Congratulations Bloomberg News! You finally caught Plunderbund fever with your report “There’s Something the Matter With Ohio Too.”
The article made some good general points about why the Buckeye State is lagging in so many areas, including state support for higher education (falling), percent of immigrants in the population (low) and still living off the fat of land from legacy industries like rubber, glass and steel (barley).
Ohio’s term-limited, lame-duck Gov. John R. Kasich talks a good game on job creation, but the chart Bloomberg offers in its post shows with graphic clarity why the state does poorly, as if 56 straight months of under performing the national job creation average doesn’t already tell the grim story Ohio media seems incapable of reporting on even though its happening in real time before its eyes.
Bloomberg Catches Plunderbund Fever
What Bloomberg failed to do in its story on Ohio, though, was point out the real culprits who have done the most to keep Ohio in the bottom half of states, where it bumps up against sad neighbors like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and other states where taxes are low from design by austerity-oriented Republicans who fundamentally dislike government and are more than willing to hurt the public if that means helping the rich.
Last year, in his second loosing run for president since 2000, Buckeye State showman and former Fox News talk show host Gov. Kasich boasted about giving away $5 billion in income tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest more than any other class of taxpayer as if that was a good thing.
When asked about income inequality [watch the video] before 2015 when he entered the race for president, he fumbled his response on state responsibility for income inequality by saying it was a federal problem.
Those in the lowest income brackets actually pay a few bucks more on their taxes thanks to Kasich, who has little to say on exacerbating the already wide divide known as income inequality.
Yes, Ohio’s GOP-led legislature, a rosy red fixture since 1994 but for a brief two-year period from 2008-2010 when Democrats controlled the Ohio House, has consistently shifted the tax burden from corporations to individuals, tried to suppress the vote on several occasions with wrong-headed election reforms, gerrymandered districts to assure GOP candidates wins, put Ohio in the vanguard of states that don’t trust women to make their own health decisions especially when it comes to abortion, gambled away billions and billions over dozens of years on for-profit charter schools that rob public schools then produce far worse results, let schools slip from among the best to average at best, and the new social crisis of death by opioid overdose.
If misguided political calculus were a category, Bloomberg News might realize how poorly Buckeye State leaders have used policies and programs that force the least able to subsidize the most able. For all the talk over the years by Republicans of how many good jobs would be created by reducing taxes, Kasich is the best spokesperson for an ideology of political misunderstanding that doesn’t work.
After President George W. Bush and his budget director at the time, Ohio’s junior senator in Washington, Rob Portman, pushed through a GOP-controlled congress unpaid-for tax cuts to the tune of $2.3 trillion, what came of all this job creating tax policy was a presidency that ended up with a net loss of 500,000 jobs, the worst of any modern presidency, and a Great Recession that devastated many states like Ohio who have yet to recover from this blunder of wishful thinking. Now President Donald Trump is pushing more of the same disproven malarkey Bush and Kasich say about the miracle of reducing taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.
Then there’s Ohio’s stagnant population growth, alluded to by Bloomberg in the short section on immigrants. It’s a problem no leader can dismiss with pie-in-the-sky speeches about how to make things better. More people means more jobs and political clout, as Texas attests to every ten years when it gains people back home and more power in Washington while Ohio loses another congressional seat or two due to moribund population growth.
It’s a little hilarious when Kasich, who would be a good candidate for national chaplain if that position existed since he wants to minister to healing America’s many wounds, talks about the so-called “knowledge” economy. Ohio won’t be a Silicon Valley anytime soon, as Kasich and his GOP legislature’s recipes show each biennium. Knowledge economies also like green economies. Thanks to Kasich and his support for environmentally unfriendly fracking and coal jobs, and the leadership role he played in stunting Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio, which had been among the nation’s leading states, wind and solar industries are mere reflections of what they are in other states like Colorado and California, where leadership is enlightened and Democratic.
Wrong Thinking Produces Wrong Results
Yes, there is something wrong with Ohio, and Plunderbund knows what it is: Retrograde thinking by Republicans who don’t like government, who don’t like immigrants, who don’t like green energy, who don’t like fair taxes, who don’t like sensible legislative districts, who don’t trust women with their health decisions, and who think Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are social safety net programs that need reining in by mean-spirited reforms like increasing the retirement age or reducing benefits when eliminating the social security cap would solve the problem of unsustainability overnight.
Until Bloomberg News, The New York Times and the Washington Post – elite publications that regularly carry editorials by Kasich on what’s wrong with Washington and now Medicaid yet appear to have no interest in how bad the governor is doing back home now that he spends more time out of the state than it it – report on where and why John R. Kasich and his tribe of like-minded, hard-core right leaders have gone wrong, there might also be a little something wrong with them, too.
Plunderbund fever, catch it! It’ll cure what ails you if you’re hard-of-thinking or in need of relief from decades of failed policies that have not made Ohio or America great.