Well, a new study from the liberal Center for Community Solutions may provide some insight into his options.
After all, the Center’s Senior Fiscal and Budget Fellow was a high ranking member of OBM Director Sabety’s staff and in the spending mess that was the Taft administration.
In addition, another fellow at the Center, John Corlett, contributed money to Strickland’s campaign. And a run down of their staff shows a number of individuals that would make one question the neutrality of their work.
So I think it’s fair to say that she, along with the other liberals at the Center for Community Solutions, may have some ideas that align with the direction Strickland may want to take Ohio:
In light of the extensive use of one-time revenues and savings during the current budget, exhaustion of the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund, and the evolution of tax and spending policy over the past three decades, this “balanced approach” in Ohio might be reduced to a three-part strategy, utilizing a combination of:
- tax increases,
- reductions in tax expenditures, and
- reductions in programmatic expenditures.
Ok, I get what the first and last ones are, but what are these “tax expenditures”?
While the term “tax expenditures” may be unfamiliar, their existence and significance are quite familiar indeed. More generally, and pejoratively, described as “loopholes” or “tax breaks,” they may be defined as a loss of tax revenue attributable to an exemption, deduction, preference, or other exclusion from tax law.
In other words, if we get rid of them, taxes will be increased on those that currently are provided a tax break. In other words, repeal of tax expenditures = tax hikes on segments of Ohio.
Strickland refuses to sign any no new taxes pledges and prefers to say “now isn’t the time for new taxes”. Obviously, this is code for, “I’m going to raise taxes as soon as someone tells me the recession is officially over.”
And that translates to the above plan that’s 2 parts tax hikes and 1 part spending cuts.
Ohio needs to change the way it does business, and that shouldn’t include any type of tax hike. We got ourselves into this mess, we can get ourselves out.
But not with Ted Strickland at the wheel.