To hear John Kasich tell it, the largely positive story of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton’s two terms in office produced 23 million jobs—the largest of any president including Ronald Reagan—was because of him.
Using revenue Clinton’s budget raised that Congressman Kasich and all other Republicans voted against at the time because it increased income taxes, Ohio’s now term-limited governor loves to talk about balancing budgets in Washington and in Columbus. Added to lowering income tax rates and reducing government regulation, both standard, time-honored fare for the GOP, balanced budgets round out his recipe for what ails America.
What John Kasich doesn’t talk about for good reason, and what media has forgotten about or failed to research, is that Mr. Kasich voted time and time again for President Reagan’s bloated budgets, the very ones that spiraled America’s borrowed debt upward by billions.
In September of 1989, The Star Tribune Newspaper of the Twin Cities looked at the Reagan legacy and reported on its many flaws, especially on its out of control budgeting. Missing from Reagan’s comments, the report said, has been any mention of the massive federal bureaucracy President Reagan oversaw for eight years.
“Reagan came to town with a plan to slash federal spending, reduce the size of government, cut taxes and dramatically increase military spending,” wrote staff writer Cliff Haas, who added that Reagan really was responsible for a “record deluge of federal red ink.”
And Congressman John Kasich, ever the reformer for corporate interests over those of the common worker, voted for those big-spending Reagan budgets, in part because they also reduced income tax rates to new lows. The times they are always a changing, but not for the wealthy one percenters who always get the most. “The largest (tax) reductions between 1980 and 1988 will be for the 1 percent of families with the highest incomes,” the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded after reviewing Reagan era tax changes, Haas wrote. Meanwhile, the national debt climbed from less than $1 trillion when Reagan took office to more than $2.6 trillion.
Just before Reagan left office, one critic said he left the next generation worse off. Frank Tiller of the Sandy Springs Historical Community Foundation said, “When they get rid of the mirrors and the public relations and all of this halo that the Hollywood actor has wrapped around himself, they’re going to find that what he did was to put us in the worst possible shape so far as the next generation is concerned with the public debt.”
And John Kasich was on-board with Reagan’s skyrocketing debt even though he now claims Congress needs a balanced budget amendment. Let us not forget that Congressman Kasich voted for all pay raises for lawmakers in Washington like himself. Mr. Kasich loves to rail against spending except when spending benefits him and his interests. Expanding Medicaid was good for him even though Ohio’s very Republican legislature just said no to the $2.5 billion that came with it.
Reporters worth their Twitter handles should contrast and compare the John Kasich of Washington with the John Kasich of Columbus. If they did, they’d find his hypocrisy and double-talk on one topic after another stunning. Mr. Kasich knows it’s hard to hit a moving target, and the so-called reformer knows that, which explains why he can talk out of both sides of his mouth and know he won’t be held to account for doing so.
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