Those were the words uttered by Chevy Chase in character as President Ford on Saturday Night Live back in the ’70s.
It’s also what Ted Strickland must have been saying for his entire first term.
- On May 6th, Ted Strickland announced his office miscalculated and Ohio was going to have to endure a $1 billion shortfall in tax revenue.
- On June 11th, Strickland admitted that the first miscalculation was miscalculated. The shortfall was really $2.3 billion.
- And now……Keno.
On Friday, it was announced that Keno, Strickland’s first foray into gambling, was going to bring in only 41% of what the Governor’s office predicted. [DJ note: bad news on a Friday again, Governor?]
That’s bad. Really bad.
Now, let’s project that miscalculation out onto Strickland’s slot machine experiment. He claims it will bring in $933 million. And 41% of that? $383 billion. Leaving another gap in the state budget….this one being being $550 million.
$550 million. That’s what Ohioans need to be prepared to come up with.
For Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly, this brings up an interesting political dilemma.
As elected officials, should they do something? Since the Governor and Democrats in the legislature aren’t doing anything to prepare for the almost certain massive budget shortfalls, as broken down by Tom Suddes on Sunday, should Republicans step up and begin developing, on their own, a “Rainy-Day Plan” that provides a way for Ohio to pay for Strickland’s irresponsible leadership?
The positives of such a plan? It highlights the Republicans as true statesmen making a stand as elected officials working to prepare Ohio for Strickland’s mistakes. Politically speaking, a number of hearings, official or otherwise, could make news and better extend the story. It would also bring the GOP into the good graces of a statewide media that has been begging for leadership at the Statehouse.
Are there risks? Sure. Any such plan would require spending cuts. And spending cuts can always be used for political gain by the opposing Party. Two variables that may mitigate that effect include the likelihood of actually voting on any such plan is unlikely for the rest of the legislative term. Also, the media may not give the Democrats much of a voice due to journalist’s clear frustration with them. (then again, when has the media ever been rational?)
The constant flow of stories damaging to Governor Strickland since the 2008 presidential election has been staggering. If the GOP thinks they will keep up, from a political perspective it’s more intelligent to sit back and continue to let Jello Stricktaft get hammered by the press.
If not, it may be time to make the story their own.