Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Ted's mess.

Today an editorial in the Dispatch blasts voters for not paying enough attention to the deficit crisis facing the state of Ohio.

But who can blame them? Until recently, the only people giving the issue any attention were John Kasich and Mary Taylor. The media had been largely glossing over it.

Where the Dispatch gets it right is acknowledging who has provided a plan, which is no one....
And, as has been noted many times by numerous observers, both major candidates for governor and most state legislative candidates have been shamefully silent on how they would balance the books.
And who is at fault...
...if the state is going to climb out of the giant hole dug by the legislature and Gov. Ted Strickland in the current budget, the people have a civic duty to step up and show they'll support the difficult measures that will be necessary.


The budget approved last year was wildly out of balance, when taking into account only the revenues that can be counted on year after year. But Strickland and lawmakers made the numbers work by tapping several sources of one-time funds, chiefly federal stimulus dollars, and using creative accounting techniques.

Strickland hopes for another federal bailout for the 2012-13 budget. Those who like that seemingly easy fix should consider the mountainous national debt that already threatens the country's future prosperity and national security. Agitating to add to it is irresponsible and only postpones the day when Ohio will right-size its budget to live within its means.

The reality is clear. Ted Strickland carries with him the burden of playing a primary role for putting Ohio in the position it is now. Because of his actions, the upcoming necessary cuts to Ohio's budget will be far more harsh than if he had shown a responsibility to the long-term needs of the state.

It's Ted Strickland's mess, but no one in Ohio should trust him to clean it up.

But all that being said, the media has created a false dichotomy between budget cuts and tax hikes. That requires the belief that state government is running at peak efficiency.

Now, thanks to his refusal to better manage Ohio's budget, the Governor has put himself in a position where he has to say Ohio's state government is running at peak efficiency. Considering the mess that is Ohio's bureaucratic nightmare, that isn't exactly a winning position. The alternative? Admitting state government is not at peak efficiency. But if it isn't, why hasn't Strickland made the necessary cuts?

All that being said, what should be number one on everyone's list is reviving the economy.

As we showed earlier this week, Strickland's economy, as determined by his own Council of Economic Advisors, has Ohio jobs growing at a far slower rate than the rest of the country.

And recently we learned in the budget deficit commission meeting that tax revenues for the state of Ohio have decreased in each of the last four years. That's unprecedented.

Lesser revenues are thanks to fewer people with jobs, lower incomes, and an emigrating population.

Strickland can blame a "global recession" all he wants, but that doesn't excuse slower than the national average job growth. It doesn't excuse lesser than national average incomes. It doesn't excuse a national poll of 641 CEOs stating Ohio is the 7th worst state to do business.

Everything is relative. If you aren't more attractive than your competition, then you are going to lose out.

And throwing stimulus dollars at the problem isn't going to fix that.


  1. Funny how cutting taxes tends to reduce revenues...

    The fact you find that surprising is amusing.

  2. Oh yeah, way to whistle past that John Kasich and Mary Taylor have no plans...

    Oh, and that commission, it was part of Strickland's budget, fool.

  3. What is Stricklands plan to address Ohio's looming bankruptcy?

  4. Sadly, Kasich hasn't been giving this much attention either...

  5. "Until recently, the only people giving the issue any attention were John Kasich and Mary Taylor."

    Care to elaborate on just what this "attention" sounds like other than a finger pointing?

    "Everything is relative. If you aren't more attractive than your competition, then you are going to lose out."

    Occasionally you come up with some pretty profound and intelligent stuff. But then you fail to apply it to your own idol. So far Kasich has only said, "I'M NOT TED STRICKLAND AND THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULDN'T VOTE FOR ME." My father has an old saying, cutting off someone else's head doesn't make me any taller.

    Again, it's great to be against something, it's harder to be for something. Leaders are not only for stuff, but they have ideas, plans, and are educated on the issues.

  6. *should

    Sorry - my instinct took over than actually typing that someone should vote for Kasich.

  7. Ted has his shot and he failed.

  8. No commentary, however, on how the Republican lead Senate sat on their collective hands Ted's entire term?

    Still waiting for that PLAN. Perhaps I can get it November 10th in the woulda-coulda-shoulda memo, er, concession speech?

  9. JungDem,

    The Senate has been outnumbered 2-1 by the House and the Gov the past two years. They've consistently been pushed back on every issue they've tried to put forward.

    Furthermore, whatever happened to "the buck stops here" with the Governor?

    Now that that is out of the way, I look forward to your response to Scarlet's question.

  10. Ohio needed (and still needs) a leader on the budget and in other areas. To date, Ted has either chosen not to be a leader or is incapable of doing so. Either way, he failed.

    P.S. (Attn: Modern Esquire and Lis Smith) Pleading for LeBron to stay with the Cavs is NOT leadership.

  11. Scarlet didn't ask a question. However I will ask her/him one.

    To date, Kasich has either chosen not to be give his plan as a leader or is incapable of doing so. Please direct me to the specific plan Kasich has for Ohio that would cause a voter to vote for him.

    What is the point of the Kasich campaign if it's only to bash Strickland? If you want to be elected as the LEADER of the state, then please, share with us how you PLAN TO LEAD.

  12. Irony is funny.

    Ted is the INCUMBENT...he has a record to be either judged or trumpeted. He had his chance to lead and to "Turn Around Ohio." He failed. Why should we give him a second chance?

    Where is Kasich's plan? It is July. It will come in due time.

  13. Jung,

    You didn't respond to his point. Ted had his shot. He failed.

    I'll take it further. He's the elected leader of the state. He has a responsibility to those who put him in office. Why hasn't he lived up to that responsibility?

    As for Kasich, he's revealed as much of his ideas as Ted has. Actually more. He pledged to do it without raising taxes. Strickland refuses to make the same promise.

    Additionally, as Governor, Strickland has access to the data necessary to propose an accurate plan.

    As Governor.
    As the one with the data.
    As the incumbent.

    He has a duty to release a plan.

    He hasn't.

    Has Kasich? No. But he's at least ruled out one avenue. Tax hikes.

    That's further than Ted has gone.

    Finally, from a political perspective, I imagine voters will have little problem trusting the man most responsible for the only federal balanced budget since 1969.

    So I ask you, when will Ted release his specific plan for solving the deficit?

  14. State ended the year with over $100 million surplus. Strickland brought the State half a billion under budget.

    You were saying something about Kasich's plan, Keeling?

  15. Modern, there is an $8B budget hole...and you know it.

  16. Keeling, again, John Kasich wasn't responsible for balancing the budget. He lost the budget battles against Bill Clinton every year he was chairman. Had Congress just passed Clinton's budgets as submitted, we still would have had a surplus. Why? Because of larger than expected economic growth created the budget surpluses of the 1990s not Bill Clinton or John Kasich.

    It was the free market, unfortunately, riding the very bubble that lead to our economic circumstances we are in now.

    Earlier in the campaign, the Dispatch quoted an economist who said that Kasich wasn't responsible for the budget being in balance as much as the economy. Even the CATO Institute says Kasich doesn't deserve the credit.

    It's just factually untrue. Kasich's claim to fame is that he just happened to be the House Budget Chairman at the time, but nothing he did was made a surplus happen because they would have happened without him.

    Unlike Ted Strickland, who actually cut spending to create a budget surplus that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

  17. Congrats!

    Only $7.5 billion to go!

  18. Scarlet>Fire-

    And John Kasich has no plan.

    And you know it.

  19. Modern,

    What's Ted's plan to solve the $7.5-8 billion deficit?

  20. Modern, Ted had his chance to lead Ohio and he FAILED.

    Kasich's plan? It is July, be patient.

    $8,000,000,000 budget hole. A fact you cannot spin away.

  21. Ted Strickland has shown he can manage the State to cut taxes while cutting overall state spending in a responsible way and when revenues don't come in as projected, he can bring the State under budget enough to leave a surplus at a time of a global economic meltdown.

    John Kasich, on the other hand, has no plan. Unlike Strickland, who would only face an $8 Billion "deficit" that is projected if there is no continued federal aid to the States (an unlikely proposition), Kasich faces a much bigger hurdle as he's promised to phase out the income and estate taxes. With Kasich's pledge not to raise any taxes, that leaves Kasich with the following choices: renig on his tax repeals or his tax hike pledge, or come up with even more cuts in State spending than it's already facing.

    To date, Kasich has offered not even one idea how he could solve the deficit, let alone pay for his tax cuts some four months before the election.

    Four years ago, then Congressman Ted Strickland had already introduced most of his plan, including how he planned to pay for it.

    To date, Kasich has made no indication when, if ever, he plans to do the same.

    In contrast, Ted Strickland has a record of working the last four years in a bipartisan manner to cut overall government spending (something John Kasich cannot even claim to have done), cut taxes nearly 20%, while maintaining our investments in the area that matter most under extraordinarily budgetary challenges caused by the Lehman Brothers recession.

    John Kasich's tax plans, on the other hand, puts the State in an even worse and reckless budgetary position and he has not indicated that he has even the slightest clue on how he will address it.

  22. The entire post is premised on the concept that it's Ted's mess, so that Kasich isn't responsible for "fixing it" even if though he's running to replace him. It's a foolish premise that ignore the reality that John Kasich's promises makes Ohio's budgetary situation worse, not better.

    In other words, Jon Keeling is trying to help John Kasich kick the can down the road

  23. Good gravy that a deep pile of...

  24. Seriously, Scarlet.

    I wouldn't even know where to start.

    And not even worth responding to beyond this:

    Ted Strickland has not presented a plan to solve the $8 billion deficit.

    Nor has John Kasich.

    The difference is this: Ted Strickland has had his chance and failed.

  25. Scarlet>Fire

    Instead of mouthing off with non seqiuters, tell me what's wrong in what I said.

    Has Ted Strickland not worked to produced bipartisan budgets? Have not taxes been cut 17%? Has he not cut overall spending from one budget to the next?

    Where's Kasich's plan?

  26. Talking Points Keeling strikes again! You can't address it substantively so you resort to puking out Kasich talking points that don't address the issue.

    Balancing the budget, working in a bipartisan fashion, cutting spending, and cutting taxes while leaving the State with a balanced budget and even a surplus is the Strickland record.

    If that's failure, then what is John Kasich going to do that's not?

    How is Kasich going to do better? It's a fair question to ask. If what Ted Strickland has done is wrong, then what will John Kasich do instead?

    You can't answer it not because you don't want to, but because you can't.

  27. Modern,

    Please provide a link to Ted's plan to solve the $8 billion deficit.


  28. The more you write, Keeling, the more your criticisms that Strickland has "failed" to manage the budget looks like partisan vapid sniping.

    You cannot even name one thing that Kasich would do differently. Pathetic.

  29. I'll take that as a "no, I cannot provide a link to Ted's non-plan."

  30. I love how after four years of cutting taxes, cutting spending, and balancing budget, you demand proof that Strickland can do it again before you'll offer any evidence that Kasich even has a plan to pay for either his tax cuts or the deficit which is a much bigger budget challenge.

    I'm just addressing the topic of your post. Having been caught in Kasich's failings, you're now trying to change the subject.

    If what Ted Strickland has done is failed, what would John Kasich do differently that would define success?

    You really can't answer that, can you?

  31. An $8,000,000,000 budget hole, but the bigger black hole is Strickland's plan to fix it.

    Strickland failed Ohio. Modern's non-answer is the biggest proof.

    Epic. Fail.

  32. That's some alternate reality you're living in ME, where Strickland is a bold, tax-cutting, visionary, but it was just a coincidence that the U.S. budget balanced for the first time in decades when John Kasich ran the Budget Committee.


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