John Kasich is using the budget as an excuse to push through every radical, ideologically extreme idea he’s ever had. Today, the Governor spoke at the Greater Cleveland Partnership and said, according to the Crain’s Cleveland Business Journal:
Because funds are tight, he said he might find money for incentives to new businesses by privatizing state assets; he used the Ohio Turnpike as, he emphasized, a hypothetical example. He said he could lease the Ohio Turnpike for $3 billion and use most of that money, after repaying $600 million in outstanding turnpike debt, to attract business to Ohio.
“I’m not telling you this is going to happen,” he said, but it was just one of the ways his administration might raise a kitty of money for business expansion in a time of budget belt-tightening.
Mr. Kasich also suggested that he might favor what he called a “capital gains differential” to keep wealthy shareholders from moving out of state. He said he hopes, over time, to eliminate the state personal income tax. In the meantime, it might be possible to tax capital gains on stock sales, now taxed at the 6% rate that regular income is taxed, at a lower rate, he said.
John Kasich wouldn’t keep bringing up the idea unless he was totally committed to do it. This is the second time Kasich has voluntarily broached the subject without any prompting.
Incidentally, the idea of leasing the Turnpike and using the proceeds specifically to “raise a kitty” for corporate welfare isn’t a new idea. Who proposed it first?
This is precisely what Ken Blackwell proposed in 2006. No difference but the promised price tag. Blackwell predicted $6 billion; Kasich is predicting half that much.
And remember, this was one of the key platforms of Ken Blackwell’s campaign. And what did it get him? 36% of the vote.
There are constitutional questions whether proceeds from leasing the Turnpike can be used for General Revenue Funds (GRF) expenditures and not restricted to only the separate transportation budget.
Regardless, Kasich isn’t planning to privatize the Turnpike to fund your kids’ school, or even keep Colton Henson’s tuition at the OSU in check. He’s not going to use that to help pay for Medicaid or keep police on the streets. Nope, he just said he wants to use it to create a $3 billion kitty for RobsOhio to distribute in private! (So much for the promise that RobOhio would be self-funding anytime soon, huh?)
Meanwhile, as the middle class, working class, and the just plain ol’ poor are preparing to take it on the chin with Kasich’s budget, Kasich’s promising even more tax cuts for the rich, even during this upcoming budget fight.
Kasich cares more about protecting corporate welfare and giving himself and his rich corporate buddies more tax cuts than he does the people who are actually suffering from this economy. Oh, yeah, I forgot, after this orgy of financial gluttony, eventually they get so fat and stuffed that a few crumbs will bound to fall off their gilded tables for poor mice of Ohio to survive off of.
And by the way, can we revisit what the latest Quinnipiac Poll said about the turnpike privatization issue?
NOTE: That’s what was said when Ohioans were told it would be done to balance the budget, NOT to create a “kitty” for RobsOhio. And even though the same poll showed Ohioans are deeply concerned about the State’s budget, privatizing the Turnpike was still the most unpopular proposal with Ohioans that Quinnipiac tested!
And don’t even lecture me about “class warfare” until you’re prepared to acknowledge that Kasich is waging it.
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