Democrats pounced on a quote from Kasich recently where he stated he wished the Governor would find a way to use the $400M in stimulus train cash for projects that would enhance the state’s infrastructure, like road construction and bridges.
First off, they stated Kasich’s suggestion wasn’t even possible – that the money was designated solely for slow-speed rail only. And they’re partially right, as of right now it is only supposed to be used for rail. But it’s either intellectually dishonesty or plain ignorance of how negotiation and dealmaking works at the federal level to think that with cooperation from both the Governor and the President, that the same dollars could not be reassigned to a project that would actually help Ohio’s economy, and not require an annual state subsidy in the tens of millions.
Instead, Ted wants a choo-choo. Why? Because he thinks a choo-choo is sexy to Ohio voters.
They also claimed he was flip-flopping. Incorrect. Kasich has always said the train was a bad idea. As far as I can tell, he never was approached about what to do with the $400M if it was going to be obligated to Ohio no matter what.
And he deftly recognizes that with the stimulus funds we do receive, they shouldn’t be spent to expand government, but instead for one-time needs so as to avoid creating a dependency we can’t meet once the one-time funds disappear.
Do I wish we didn’t have the stimulus at all? Of course. But we do, and if we’re going to spend this money, let’s do it responsibly. Fiscal hawks like Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour accepted stimulus dollars, too. There is nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is using the money to set-up the state for an endless fiscal hole that will require state subsidies in who knows how many millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars.
Just like Ted’s done.