There is great news on the federal budget deficit. But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has exaggerated his role in Washington as a budget balancer, won’t talk about it because it turns his story of doing in the nation’s capital what he’s done in Ohio’s capital upside down.
For all his rhetoric about balancing the federal budget at the end of his 18 years in congress, then leaving Washington with a big surplus in the treasury when he left to run a failed attempt for president in 2000, John Kasich would probably have to be tortured before admitting the awful truth that the current federal budget deficit is actually a skinny, slimmed-down version of its once over-weight self.
Kasich Backed Bush’s Profligate Spending
Congressman Kasich supported President George W. Bush, who squandered the Clinton surplus, cranking it up to record levels with trillions in unpaid for war costs and tax givebacks.
While Ohio’s governor visits South Carolina again, where the so-called budget hawk is pandering to his military-spending audience with talk of spending vast amounts of federal cash to bulk up the Navy, the news that undercuts his key talking point is that the current U.S. budget deficit is now about 9 percent below its year-earlier level, according to the Treasury Department.
A highly respected and widely referenced source on economic news, Calculated Risk, says the budget outlook has improved this year as economic growth has boosted revenues. The Congressional Budget Office last week said it expected the U.S. would run a $425 billion deficit for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, but that figure is down more than 12 percent from its earlier forecast of $486 billion and from the prior year’s $483 billion deficit.
The most recent CBO projection, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, was for the fiscal 2015 budget deficit to be 2.7 percent of GDP. Budget experts say that the fiscal 2015 budget will be under 2.4 percent, a significant improvement.
Making commitments to spend taxpayer dollars in the worst way, with military forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq again for “as long as it takes,” Gov. Kasich is caught in his own trap of talking out of both sides of his mouth. He talks about reducing government spending, but all of his state budgets have been the highest in state history. While he talks of bulking up military spending, he also talks about balancing the budget on the backs of the nation’s aging population by boosting the age of retirement while reducing benefit payouts. Mr. Kasich likes to have his cake and eat it to, and he’s done that in Ohio, where he inherited a recovering economy but has failed to beat the national average on job growth for 32 straight months now.
Since taking office, Kasich has increased state spending by billions of dollars in each of his budgets, while Ohio’s debt load has exploded under Kasich, with half a billion in new GRF debt service payments being accrued under his watch according to the Cato Institute.