Gov. John Kasich was out of state again last week, this time on a travel junket to Europe to attend the Munich Security Conference at the invitation of Arizona Sen. McCain to join a bipartisan delegation. The two-term governor said he was there to pitch Ohio’s great potential to business leaders.
After leaving Germany, where the economy is strong because unions play such an important role, the term-limited governor hopped the Channel to London to meet with business leaders and elected officials to encourage them to bring more economic development opportunities to Ohio.
“Our great Buckeye state has much to offer!” he told them, according to an email update Camp Kasich sent out recently.
35 Out Of 50
The former Lehman Brothers banker was smart enough to hide just how mediocre Ohio has been on his watch. That mediocre record came to light again in the most recent rankings of states by U.S. News & World Report. In its “Best States” rankings, Gov. Kasich’s Ohio is in the bottom half of states. Ranked 35th out of 50 states, Ohio doesn’t measure up in critical areas like education, health, energy, jobs and transportation. It did show well, though, in affordability, budget transparency and government digitalization.
If German or English companies are really interested in Kasich’s offer to come to Ohio, it won’t take them long to figure out that the workforce is shrinking and that the governor and his economic policies, pursued through his likely unconstitutional private non-profit JobsOhio, has been below the national average for job creation for 48 out of the last 49 months, a record the governor never talks about and media rarely reports on.
Playing president even though he lost that race to Donald Trump last year in an embarrassing way after winning only one state out of 50, the lame-duck governor continues to spout off on America’s role in the world. Those who know John Kasich know he really doesn’t like the media, even though he on occasion claims to have been in the media as a talk show host for Fox News. Notwithstanding his distaste of the press, Kasich finds it to his advantage to say how important the job media plays in American-style democracy to hold politicians accountable. Mr. Kasich has been remarkably unchallenged over six years now on being held accountable for reforms that haven’t done much—Exhibit A is JobsOhio—but are sticky enough to remain in place after he leaves office.
His next favorite topic is ironic, given his radical right Republican thinking on so many topics. He’s being applauded for saying any effort to repeal and replace Obamacare must protect health care coverage for the drug addicted, mentally ill and working poor. That’s his pitch on the historic bill Democrats pushed through congress in 2011 without one vote from Republicans. Kasich said when campaigning for president that Obamacare or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be gone if he became president.
When German or English companies understand that Mr. Kasich considers Washington obsolete, as he wrote last year in the Washington Post, it’s a wonder they would give Ohio a second thought if they thought central government would be dispensed with as summarily as Kasich said he would do to the federal government.
European countries embrace central government in ways Kasich can’t envision, since his political ideology prohibits him thinking government can undertake critical activities the private sector is unable and ill-equipped to do.
7th Worst Business Climate
Mr. Kasich probably didn’t tell his European hosts that for all his budgeting and management razzle dazzle, Ohio’s business-friendly attitude took a big hit with the announcement by 24/7 Wall St. that the Buckeye State ranks seventh this year in “Worst States for Business.” Kasich has been unable to produce enough jobs fast enough for those who want them. German and English companies know all to well that when foreign companies do come to the states, they are choosing to locate in other states other than Ohio where the workforce is growing.
And since European internet is better and faster than it is in Ohio in particular, and the nation in general, it only takes seconds to learn that Mr. Kasich’s razzle dazzle budgets are dead on arrival. The Ohio legislature, populated like never before with Republicans, is already dismembering his latest two-year executive spending proposal.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A. but still not back in Ohio where his full-time job awaits, Gov. Kasich is basking in the limelight of being a GOP governor who accepted expanded Medicaid and is now going to bat for its continuation, not its wholesale shuttering as a a baker’s dozen of elected Republicans serving in congress want to do.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation about healthcare reform, at the President’s invitation, with HHS Secretary Price and White House Chief of Staff Priebus on Saturday,” the governor told his fans, adding, “I will also meet with fellow governors to discuss these reforms.” Mr. Kasich had his chance to tell President Trump to his face what he’s been saying about him at a distance. But kowtowing to the Donald as the better part of valor, he decided to shut up instead.
As Plunderbund reported recently, Gov. Kasich appeared on CBS “Face the Nation” and did what he does best: talk in riddles about division and reforms without saying anything new. He said it’s “my hope that Washington starts working together for the American people.” At least we can all agree to agree on that score.