Back in June Politifact gave the Ohio Democratic Party a “half-true” rating on their claim that John Kasich’s budget caused “many communities to seek school levies, local tax increases, layoffs.”
The rating was primarily given because of conflicting information about the layoff claims. Despite a number of examples of layoffs provided by ODP, Politifact noted that the number of local government jobs in Ohio had ticked up slightly since Kasich’s budget had been enacted. As such, they ruled the claim half true.
That was June and they were looking at May’s numbers.
Had they waited a few weeks until the June employment data were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they would have noticed local government numbers starting to nose dive. July employment numbers in Ohio for local government haven’t been this low since January 1999, down from 527K when Kasich took office to 512K last month. And this most certainly includes important public safety employees like police officers and fire fighters.
Politifact, we think, ought to consider updating their rating.
So you might be saying: hey, I’m a small government conservative! This sounds great! How DID John Kasich shrink local AND state government employment all while cutting the budget?
Fact is: he didn’t. Kasich actually increased the state budget by $5 Billion dollars and the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show state government employment numbers going up up up.
According to BLS, 161,700 people were employed in Ohio in State Government when Kasich took office in January 2011. Preliminary numbers for July suggest that number is now up to 169,300. A jump of 7600. These are the highest numbers since May 2006 under Bob Taft, the previous Republican Governor.
Compare this with Democrat Ted Strickland who came into office with 167,700 and proceeded to drop the number to 160,700 a year before he left office, finally ending at 161,700 in January 2011 – a drop of 6000.
The trend is very easy to see on the following graph:
Kasich cut local government funding, forcing layoffs, and he took that money and pumped it right back into the state. And while locals struggle to keep their heads above water, many will float levies to make up for some of that lost revenue. That means the employment numbers could eventually go back up at the local level – but so will your local taxes.
State Government Employment up. Local taxes going up. Budget spending up. Tell me again how John Kasich is going to cut the size of government, reduce spending and lower my taxes?