The Ohio Society of CPAs submitted a letter to the Columbus Dispatch this weekend that laid the smack down on the Governor not only for his immature and irresponsible response to the CPA endorsement of John Kasich, but also on a matter of much more importance – the upcoming $8 billion deficit.
In the statement, the governor said he had no interest in receiving the society’s endorsement because we affirmed that it is a CPA’s professional responsibility to inform a client of all retirement-planning strategies, including the reality that Ohioans can avoid state estate taxes if they become a resident of a state that doesn’t assess them.
CPAs don’t make the laws, but we do help our clients understand and deal with them.
It is disappointing that the Strickland campaign attacked a profession for meeting clients’ needs, when it could have been focused on addressing Ohio’s budget woes.
The society met with the governor last fall to outline numerous ways Ohio could cut costs and reform government in a productive, forward-looking way. We are aware of few actions he has taken in response. We also shared our recommendations with members of the Kasich team at their request.
So the CPAs were good enough to sit down with last year, eh, Governor? But now that they’ve endorsed someone else, the hell with them, right?
Because the economic crisis is by far the most significant factor affecting Ohio, the society placed great emphasis during its bipartisan endorsement-screening process on how candidates were going to deal with Ohio’s potential $8 billion budget shortfall. We reached out to the Strickland campaign numerous times, hoping the governor would meet with our review panel to discuss his plans for the impending budget deficit. He chose not to do so.
The next paragraph pointed out a key point that the Ohio media has failed to recognize in their complaints about neither campaign providing detailed plans for solving the budget.
On the other hand, Kasich and Taylor made themselves available and discussed their vision for Ohio and their plans for dealing with the shortfall. We neither expected nor received line-by-line budget details. Kasich isn’t sitting in the governor’s chair now, so he doesn’t have access to the necessary financial data.
However, the input we did receive gave us a strong understanding of what he plans to do. Based on the interview, we believe Kasich is prepared to hit the ground running and take the steps needed to help the people and businesses in this great state once again grow and thrive.
The $8 billion shortfall is one of the largest crises Ohio has ever faced. For its sitting Governor to put politics over principle and refuse to even share internal documents with the very organization he sat with just last year on the issue speaks monumentally of his character, or lack thereof.