What America Can Learn From John Kasich

For Immediate Release: August 19, 2011
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833

What America Can Learn From John Kasich

Some Things the Ohio Governor Probably Won’t Mention in His National Radio Address

Columbus: Tomorrow, Ohio Governor John Kasich will give the Republican response to President Obama’s weekly radio address. Kasich was selected by House Speaker and fellow Ohioan John Boehner, who said:

“Washington could certainly learn a thing or two from Ohio, where leaders are working together to balance the budget by cutting spending instead of raising taxes and….creating a better environment for job creation….the American people deserve… to learn how he did it.”

Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, agrees that the nation can learn a lot from what John Kasich has done in Ohio.  So let’s review:

  • Kasich did, indeed, ram a “cuts only” two-year budget through the state legislature. But since it passed without a single Democratic vote, it hardly qualifies as an example of “leaders working together.”
  • In April, Innovation Ohio predicted Mr. Kasich’s budget, which slashed $3 billion from schools and $269 million from local governments, would destroy as many as 51,000 existing state jobs (possibly short-circuiting Ohio’s fragile economic recovery), and necessitate massive tax increases at the local level.
  • In June, Ohio’s jobless rate rose for the first time in 22 months (to 8.8%), largely due to local government lay-offs.
  • Also in June, Gov. Kasich and his allies repealed Ohio’s estate tax (which was levied on only the richest 7%), thus reducing local government revenue by an additional $334 million (in Ohio, local governments receive 80% of estate tax money).
  • In July, Ohio’s jobless rate rose to 9%, with local government layoffs increasing to 5,500 over the two-month period.   In August, it was learned that Ohio prisons will shed nearly 1,000 more jobs.  Teacher and school lay-offs are yet to come.
  • Also in August, local communities began making plans to put hundreds of levies on the November ballot to raise the money they lost in the Kasich budget.
  • But if jobs and services for regular people have gone bust since Gov. Kasich took office, corporate welfare has been booming.  Bob Evans got $8 million to relocate its corporate headquarters about 5 miles from Columbus to a Columbus suburb. Marathon Oil, which cleared $2.6 billion in net profits last year, got a break worth $5 to $10 million annually.
  • But if Gov. Kasich has come up a little short in the “job creation” department, he’s taken a back seat to no one in pursuing a breathtakingly extremist political agenda.
  • First, he and his allies passed Senate Bill 5 to gut the collective bargaining rights of public employees (which polls show an overwhelming majority will vote to repeal this November after 1.3 million Ohioans signed petitions to put it on the ballot).
  • Gov. Kasich then signed a law that prohibits Ohio women from ending a pregnancy after 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape victims or 13-year old girls impregnated by their fathers, stepfathers, or uncles.
  • And despite the fact that more than 95% of Ohio’s land is already open to oil and gas exploration, Gov. Kasich signed a law to let giant corporations drill in pristine and previously protected state parks.
  • Along the way, Gov. Kasich has publicly called a police officer who gave him a traffic ticket “an idiot”, threatened to “break the backs” of teacher organizations, and promised that anyone opposing his policies would be “run over by a bus.”
  • So how do Ohioans rate their Governor’s job performance thus far?  Recent polls by Quinnipiac and PPP place Mr. Kasich’s job approval rating at 33-36%.  Mr. Kasich now ranks as the second most unpopular governor in the United States.

No wonder Speaker Boehner invited Mr. Kasich to deliver tomorrow’s radio address.  As he says, Washington and America can certainly learn a lot from the way John Kasich has governed Ohio.  And other Republican governors who are envious of Mr. Kasich’s 33% approval rating certainly “deserve to know how he did it.”

-30-