Hit & Run

The California of the Midwest

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As revealed by the Cincinnati Enquirer's columnist Peter Bronson:

"Here's a sign you won't see on the bridge from Kentucky: "Welcome to Ohio, the high-tax California of the Midwest."

In fact, Ohio taxes are ninth highest in the nation, but most residents don't know it. Most politicians hope to keep it that way - except for Ohio's most conservative Republican, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and the most conservative Democrat, Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes.

Bronson concisely lays out the Golden State-like fiscal irresponsibility currently playing out in the heart of the heart of the country and then (dare I say sagely?) cites John Hood's great article on chronic state budget problems in the November issue of Reason:

An article in the October Reason Magazine underlines Blackwell's scorching criticism of his own party: Watch out for those tax-and-spend Republicans. Between 1997 and 2002, spending in Republican-controlled states such as Ohio actually rose slightly faster than in Democrat-controlled states.

(Let me whisper that stories like Hood's are another reason to subscribe to the print edition of Reason. If you did, you'd have read that article by now, as well as an assortment of other goodies, all in a dazzling four-color layout, for just $15 a year. Subscribers receive their copies a month of more before any new magazine content gets posted to the Web site.)

Bronson's whole col is here.