Emphysema of the soul.

WCPO’s I-Team has an interesting investigative story about the $10 billion Ohio was awarded in 1998 via its settlement with tobacco companies.

As we all know by now, these dollars were initially designated to be used solely for anti-smoking programs, but Ohio’s elected leadership since 1998, both Republican and Democrat, has seen fit to spend it on expanding state government.

Governor Strickland is the most recent guilty party in pushing to use these funds in ways besides their initial purpose. He claims the last 2.5% of the original award should be used for items such adult dental care and expanded health care for kids.

Of course, this is the usual trick we see from elected leaders – saying they need these funds for politically popular programs, and bumping the monies that should have funded those same programs for other forms of government expansion.

Remember, in the most recent budget overall state spending increases by an astounding 7.9%.

Don’t be fooled, Ohio.