Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For Democrats, Math is Hard

Soon after the Governor Kasich's new budget proposal came out, the left immediately began to attack it, of course. We knew there would be attacks on any of the cuts that were necessary to balance the budget. We already discussed that intellectual dishonesty in a previous post.

But I must admit, the other angle of attack that they have employed was a bit of a surpise. Democrats looked at the total budget, and claimed that since total spending didn't decrease, that the $8 billion shortfall that Ted Strickland left us with...wait for it...didn't actually exist, and that it was a false claim all along.

Defeated candidate for State Auditor David Pepper tweeted this:
Agreed! "[It's] kind of counter-intuitive that we've closed an $8 billion shortfall and yet spending is growing." (state budget director)
One blog actually claims it was all made up to attack Ted Strickland.
Despite all the pontificating last week and self-congratulations for Mary Taylor, there never WAS an $8 billion deficit because Taylor’s figure was based on the projection: a) that the State would do nothing about the growth in Medicaid; b) there would be no economic growth in Ohio in the first two years of the new Administration.

Instead of pouring over budget documents like we’re Diogenes with his lantern, maybe we should just realize that the “solving of the $8 billion budget deficit” is just another political claim that the Administration’s own budget does not confirm.
And this:
The results have left some lawmakers scratching their heads and others, including Kasich’s Democratic opponents, questioning whether an $8 billion budget shortfall ever existed.
Yeah, they're actually serious.

They want you to forget this one fact. When it was clear that Ohio's budget needed cuts and other serious reform, Ted Strickland punted, because he wanted to be reelected.
The last two-year budget, approved by a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House and signed by former Gov. Ted Strickland, included nearly $8.7 billion in one-time monies — funds that would not be replenished in the next biennium. That’s opposed to sales or income taxes, which the state receives in steady streams year after year.
Now it is time to make the hard decisions and fix Ohio's fiscal situation, and this budget does that. Here's how:
How the Gov. John Kasich administration filled the $7.7 billion budget hole:
$2.2 billion by redirecting tax revenues formerly distributed to local governments and school districts.
$1.8 billion in agency spending cuts and changes.
$1.5 billion in other changes, including one-time funds from the sale of five state prisons and the state’s liquor operations.
$1.3 billion resulting from reforms to Medicaid programs.
$794 million in additional revenues projected over the biennium.
Source: Office of Budget
and Management
And why is spending not decreased by $8 billion? Do these people not understand that expenses...go up? Do they not understand that Medicaid is the single, largest part of the GRF, and that its an entitlement? Its not discretionary spending. You can reform it in certain ways, but you can't just cut it.

Keen explains:
Keen and Kasich’s Office of Budget and Management first worked to create a framework for understanding the budget issues.

That analysis projected spending for the next two years out of the general revenue fund, the largest part of the state budget, where most tax dollars go and where most spending occurs.

Keen said the administration projected flat spending across most programs, except Medicaid (medical and other services for the needy and the largest component of the general revenue fund) and a couple of other areas.

The results — a combined $61.5 billion in spending over the biennium —painted a picture of what spending would be if state law and policies remained as-is.

The administration also projected how much revenue it expected to receive over the next two fiscal years. Those results equaled about $53.8 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013.

The difference, about $7.7 billion, was the budget shortfall Republicans had been warning about the past two years.

“The difference in those two represents the structural imbalance, or the gap that we had to close,” Keen said. “... This is where we started.”
Relatively simple. Read the entire article for more details.

But for Democrats, math is hard.

Go to any liberal Ohio blog these days, and you will see them yelling and screaming about this cut and that. Blah blah blah.

Here's my message to them, and the thing to remember.

Democrats had their chance to fix the budget. They controlled the Governor's office and the Ohio House. They could have done this their way.

They. CHOSE. Not to. They put a band-aid on the situation instead.

And NOW they want to kick and scream and complain about how its being done, when they refused to lead?


Bytor on Twitter


  1. Ted Strickland cut more GRF funding than Kasich does. The Buckeye Insitute even says that Strickland's budgets were more fiscally conservative than Kasich's. These are facts... not the talking points you get forwarded to you by Keeling.

    Again, Strickland made changes to Medicaid to reduce costs. PASSPORT ring a bell? That's why I wrote that it's foolish to talk about a deficit in terms of numbers of something that never would have happened. Changes are ALWAYS made in Medicaid to keep costs from exploding.

    And yes, as your own post points out, the $8.7 billion deficit never occured.

    And Kasich's budget still realizes on over $1 billion in one-time money. Something he said he wouldn't do.

    Kasich failed to introduce a budget that met what he promised. He relies on one-time money gimmicks and raiding money meant for schools and local government. He's a scam artist, not a reformer.

    Live with it.

    Or is the Buckeye Institute a liberal organization now?!?

  2. Hey, genius, we could have done anything we wanted?!? I guess you forgot that Ohio has a bicameral legislature? And it was Republican controlled.

    Social studies is hard for conservatives.

  3. Strickland kicked the can down the road by begging Uncle Barack for "stimulus" funds and using them to plug the hole. He did not do what was necessary to make the budget sustainable long-term. Kasich did.

    Please continue the "$8 billion shortfall was a fallacy" argument. What a laughing stock.

    And yes, of course, the GOP controlled the Senate. And they wanted MORE cuts, which the governor and House refused and filled the shortfall with porkulus funds.

    Bottom line: The shortfall existed for both budgets.

    Strickland punted and used $8 billion in one-time funds.

    Kasich produced a sustainable budget.

    Aww. Reality is hard.

  4. Modern,

    Your recollection of the budget mess and how Uncle Ted dealt with it leaves much to be desired.

    No more games. We deal with this now so that our kids don't have to.

  5. Um, first off Bytor, Kasich has admitted he would have used the stimulus to balance the budget, too... on video... roughly a year ago. Look it up.

    Senate Republicans could not AGREE on more cuts. You're just lying (as usual.) They never came forward with a package of cuts, instead, they insisted on Strickland to solve the mess and gave him just enough votes so they didn't have to take any political heat.

    There's nothing sustainable about Kasich's budget. Let me repeat, it relies on well over a billion in one-time money.

  6. According to Modern, any spending cuts are bad.

    I guess Kasich should have just made Modern happy, and raised taxes to fill in the $8 billion Strickland shortfall.


  7. Modern, don't you have your own [fantasy] blog to troll?

  8. "Strickland punted and used $8 billion in one-time funds"

    So you're okay with Kasich using one time funds of $3B when leasing the turnpikes?

    It's not okay when Democrats use one time funds but when Republicans do, it's okay?

  9. JD,

    Kasich's budget doesn't leave a predictable $8 billion shortfall for the next biennium like Strickland's budget did.

    He knew he was leaving a bigger hole for the next budget. Everybody knew it. It was predicted. He didn't care.

    This budget required hard, but necessary cuts to make it balance. Kasich had the stomach to do what was necessary. Ted didn't.

    You guys can throw all the extraneous arguments around if you like, but thats a fact you can't change.

  10. Pro-Ohio,

    Modern trolls just about every conservative blog, plus newspaper website in the state.

    Its his life.

  11. Shorter Bytor:

    Because Kasich punted by using less one-time money (still in the billions), Kasich is a leader.

    Unfortunately for Bytor, a majority of Ohioans disagree, giving Kasich worse marks on his budget than they ever gave Strickland.

    Buckeye Institute says you're wrong. Take it up with them.

  12. Bytor-

    If I stopped reading you, your readership would drop by a third.


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