A new report by United Way called ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – reveals among other startling statistics that 40 percent of Ohio households struggle to pay for basic living expenses.
The report represents another nail in Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s coffin about how poorly Ohioans and their cities are doing. It won’t crack the fluffy fake news image Kasich has built with Ohio and national media that focuses exclusively on his hypocritical, self-serving statements about bridging political parties, finding bipartisan answers to common issues that for so long have been immune to what Kasich talks about, and then punting on sensible, commonsense gun control issues as the former Catholic boy who wanted to become a priest asks God why?
From ALICE Ohio:
“Despite a relatively low unemployment rate across Ohio, 40 percent of households cannot afford basic necessities. While those working in public policy and social services have long been aware that a large number of Ohioans face difficult financial challenges every day, this Report hits like a splash of cold water in the face. The numbers are unavoidable. It challenges us to act.”
As Plunderbund has reported previously, after almost eight years of Kasich’s reign as governor, the Buckeye State is worse off in many ways from an economy he inherited that was recovering from the Great Recession, that leaders of his party put in place that he blamed on former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.
For the record, Strickland or Democrats in Washington did not create the Great Recession, but Strickland, the former Ohio congressman and trained psychologist, did navigate it wisely enough to hand Kasich a billion dollars in revenue as Ohio came roaring back from the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression in the 1930s, placing it among states leading the nation in job growth at the time.
Nails in Kasich’s coffin include, but are not limited to, 57 straight months of under performing the national job creation average, cutting income taxes that benefited the already rich, and signing into law 18 anti-women laws.
And for reporters and journalists out there who don’t know, Ohio has been under the thumb of GOP control since 1994 to today, with the short exception of 2006-2010, Strickland’s single term that had the bad fortune of coinciding with the Great Recession spawned by President George W. Bush, his budget director GOP Sen. Rob Portman and Republicans who controlled congress for six out of Bush’s eight years.
When Kasich became governor in 2011, he inherited a solid Republican legislature that did his bidding up until recently, when Kasich, now a term limited, lame-duck CEO, instills no fear in them because they can and have over road many of his vetoes.
More from ALICE Ohio:
“Fourteen percent of Ohio households lived in poverty in 2015 with another 26 percent — or 1.2 million households — living above the poverty level (because) they didn’t have enough income to meet its basic needs of housing, transportation, child care, food and health care costs.”
Plunderbund hasn’t been shy in reporting on why so many Ohioans are so poor, including the nearly one million that qualify for expanded Medicaid, and the disproportionate share of jobs Kasich crows about creating that pay minimum wage.
“The report goes into granular detail on every community it reviews, and shows us that ALICE lives in every county in Ohio, not just in our urban centers or the most rural corners of the state. Although Ohio has recovered in many ways from the Great Recession, things have changed. Jobs that have come back are different and often pay less than pre-recession positions, while the cost of daily life continues to rise. This has left many of the hard-working ALICE people with no savings and no cushion, and put them in a position of being just one major car repair away from financial instability. Living in these difficult conditions adversely affects their lives and their children’s lives, as well as our communities at large.”
To the point made in the ALICE report for Ohio, more than 67 percent of jobs in Ohio pay less than $40,000 a year and those low-income jobs are projected to dominate the state economy.
Why Are There So Many ALICE Households In Ohio?
“Low wage jobs dominate the local economy: Sixty-seven percent of all jobs in Ohio pay less than $20 per hour, with three-quarters of those paying between $10 and $15 per hour ($15 per hour full time = $30,000 per year). These jobs – especially service jobs that pay wages below $20 per hour and require a high school education or less – will grow far faster than higher-wage jobs over the next decade.
“The basic cost of living outpaces wages: The cost of basic household expenses in Ohio is more than most of the state’s jobs can support. The average annual Household Survival Budget for an Ohio family of four (two adults with one infant and one preschooler) is $60,396 – significantly more than double the U.S. family poverty level of $24,250.
“Economic conditions worsened for ALICE households from 2007 to 2015: According to the Economic Viability Dashboard, it is difficult for ALICE households in Ohio to find affordable housing, job opportunities, and community resources in the same county. In fact, out of 88 counties in Ohio, only five scored in the highest third on all three indices of the Dashboard.
“Public and private assistance helps, but does not provide financial stability: The income of ALICE and poverty-level households in Ohio is supplemented with $9.1 billion in government and nonprofit assistance, as well as $35.2 billion in health care resources. Because government expenditure is increasingly composed of health care spending, which consists of services and cannot be transferred to meet other needs, there remain gaps in Ohio to meet the most basic financial need in many areas, including a 40 percent gap for housing and a 50 percent gap for child care.”
Kasich, Another Zombie That Won’t Die
Kasich has successfully managed to deceive most news sources other than Plunderbund. National media elites are mesmerized by his carefully crafted defense of expanded Medicaid, given his ruby-red Republican roots that continue to this day, and his silence on continued efforts by key leaders of his party — the ones he’s doesn’t disavow like he does President Donald Trump, like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who hate Obamacare so much they want to destroy it at all costs.
For those willing to do some basic research on how Ohio is faring after Kasich’s razzle dazzle budgeting ideas that have fatally fizzled, ALICE is just the latest nail among many others in John Kasich’s coffin.
You would think that with so many nails in the great reformers coffin, after his programs and policies have failed so miserably despite being sold as panaceas for what ails the state, responsible media would have buried it long ago. But because media appears ignorant of or willfully myopic to Kasich’s terrible record, he’s walks the political graveyard as another GOP zombie that won’t die.