We’ve been following the path of  Gov. Kasich’s budget message for  the past couple of days before it heads to the legislature where the gifted pizza twirlers will add their spin to his master plan to save all that’s noble in the state.  Bold, is what the media are calling it.  A do-or-die  game changer  in how Ohioans can manage to  live with  dramatic tax cuts spread from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.  As columnist Gail Collins once wondered about another candidate’s flaring promises, “It would have been simpler if he had just given everybody a car.”

The redistribution of wealth among schools will occupy some serious attention. Unlike the immediate euphoria, the Plain Dealer today reported that upon further analysis  some of the poorest districts  would not get more state cash.  Never mind:  The the big winners would be charter and private schools. The governor has never really cozied up in his comfort zone to public education and the teachers’ union.

But we’ve learned over the decades that the more elected officials talk about remedial change in the antiquated  means of raising school money, the more it stays the same.   Back in the late 1940s, Gov. Michael DiSalle  rightly complained about the huge gaps between  rich and poor school districts but  the idea went nowhere as public policy.  DiSalle was thumped from office by Jim Rhodes, who hoodwinked the Ohio Education Association into believing that the state and local  districts would become 50-50 partners in paying for the kids. Fat chance with Rhodes, who was never a details guy.

The OEA  even sported fliers showing Rhodes and some kids contentedly walking hand-in-hand. We don’t doubt that in fashioning  his re-election budget,  Kasich looked to the Rhodes game plan in defining his own political mission today.

Despite some early grousing  by the Hard Right about his acceptance of the federally financed Medicaid expansion, he’s already earned plaudits from  some major warriors like tax despiser Grover Norquist, whose dream world embraces pledges from politicians that they would never raise another penny in taxes.  (Kasich signed the on-your-knees pledge).

And the governor,  the Columbus Dispatch tells us, was joined at a couple of his “Tax Cut Town Halls’ by Richard Vedder, the conservative economics professor emeritus of  Ohio University who is the darling of his political class.

Vedder’s latest Wall Street Journal column lamented that two of the factors in sustaining unemployment are food stamps and Social Security unemployment insurance. Gail Collins is right: Just give these folks cars and get ’em out of here!

  • wetsu

    A friend of mine is a superintendent for a small school district who attended the dog-and-pony show Johnny Rocket staged in the last week. I asked him about the governors quote telling them not to worry, that they would not receive one cent less than they did this year. He said that it didn’t sound depressing at the time, but, that all bets were off until the exact figures were released. As usual, there was more to it than met the ear. His school is indeed getting the same amount, but, the county ESC took a big hit. This amounts to less funding because the district now has to pay for services that were funded prior to the election of the golden child. This is a school that has met 100% of the state report card indicators for six or seven years in a row. So much for rewarding high-performing schools, although we all suspected that the claim would never be followed up. Another vow was that poor districts would get more and rich districts would get a lesser increase. Not. Check the figures, many of the poorer districts receive nada while affluent schools in this region like Lima Shawnee and Findlay get millions more.

    This governor is flying by the seat of his pants. How the public can allow him to promise one thing and then so often do the opposite makes my blood boil. Check the figures. Entire pockets of school districts that the republicans feel they have salted away in perpetuity got nothing. Yet, those people will still vote for the likes of Faber and Jordan. That reminds me, I have to find out how much Celina (home of Faber) received. It’s a no-brainer that Huffman’s LCC got a boost.

    The accounting tricks are bad enough. Stiffing rural areas to coddle to his big city buddies has reduced much of our state to “fly over” status.

  • dmoore2222

    Well said. And remember, Lehman Bros. wasn’t so good with numbers either.

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