Monday, May 9, 2011

Columbus Dispatch to Ohio Democrats: You had your chance. You punted.

Last week was another step forward in putting Ohio's budget back on a path of sustainability. The Ohio House, with minor changes, passed Governor Kasich's proposed budget. They solved the problem of the $8 billion shortfall, and they did it without raising taxes.

Of course, the Democrats are crying foul and denouncing the budget with all of the usual class warfare canards, as usual.

Hey, remember when I said this?
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?

This past weekend, the Columbus Dispatch pretty much said the same thing.
Former House speaker and now House Minority Leader Armond Budish criticizes the painful cuts included in Kasich's budget proposal.

But those cuts are necessary precisely because Budish and former Gov. Ted Strickland didn't do their job - truly balancing the state's budget - when they controlled the governor's office and the House two years ago.

Faced with a vast gulf between revenue and what they wanted to spend, Budish and Strickland should have been the ones making budget cuts in the 2010-11 budget.


Budish disagrees with Kasich's priorities, he says. When he was speaker of the House, Budish had every opportunity - the duty, in fact - to set the priorities he now claims to stand for.

Had he led a charge to reset government spending to align with the resources available, he could have influenced the future more to his liking. He didn't.
Of course there are cuts. Cuts were mandatory. The law says Ohio can only spend what it will collect (thank goodness). Nobody likes to make cuts in services. But it was time to be grownups, show leadership and get the job done right.

Weeks ago, when Kasich unveiled his budget proposal, I also said this.
This is the kind of leadership we needed on the budget 2 years ago. Thankfully, we have someone now who isn't afraid to talk to us like adults and make the hard choices.
The CD agrees with me on that one, too.
Dealing with hard problems instead of kicking them down the road is leadership.
Normally, I'd say that I couldn't have said it better myself. But this time, I actually already did. Ha! Seriously, though, go read the entire column.

Congratulations to Governor Kasich and the Ohio House. On to the Senate!

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  1. Except that Strickland actually DID cut spending. GRF spending was cut $2 billion over the last biennium. And the whole "Democrats could have done whatever they wanted" ignores that little civics lesson that Ohio has a BICAMERAL legislature, and the Senate was controlled by the Republicans.

    Congratulations on getting the Columbus Dispatch editorial board to write a favorable pro-Republican editorial. That's such a rare thing. That's like when the WSJ or FoxNews agrees with you. Really, how did you get so influential?

  2. Strickland did not fix the budget to be sustainable going forward. He left an $8 billion shortfall that this administration had to deal with. That's a fact, Modern.

    Yes, the GOP still controlled the Senate, but Budish and Strickland never even TRIED to put together a budget that addressed the shortfalls. Everyone recognizes this.

    The Senate is the last to get the budget. Stickland and Budish could have set forth THEIR priorities on how to solve the gap.

    Amazing you make me keep saying this: They chose not to.

  3. Except that the Kasich budget isn't any more structually balanced than the Strickland one, which is precisely why not a single bond rating agency for the State of Ohio has improved their outlook of Ohio's credit rating.

    The deficit was much smaller than the $8 billion figure, even Kasich himself has admitted as much. OBM Director Tim Keen told the media that roughly A QUARTER (that's one out ever four dollars) of the actual projected deficit is covered by projected increases in the State's revenues fueled by continued economic growth from the economic recovery in Ohio that started over a year ago when Strickland was still Governor.

    The budget relies on over a billion in one-time that the Kasich Administration projects will be replaced with, again, higher revenues caused by their assumption of future economic growth. In other words, it's no more structually balanced than if Strickland had said the same thing about the stimulus.

    The Kasich budget also kicks the can down the road to the tune of roughy half a billion dollars in delayed repayment of State's debts under what is called "debt restructuring." His budget contains no plan to make the interest payments due to the federal government because he's expecting a bailout from those payments although nobody in Washington will publicly say any such thing is in the works.

    His budget is balanced so long as his many privatization schemes generate the revenue he expects of them. But even here he's engaged in nothing more the economy of the pawn... selling valueable assets at bargain basement rates in order to get immediate, one-time cash infusions.

    The Senate was the last one to get the Strickland budget that cut $2 billion in GRF. They balked at it for months. Then, realizing that they could not reach any agreement for an alternative plan within their caucus, the Senate President agreed to provide the necessary five Senate GOP votes to pass the Strickland budget.

    THAT's precisely how the last budget was passed. So, not only do you fail basic understanding of what is in Kasich's budget, you fail any knowledge of how the last budget under Strickland came into being. A budget that is handing the Kasich Administration a projected $1 billion surplus, btw.

  4. Ahh...going with the "There never WAS an $8 billion deficit" argument again, huh?

    No one buys that except your lemmings, Modern.

    It's quite amusing to see you making up your own news stories over there in Plunderland.


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