Ohio Governor John Kasich thinks his resume is the golden ticket that will breeze him through the Republican presidential primary and on to next November where he can challenge Democrats in the general election. But he has shown time and again why his sales pitch is just another example of his confident quackery.
Since he declared for the presidency in July, Kasich has spent considerable time, and many millions, campaigning in New Hampshire, an early primary state where he currently ranks third behind Ben Carson and GOP leader Donald Trump. Kasich chose the state because its primary is early, but also because it is small, with only two congressional districts, and also because independents can vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation.
Ohio’s thin-skinned and generally combative governor boasts about his 18 years as a congressman in Washington, when he rose to ranking minority member on the House Armed Services committee and was handed the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee following the ascension of former Georgia Congressman New Gingrich to speaker of the House in 1994, when Republicans used their Contract With America manifesto to wrench control of the people’s chamber from the clutches of Democrats.
As John Kasich pushes his careful but false narrative, he continues to ignore the good news about the nation’s steadily improving finances while also ignoring the bad news about the Buckeye State economy under his watch.
For someone who fashions himself a budget hawk and super duper numbers guy, John Kasich seems oblivious, maybe purposely so, to the good news on the nation’s finances from the Congressional Budget Office last week.
The CBO’s monthly budget review released last week reported that the budget deficit in fiscal 2015 will probably decline more than 10 percent compared to fiscal 2014. The federal government’s budget deficit amounted to $528 billion for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015, but that deficit was $61 billion smaller than the one recorded during the same period last year, CBO said.
Adjusted for shifts in the timing of certain payments, the deficit for the 11-month period decreased by $42 billion. CBO estimated that the deficit for fiscal year 2015 (which will end on September 30, 2015) would total $426 billion, about $59 billion less than the shortfall in fiscal year 2014. The Treasury will run a surplus in September, and it appears the deficit for fiscal 2015 (ends in September) will be below 2.4 percent of GDP.
Gov. Kasich has been on a Quixotic journey to call for a federal balanced budget amendment, touting his time in Washington to balance the federal budget under two-term president Bill Clinton. Regrettably, John Kasich’s story of economic salvation always excludes the fact that he voted along with every other Republican at the time to oppose President Clinton’s first budget, the one that raised taxes slightly on the rich, that subsequently lead to the prosperity of the decade, and the cash Kasich takes credit for using to balance the federal budget.
President Obama has steadily reduced the federal budget deficit, brought to sky-high levels by President George W. Bush, who put five trillion and more for war and income tax cuts on the nation’s credit card. At Lehman Brothers during the Bush era, making lots of money while he learned how business works, John Kasich thought his buddy Bush was doing “fine,” and uttered not one word about the nation’s soaring, un-budgeted and unpaid for deficits.
Ohio Miracle Or Mirage?
Meanwhile, back in Ohio, Gov. Kasich ignores the plight of his state’s economy when he talks to voters who don’t know him or his record. Painting a grim picture of the state of the state, a report detailing just how poorly Ohio is performing skillfully manages to not mention the Kasich Administration or the governor’s name’s, despite his claim to New Hampshire voters that he’s performed miracles back home, and can do the same for them and the nation if he just gets a chance.
In a review Sunday called “Laboring to recover,” The Columbus Dispatch, widely known for adoring the Kasich brand, wrote, “Thousands still struggle to find work, and when they do, the jobs often pay less than those lost during the economic downturn … Ohio has a quarter of a million fewer jobs than at peak levels in 2000, and the state’s job growth remains well below the national average, leaving many so frustrated that they’ve given up looking for a job.”
“Additionally, the state’s poverty rate is rising and wages remain stagnant … And young people have been hit especially hard, with 12 percent of those 16 to 24 in central Ohio neither working nor in school,” according to Dispatch reporters Mark Williams and Dan Gearino.
For Plunderbund readers who follow the antics and pranks of the Kasich Administration, it’s no secret that Ohio under John Kasich has failed for 33 straight months to even equal the average national job creation rate. Ohio jobs have been lost in manufacturing, construction and local government, the reporters said. “Even with the job gains, the state remains about 240,000 jobs below its peak in 2000, jobs that the state won’t get back until 2021, according to a forecast from the research firm IHS. Many workers, particularly those with little education beyond high school, have seen their wages drop.”
Loretta Mester, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank [CFRB] president, told the Dispatch, “Job growth in the state has been slower than the national pace since the 1990s. This is not a phenomenon related to the Great Recession. It partly reflects slower population growth in Ohio and Ohio’s higher share of jobs in manufacturing, a sector that has been experiencing a long-run decline in employment.”
Let us not forget that while all this job loss was taking place, except for the brief four-year period from 2006 to 2010, Republicans since 1994 have maintained a firm grip on government, from top to bottom including the supreme court.
Ohioans find it harder to find a job, so many have left the workforce. At the national level, the story is different. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of job openings nationally rose to a series high of 5.8 million on the last day of July.
CFRB finds that jobs in 12 of 22 major occupation groups tracked by the BLS paid less in 2014 than in 2004, adjusted for inflation. If John Kasich wants to do in New Hampshire or any other state what he’s done in Ohio, that’s not a good thing, and the numbers tell the story.
It shouldn’t be a selling point that Ohioan don’t earn as much as others do, but the average annual salary at $46,005 last year in Ohio is much lower than the average national salary of $51,361, which is up 1.2 percent from 2007, the Sunday report said.
On the campaign trail shilling his retail speech on why he’s the best GOP candidate to take on Democrats next year, Gov. Kasich is the perfect picture of the confident quack. He speaks with confidence on a variety of topics, but his record, and the record of his solutions, shows just how wide the gap is between what he says he’ll do and what he’s done. This could be a problem for John Kasich, since he’s asked people to look at what he’s done to see what he’ll do.