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.
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.