Did someone see an elephant?

It seems little by little, mainstream media in Ohio is beginning to notice the elephant in the room – the real budget crisis in Ohio.

That of the 2012-2013 budget.

$4-9 billion?

If it took Strickland nearly 7 months to figure out how to raise taxes to fix a $851 million gap, I guess we can count on Jello Ted, if he gets his way in 2010, needing about 4.5 years to come up with another way to hike taxes.

The article by Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch does a good job of representing the facts of the situation. Currently the deficit estimates are a bit all over the place, but as Siegel states, “whatever the correct number, it’s big.”

Siegel goes on to highlight the ideas presented by Republicans – construction law reform, privatization of government services, four-day work weeks, and government restructuring – and fairly discusses their potential negatives.

He also gives Governor Strickland an opportunity to discuss his ideas:

Strickland has talked about the possibility of selling state assets but is most hopeful that he can help persuade federal lawmakers to approve another round of stimulus funding.

“But that’s not all I’m doing,” he said. “We are not passive about looking forward. We are committed to scrutinizing everything we think we can do.”

[cue crickets chirping]

His big idea is lobbying the federal government to bail the state out?


And what the hell does “scrutinizing everything we think we can do” even mean?

Jello Ted goes on to complain that Republicans haven’t provided any details about their ideas and claims he’s “willing to engage in a serious discussion” about the crisis.

For pete’s sake, Governor, you were elected to your position to lead. Not sit back and hope the big boys in Washington come save some Buckeye butt again. And not to play political games with your state legislature.

They at least have ideas. You want specifics? Fine. Use the soapbox provided to you when you were elected in 2006 to ask Speaker Budish and Leader Harris for committee hearings to discuss how to fix the gap. Show leadership!

Or maybe, I dunno, come up with a few ideas yourself?

Whatever happened to “the buck stops here”, Governor?

This isn’t about the upcoming campaign. Kasich hasn’t been elected to anything yet. But as 2010 wears on, he will have a responsibility to discuss the gap as we move into prime campaign season in the fall.

But Mr. Strickland, you are the Governor. You were elected to lead. Now do it.

12 thoughts on “Did someone see an elephant?”

  1. Um, most of the proposals you cited as GOP ideas were ideas lifted by the Strickland Administration. You praise the GOP for supporting Strickland’s ideas and then claim he has none.
    (All while failing to point out that Kasich has been widely criticized for having no plans to balance the budget.)

    As always, you can’t write a post about Governor Strickland without getting your facts wrong.

  2. Modern,

    With all these comments I’m starting to think you have a crush on me. 🙂

    As for your claims, I have to admit I am a little confused.

    I listed the same proposals Siegel listed as ideas the GOP had advocated:

    1. construction law reform
    2. privatization of government services
    3. four-day work weeks
    4. government restructuring”

    Now, I’ll give you that construction law reform was Ted’s original idea, but as Siegel stated, Ted didn’t push for it during the final budget negotiations.

    But you say “most” ideas listed were Ted’s? Well, I guess I should be glad to hear Ted supports the other three. Restructuring government? Privatization of government services? 4-day work weeks?

    Great news, Modern. Thanks for the update!

    If you have an issue with the “facts”, talk to Siegel, then get back to me.

  3. Scarlet>Fire-

    Um, what spin? The fact is that every tax bracket in Ohio’s personal income tax has seen double-digit cuts in their rates starting with Governor Strickland’s first budget.

    Personal income tax rates across the board will be substantially lower than they were before Strickland took office.

    That’s not spin, it’s what occured.

  4. The cuts were put in place before Strickland was the Gov. He did nothing…until he delayed the last cut after his slots plan blew up in his face.

  5. Scarlet>Fire:

    No, as the latest budget deal demonstrated, the tax cuts required approval by the Governor by including them in his budget (which they did.)

    You can’t have it both ways: you cannot claim that Strickland raised taxes by keeping them at last year’s level, while denying him credit for the years in which his budget cut taxes.

    You cannot say it would have happened anyway, because that’s not true.

    Regardless, when the General Assembly passed Strickland’s other budget, that budget contained legislative language enacting tax cuts. The cuts were in the budget. The budget was Strickland’s.

    You’re the one spinning here, not me.

  6. LOL. So our elected “leader” acquiesced to legislation passed before he came to office, until such time as he had to come out from under his desk? Great.

    Nice use of the straw man as well. I made no claims “that Strickland raised taxes by keeping them at last year’s level.”

    So Strickland cut taxes by doing nothing? Great.

    I hope he runs on that with the same wonky argument that you have raised here.

  7. Yes, crazy wonky arguments like “Ted Strickland’s budget cut your taxes by double-digits” Yeah, people will never understand what $1.8 billion in less taxes means for them.

    You’re right, it’ll never work.

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