Columbus, Ohio — Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today blasted Governor John Kasich’s proposed state budget for 2012-13 as “a job killer that would raise taxes on the middle class while shielding the wealthiest Ohioans from any sacrifice whatsoever.”
IO Communications Director Dale Butland said:
“At a time of already high unemployment, Gov. Kasich’s budget is certain to throw tens of thousands more Ohioans out of work and could strangle Ohio’s still-fragile economic recovery in its crib. And while he has no trouble asking for huge sacrifice from middle class families and the least advantaged, the Governor refuses to ask wealthy Ohioans to give up anything at all. ‘Shared sacrifice’ does not appear to be in his vocabulary.
“Innovation Ohio has calculated that in K-12 education alone, Kasich’s proposed cuts — 6.1% ($395 million) less in 2012 and 4.7% ($305 million) less in 2013 than school districts received in fiscal year 2011 — could add over 7,000 Ohio teachers to the unemployment lines. That analysis will be posted later today on our website, www.innovationohio.org. The website also will be updated in the days ahead with additional analyses concerning other job-killing provisions of the bill, including what the Kasich budget would mean in lost jobs for police, firefighters and other workers. For now, we will simply point out that Gov. Kasich was elected to create new jobs, not destroy existing ones.
“But it’s not just current jobs that are at risk; the creation of future jobs would also be adversely affected. By failing to make the necessary investments in education and training, the Kasich budget would make it very hard for Ohio to compete in the 21st century, or to create the kind of long-term, high-paying jobs Ohioans deserve. If we are to build a future that is worthy of our past, Ohio simply cannot allow other states and countries to outsmart our leaders and out-educate our children.
“Most cynical of all is the shell game Gov. Kasich is playing by proposing huge cuts to local government funds. While vowing in his State of the State speech not to raise taxes, the Governor merely proposes to shift the burden from the state to local communities which, in turn, would be forced to raise taxes simply to maintain the levels of police, fire, and other services they currently have. If Gov. Kasich is allowed to pass the buck, middle class taxpayers will be forced to bite the bullet.”