There are two elephants in Strickland’s office. The Jobs Crisis and the upcoming budget black hole.
For over a year, the GOP has been hammering Strickland for his apathetic attitude towards the massive upcoming $8 billion gap looming upon Ohio next year.
Strickland’s solution? Hope for more federal stimulus money.
Ignoring the fact that begging for more dollars is irresponsible and reckless, does he really think the dollars will come in 2011?
Come 2011, Obama will be looking out for his own hide. He won’t be able to distribute the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary across the country to cover the budget deficits in states around the country. It won’t be politically feasible. It would only enhance his reputation as fiscally irresponsible.
So what are we going to do about it? And why isn’t Strickland pressing forward to prepare Ohio?
In March, the Cleveland Plain Dealer recognized the enormous nature of the problem, and now the Columbus Dispatch takes the Governor and State Legislature to task:
It’s nice that state Budget Director J. Pari Sabety feels “pretty optimistic” that the budget will balance by the June 30 end of the current fiscal year, even though total tax revenues in April were $158.4 million less than had been estimated, leaving the state with a $217.7 million hole to fill in the next month and a half.
But, whether or not that gap is easily closed, positive thinking does absolutely nothing to reassure Ohioans that either Sabety or her boss, Gov. Ted Strickland, has the first notion of a plan for dealing with the gargantuan shortfall – $8 billion or so – the state will face in crafting the next biennial budget, a year from now.
The Big D even took it a step further, hitting the issue twice in the same day in a second article featured on the front page and above the fold…
Clearly, the panel Strickland pushed for isn’t doing its job, and neither is the Governor. If he wanted to pawn the responsibility onto the legislature, fine…but at least make sure they do the assigned task as any executive should.
The Jobs Crisis and this budget deficit are the two top issues facing Ohio today.
As elected Governor, Strickland has a responsibility to aggressively address each problem. Kasich, as challenger, will be responsible for adequately educating the electorate on his ideas for a solution before he can ask for their vote on November 2nd.
Let’s hope Ohio’s media stays on top of each gubernatorial candidate on these issues as we move forward.