During his budget unveiling, Governor Kasich boasted that there was “no smoke and mirrors” in the budget that purportedly solved a projected $8 billion budget deficit without raising taxes in a budget which promises more spending than ever in the history of Ohio (just not for schools, colleges, or local governments, and multiple health care programs for the poor and uninsured.)
But, that’s not how the Columbus Dispatch sees it:
Budget uses accounting maneuvers
State Budget Director Tim Keen wasn’t dressed like a magician, but state lawmakers wanted to know yesterday how he made an $8 billion shortfall disappear, even as it appears that overall spending increased in the new two-year budget.
All in all, as Representative Goyal pointed out during yesterday’s House Finance Committee , the State will spend $7 billion MORE in total all-funds spending than it did under Governor Strickland’s last budget. So, Goyal asked Kasich’s budget director, Tim Keen, how precisely does the Governor’s budget (which has a little over only $2 billion in cuts in all the line-items that were cut) resolve the alleged $8 billion projected deficit we heard since Mary Taylor declared it to be so?
Keen also outlined how the $8 billion budget shortfall was closed, though he did not put price tags on all the efforts.
That’s a polite way for the Dispatch to report that Kasich’s budget director can’t show us the math.
And least there be any doubt, here’s what Kasich’s budget director reportedly said after the committee hearing:
"It’s hard to say definitively what comes from what."- Kasich OBM Director Tim Keen
Folks, when Kasich’s own budget director says he can’t definitively say outside of Medicaid “savings” what comes from what to resolve this “$8 billion deficit,” we’ve got a problem.
It’s been two days since Kasich released his budget and neither his numbers nor his rhetoric adds up.
One way the State solved it is by refinancing its debts to delay payments… a move Governor Strickland did that was highly criticized publicly at the time by… Mary Taylor and Tim Keen. Seriously, this entire Administration is built on alternating layers of failure and fraud. And everyone is finally starting to see it.