In his seventh State of the State Address, delivered last Tuesday evening from Sandusky, Ohio, near Lake Erie, Gov. John Kasich spoke for about 70 minutes, mentioning opportunity eight times, taking risks five times, innovation four times and technologies twice.
“We have a lot of research in Ohio. It’s not coordinated, it’s not put together, it’s not focused. We have such a great opportunity to create new things here in the 21st Century. If we come up with these ideas, they can change our world in the very new future,” he said in his characteristic hyperbolic, rambling style. Leveraging change to our advantage, he said, means “takings risks.”
Kasich Risks Reality
The former Fox TV political talk show host and Wall Street banker who worked for Lehman Brothers before it shuttered and lit the fuse that blew up into the Great Recession of 2007, which devastated Ohio’s economy before it ended, talked a good game, as usual. But data from sources other than the Office of Ohio Governor showed a very different picture than the governor painted. In one critical area after another, Ohio under Gov. Kasich dwells in the bottom half of states.
That was also the finding in The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index, which “scored each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across six equally weighted metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity.”
John Kasich’s Ohio pulled in at 27th for 2016, an improvement from 29th in 2015. Likely disconcerting for the great reformer governor, here are some states that ranked in the top ten of states: Liberal Massachusetts was number one, Kasich’s favorite whackadoole state, California, was second, Socialist Maryland was fifth and in eighth place was recreational pot-smoking Colorado.
On the survey metrics of R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity, Ohio got the following respective grades: 25, 22, 32, 20, 34 and 23.
Lots of Razzle With Little Dazzle
Mr. Kasich’s razzle dazzle budgeting reforms enacted over six years have exacerbated income inequality, harmed education at all levels, and created an environment for girls and women that make living life female much harder. Yet he is still defiant in calling for more income tax cuts paid for by raising taxes elsewhere, including hikes in the sales tax he wants to spread wider than before.
The endorsement of Gov. Kasich’s misguided and misbegotten political programs and policies will set up a stark contrast for voters in the 2018 Ohio Governor’s race: should we continue Ohio’s poor performance under all-GOP rule? or switch teams by electing a Democratic governor who will break from Kasich’s historically high budgets that mask the austerity he has for public schools, local governments, unions and minimum wage workers?