Well, with new federal stimulus dollars being prepared to be funneled down to the states, Ohio has a chance to test its mettle.
If the money is coming whether we like it or not, can Ohio's leaders at least find it within themselves to avoid spending the money, and instead save it until its needed?
Well, if Democrats have their way, don't count on it.
But Sen. Carey gets it:
Democrats have boasted that the measure will save up to 140,000 teaching jobs, including 5,000 in Ohio, potentially setting up an expectation that money should be spent this year to keep or hire back teachers, rather than as a way to save money for the next budget.Scott Blake, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education, said the $362 million in federal aid for education "would likely prevent layoffs and allow schools to recall teachers.
Ideally, none of our tax dollars would be spent just to expand the spending bubbles in each state that are bursting at the seams. But if the cash is coming, it should at least be used appropriately, and not utilized to maintain the status quo that has already proven itself impossible to maintain. And that means holding onto it for the next budget cycle.
State Sen. John A. Carey Jr., a Wellston Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said leaders should find a way to shift extra money into the next budget, if possible.
"I definitely would be in favor of using any additional resources we have to address next year's budget," he said. "We definitely should not increase spending today because that would just dig us a bigger hole for the next budget."
Believe it or not, the federal government does not have a magic money tree where all this cash comes from. It comes from each and every one of us, and the more we use, the deeper into debt we all go.
Why is that bad?