In Ted Strickland’s world, Ohio’s budget is in the black and Ohio’s job situation is one of the best in the country.
Unfortunately for Ohio, the reality is stark contrast.
With reports yesterday that Ohio is projected to have a $400 million surplus when the fiscal year ends in June, 2011, Strickland supporters sounded off about how the Governor is leaving the state in good fiscal shape.
First off, Governor, don’t think Ohioans have forgotten that you raised their taxes last year by $800 million. With this supposed “surplus”, one has to wonder if Strickland hiked voter’s income taxes in an effort to ultimately enhance his legacy. After all, from a political messaging standpoint, a $400 million hike doesn’t sound that much better than an $800 million hike.
But the most obvious and glaring fact staring Strickland in the face?
Ohio’s next budget is facing an $8-10 billion hole.
In case you didn’t catch that, let me scream a little louder…
It’s so real that the Columbus Dispatch went so far as to recently give their readers a chance at solving the fiscal crisis themselves. Click here to give it a shot.
Team Strickland’s effort to refocus the media on this supposed surplus is their way of trying to extract Strickland from his true singular legacy. And that is this…
Governor Strickland is leaving Ohio with the single largest fiscal crisis in its nearly 208 years of existence.
And despite being given ample warning of it coming, by Mary Taylor, no less, he did nothing.
Back when the last budget was being debated and Strickland had his last real shot at taking steps to fix the already well known $8 billion hole, Strickland said the following:
“We’re dealing with the budget for 2010 and 2011, and the standard that I’m being held to is, ‘How are you going to balance the budget in 2012 and 2013?’ It’s still 2009. I just don’t get it.
Truer words have never been spoken.
Governor, you were elected to make Ohio a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Not to simply make sure a biennial budget was balanced. Your singular focus on the present is causing Ohio to face greater pains in its future. You just don’t get it.
No one expected you to fix the entire budget hole that you helped create by ingesting billions of one-time federal dollars into the budget, but as Ohio’s leader you were elected to at least make an effort. You didn’t.
Why? You were scared of losing your shot at re-election.
Everyone knows this next budget is going to require a number of politically unpopular decisions. But they are the decisions that must be made if Ohio’s budget is going to be balanced as is required by law.
It didn’t have to be this way. Ohio’s leaders, both Democrat and Republican, could have done the responsible thing and curbed government growth when they had the chance.
Instead they chose to take all the necessary cuts at once.
Which makes me thank God Ohio elected John Kasich.
He’s already repeatedly stated that he doesn’t care if he’s re-elected or not. This isn’t about his own political future.
It’s about making the tough decisions, no matter how unpopular, because it’s the right thing to do.
Strickland never understood that. His term is marked with decision after decision that was based purely on politics rather than principle. And it’s left us with an $8 billion deficit.
Thanks for nothing, Governor Strickland.