When it comes to cutting spending, I'm starting to think Gov. Strickland just throws a dart at a wall filled with 3x5 notecards with the names of Ohio's agencies on them.
It's now come to this.
Just when Ohioans need help the most, the state legislature plans to slash $181 million a year from the county agencies that provide aid to the needy and disabled.Now, I'm all for making government more efficient. As taxpayers, we should expect responsible spending practices from our state government.
County officials in central Ohio and across the state say they will be cutting caseworkers who investigate allegations of child and elder abuse and process applications for food stamps, health care and other services.
Chip Spinning, director of the Madison County Department of Job and Family Services, said that despite a 25 percent increase in reports of alleged abuse and neglect, he expects to cut his child welfare staff from eight caseworkers to four.
But Governor Strickland's inaction to improve Ohio's economic standing has placed us in this position. Rather than cutting what we want to, we are cutting what we have to.
Now the question becomes, how do the voters react? Will they place the blame on Strickland?
Strategically speaking, the Republican opponent must make sure Strickland has ownership of Ohio's economic situation. He must highlight the lost jobs and drastic spending cuts, then blame them on Strickland's 'hide under the desk and hope it goes away' economic policy.
As Governor, Strickland has only been reactive - relying on the one-time federal stimulus dollars to balance the budget and haphazardly cutting spending when much of this could have been avoided with lower taxes and increased incentives for businesses.
Now let's hope the next guy can dig us out of this hole.