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For Democrats, Math is Hard

Soon after the Governor Kasich’s new budget proposal came out, the left immediately began to attack it, of course. We knew there would be attacks on any of the cuts that were necessary to balance the budget. We already discussed that intellectual dishonesty in a previous post.

But I must admit, the other angle of attack that they have employed was a bit of a surpise. Democrats looked at the total budget, and claimed that since total spending didn’t decrease, that the $8 billion shortfall that Ted Strickland left us with…wait for it…didn’t actually exist, and that it was a false claim all along.

Defeated candidate for State Auditor David Pepper tweeted this:

Agreed! “[It’s] kind of counter-intuitive that we’ve closed an $8 billion shortfall and yet spending is growing.” (state budget director)

One blog actually claims it was all made up to attack Ted Strickland.

Despite all the pontificating last week and self-congratulations for Mary Taylor, there never WAS an $8 billion deficit because Taylor’s figure was based on the projection: a) that the State would do nothing about the growth in Medicaid; b) there would be no economic growth in Ohio in the first two years of the new Administration.

Instead of pouring over budget documents like we’re Diogenes with his lantern, maybe we should just realize that the “solving of the $8 billion budget deficit” is just another political claim that the Administration’s own budget does not confirm.

And this:

The results have left some lawmakers scratching their heads and others, including Kasich’s Democratic opponents, questioning whether an $8 billion budget shortfall ever existed.

Yeah, they’re actually serious.

They want you to forget this one fact. When it was clear that Ohio’s budget needed cuts and other serious reform, Ted Strickland punted, because he wanted to be reelected.

The last two-year budget, approved by a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House and signed by former Gov. Ted Strickland, included nearly $8.7 billion in one-time monies — funds that would not be replenished in the next biennium. That’s opposed to sales or income taxes, which the state receives in steady streams year after year.

Now it is time to make the hard decisions and fix Ohio’s fiscal situation, and this budget does that. Here’s how:

How the Gov. John Kasich administration filled the $7.7 billion budget hole:
$2.2 billion by redirecting tax revenues formerly distributed to local governments and school districts.
$1.8 billion in agency spending cuts and changes.
$1.5 billion in other changes, including one-time funds from the sale of five state prisons and the state’s liquor operations.
$1.3 billion resulting from reforms to Medicaid programs.
$794 million in additional revenues projected over the biennium.
Source: Office of Budget
and Management

And why is spending not decreased by $8 billion? Do these people not understand that expenses…go up? Do they not understand that Medicaid is the single, largest part of the GRF, and that its an entitlement? Its not discretionary spending. You can reform it in certain ways, but you can’t just cut it.

Keen explains:

Keen and Kasich’s Office of Budget and Management first worked to create a framework for understanding the budget issues.

That analysis projected spending for the next two years out of the general revenue fund, the largest part of the state budget, where most tax dollars go and where most spending occurs.

Keen said the administration projected flat spending across most programs, except Medicaid (medical and other services for the needy and the largest component of the general revenue fund) and a couple of other areas.

The results — a combined $61.5 billion in spending over the biennium —painted a picture of what spending would be if state law and policies remained as-is.

The administration also projected how much revenue it expected to receive over the next two fiscal years. Those results equaled about $53.8 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013.

The difference, about $7.7 billion, was the budget shortfall Republicans had been warning about the past two years.

“The difference in those two represents the structural imbalance, or the gap that we had to close,” Keen said. “… This is where we started.”

Relatively simple. Read the entire article for more details.

But for Democrats, math is hard.

Go to any liberal Ohio blog these days, and you will see them yelling and screaming about this cut and that. Blah blah blah.

Here’s my message to them, and the thing to remember.

Democrats had their chance to fix the budget. They controlled the Governor’s office and the Ohio House. They could have done this their way.

They. CHOSE. Not to. They put a band-aid on the situation instead.

And NOW they want to kick and scream and complain about how its being done, when they refused to lead?


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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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