupidity keeps building daily.
“Passenger rail is not Ohio’s most pressing infrastructure concern at this time. Instead, Ohio’s existing freight rail and highway transportation infrastructure has significant upgrades needs. Therefore, I request that you make provisions for the $400 million to be used to support other vital transportation infrastructure projects in Ohio.
“In the event that you cannot accede to my request, I ask that you take no actions to spend the funds allocated to Ohio so that these funds can go toward reducing the federal government’s $1.4 trillion deficit.”
In other words, despite the fact that the federal government gave us the money solely to create a passenger rail system, I’d like to spend the money as I see fit (Kasich, again, completely unaware that the 3-C plan would result in significant upgrades for freight rail as a result of creating passenger rail service.) Um, barring that, I forbid you from spending the money as you see fit… because (as the Carpetblogger says) it’s “our money.” Also, it would really make me look like a tool if that money went to another State. Hugs and Kisses, Johnny K. P.S. – Please ignore the crap I say about you on Fox News…
For over a year, people have been trying to tell John Kasich that if he is elected Governor and rejects the 3-C plan (a bipartisan passenger rail plan that planning began during the last all-GOP rule in Ohio) then Ohio forfeits the $400 million it was rewarded under the federal passenger rail grant system. Kasich continues to insist otherwise despite the fact that the money had a specific appropriation language attached to it that doesn’t give him the flexibility he insists.
Kasich wants to have it both ways. Allow him to decide how best to spend federal money for interstates, instead of rail, or you don’t get to spend the money at all, he tells the President of the United States of America. You’d think a former Congressional Budget Chairman would understand that States don’t get to dictate federal appropriations like that.
Kasich tries to bury this, pardon the pun, trainwreck by using the deficit as an excuse. However, if Kasich were serious about rejecting this money over the federal deficit, then he wouldn’t be asking the federal government to let him spend the money for the pork barrel projects he saw fit. Nope, he just uses the deficit in the hope that he can avoid people realizing that a minority of them just elected a guy to be Governor who just ended $400 million in federal economic development dollars during a painful recession.
But beyond that, what nobody in the media is pointing out that if Kasich just used the money for highways and some freight rail improvements, it would create less jobs than the 3C plan would.
The really irritating thing is that the federal government has already told Kasich, in response to his own press statements during the campaign, that he won’t be allowed to divert federal money as he saw fit countless times. In other words, today’s letter wasn’t about seeking information or searching out an amicable resolution. It’s not more than political preening and posturing, while John Kasich sends over 16,000 jobs on the express train to New York.
If he manages to lose Ohio’s Race to the Top funding, that $400 million will likely go to New Jersey who fell just a point or so behind Ohio’s application. This would make John Kasich the best Governor of New York and New Jersey that they never had.
John Kasich, who said his Administration would be all about job creation is off to a piss poor start. His first appointment announcements were solely over the budget, not job creation. He’s passing on $400 million for the 3C which would create over ten thousand jobs. He’s likely to jeopardize another $400 million in Race to the Top federal funding for education, and every state agency is preparing for massive layoffs. Remember his signature JobsOhio plan? You know that thing that was necessary to get Ohio moving at the speed of business?
Yep, despite being only one of three ideas Kasich gave any detail during the campaign, last week Kasich admitted that his Administration won’t be moving quickly to implement it. I’ve been told that the real reason is that the Republicans in the legislature have serious misgivings about it given the problems in Michigan, and that they don’t have all the details worked out.
On one of only three things he actually said he’d do. It’s officially TBD later. He’s too busy turning down federal money for economic development and education.
Despite four years of tax cuts not getting Ohio out of this recession, Kasich is betting the State’s budget that #5 will be a winner. A tax cut that will cost Ohioans over 40 times what it would cost the State to build and then operate the 3C which will only be incurred once the federal money for 3C runs out.