Remember when Gov. John Kasich took a heap of grief for killing Ohio’s 3C passenger-rail project, sending back $385 million in federal stimulus funds? A fiasco in California shows Kasich made the right call: Hopping aboard the federal gravy train would have derailed Ohio’s newly recovering budget.The editorial goes on to describe that California is now looking to spend more than double its original projection, and that California residents would overwhelmingly support doing away with the project altogether.The Golden State grabbed the lion’s share of Ohio’s returned federal dollars for its fast-rail system, only to now realize it is swamped with debt. Voters there have a serious case of buyer’s remorse.As Kasich predicted, costs skyrocketed and ridership is unlikely to support the investment. A new poll shows that if a bullet train ever does run between Los Angeles and San Francisco — somewhat doubtful — most people say they would use it rarely or never. A ticket would cost $123 each way; travel websites were offering round-trip airline tickets this week for $174.
Thanks to Governor Kasich’s foresight, it looks like Ohio dodged a financial bullet. But that was a shot Strickland would have gladly taken. He campaigned on keeping the 3C rail, even amid reports that the train would have cost Ohioans millions.
But that’s not exactly a surprise coming from a governor who passed one of the most fiscally irresponsible budgets in Ohio history, stealing nearly a billion dollars from the rainy day fund, stalling a much needed income tax reduction, and even after news that such fiscal recklessness would set the state up for an $8 billion deficit just two years later.
A deficit Governor Kasich closed without raising taxes.
And that’s been one of the themes of Governor Kasich’s tenure: fixing what Strickland wrecked.
- After losing 400,000 jobs in 4 years under Governor Strickland, Ohio has created over 150,000 in 19 months under Governor Kasich.
- After creating an $8 billion budget deficit under Governor Strickland, Ohio has a balanced budget.
- After committing to a financially unstable and incredibly slow 3C rail under Governor Strickland, Ohio is replenishing its rainy day fund under Governor Kasich.
These are just some of the failed policies promoted by the disaster that was Ted Strickland, who’s not-so-quietly considering a rematch in 2014. And with his record, we’re not-so-quietly hoping for it.
Cross-posted at GOHP Blog.