With Governor Kasich and GOP leaders set to spend the weekend celebrating the passage of Ohio’s two-year budget, we offer some facts to respond to the claims you will no doubt hear. While their rhetoric sounds nice, the reality is another budget that rewards the rich at the expense of the rest.
Rhetoric: This budget makes an ”historic investment” in public education and no school district gets cut.
Reality: After Kasich’s first budget cut $1.8 billion from public education this budget’s partial restoration of funds still leaves schools deep in the hole.
While disinvesting in traditional public schools, funding for charter schools (many of which are run by two of the Republicans’ biggest campaign contributors) is up by 17%, and vouchers have been expanded to cover 80% of Ohio’s kids, even those from affluent families or from excellent rated school districts [source: Innovation Ohio].
Rhetoric: This is the most “progress-centered” budget in the history of the state of Ohio and keeps us “moving forward.”
Reality: The bill is a huge step back for women. With six new provisions to limit women’s access to healthcare and abortion it is the worst budget for women in recent history.
Rhetoric: There is “a lot of continued support to local governments” in this budget.
Reality: Local communities will get $1.4 billion less from this budget than they did in FY10-11, causing increased local taxes and cuts in services [source: Policy Matters Ohio].
Rhetoric: The “across the board” tax cut benefits all Ohioans.
Reality: The tax provisions in the budget reward Ohio’s most affluent with average annual tax cuts of more than $6,000 a year, while low-income Ohioans will pay slightly more. [source: Policy Matters Ohio]
The budget increases future property tax levies by 12.5%
Rhetoric: The business tax cuts will create jobs in the “immediate future” and will help small business “big time.”
Reality: 80% of Ohio small businesses will get only $372 per year and no business will get enough to hire even one minimum wage worker [source: Cleveland Plain Dealer].