State Fiscal Crisis

Reason.tv: Gov. Kasich's Ohio Budget Disaster

Can you cut government by jacking spending 11%?

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It sounds like a mythic tale of heroic salvation: A former Republican congressman with a fierce reputation as a cost-cutter comes out of retirement, runs for governor of one of the largest states in the country, and is swept into office by an anti-incumbent, anti-spending wave. Frustrated voters also give the new governor's party control of both houses in the state's legislature.

He promises to tackle a historic deficit by slashing spending in his first budget and then…tries to jack up spending by 11 percent during his first two years in office?

If the state of Ohio—"the Heart of it All" according to the state's license plates—is a political weathervane, then Gov. John Kasich's first proposed budget represents an ill wind for fiscal responsibility.

Kasich won a narrow victory in November by promising to create a business climate that would grow the state's shrinking private sector, which has bled nearly 600,000 jobs since 2000. He inherited a historic $8 billion deficit, a consequence of out-of-control spending that spiked outlays by 41 percent in inflation-adjusted dolars since 1990. (That huge bump, incidentally, happened mostly under Republican legislators.)

To call Kasich's opening budget a massive disappointment to the small-government proponents and Tea Party types who put him in office is an understatement.

Reformers such as Matt Mayer of the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute were hoping for a fundamental rethink of how the state spends money. Instead, in an embarrassing three-hour meeting in March, Kasich released a budget that actually increases spending over the coming two years from $50.5 billion to $55.5 billion (like many states, Ohio budgets for two years at a time).

Reason.tv sat down with Mayer to discuss what's gone wrong in Ohio and so many other states when it comes to cutting spending. And what John Kasich—and other leaders across the country— should do if they want to get serious about limiting the growth of government.

Aproximately 2 minutes.

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  1. “He inherited the problem from his predecessor.”

    (It still works for Obama.)

    1. I blame Bush

  2. Obamanomics 101: you have to spend money to save money.

  3. Government is a corporation. Once you become an employee of Government Inc., you’re going to do everything you can to grow it.

    1. Except that they do nothing to maximize shareholder value.

      1. The shareholders are those who get paychecks from the government, so, yes, they are maximizing shareholder value.

        We are the marks, not the shareholders.

  4. Damn, I really had high hopes for Kasich. I thought he was going to make good VP material.

    Oh well, I’ve been fooled before. (Although, I don’t think he’s through.)

  5. To call Kasich’s opening budget a massive disappointment to the small-government proponents and Tea Party types who put him in office is an understatement.

    Would calling it a major clusterfuck not be an understatement, you think?

    A former Republican congressman with a fierce reputation as a cost-cutter[…]

    There’s a difference between having a reputation and having a resume. Does Kasich have an actual resume as a cost-cutter?

    Any shyster can build a good reputation – just ask the literary genius in the W.H.

    1. he’s a Constitutional Scholar as well as a top notch basketball player

      1. Re: Mainer,

        he’s a Constitutional Scholar as well as a top notch basketball player

        Wait, are you talking about Kasich, or Obama?

        1. …or Kim Jung Il?

          1. He’s wicked good at the point.

          2. No that’s golfer!

    2. “Any shyster can build a good reputation – just ask the literary genius in the W.H.”
      I presume you are talking about the sack of shit with big ears.

  6. the state’s shrinking private sector, which has bled nearly 600,000 jobs since 2000.

    Not so long ago, Ohio was being touted as an economic development paragon. Or was that only the Columbus Metropolitan Area?

    1. There was a brief spike as billions in alumni dollars flowed into the state to aid in covering up Tressel’s malfeasance.

      1. ^^This is a completely unnecessary low blow.^^

        1. Don’t worry–I’m sure your next coach will be perfectly cromulent.

          1. Urban Meyer. Write it down. No, really.

            1. It’s funny you say that, as someone I work with has made the same suggestion. It’s possible, though I think he’ll stay out of the game for a couple of years.

            2. Florida weather & SEC to Ohio weather & Big Ten?

            3. Enjoy The Quitter.

              1. Something’s not right with him. I mean physically. I wish him only the best.

      2. hatin’ on THE OSU! you MUST be michigan 🙂

        1. Or anyone who’s ever supported a visiting team in Columbus.

        2. Actually, I’m a former employee of the university. So I know why they must continue to suffer.

          Also, I’m a Florida alumnus, which means that I am ipso facto amused by the quaint imaginings of Ohio State.

          1. The big ten is and will remain a joke to those fans of the PAC 10 and SEC.

            1. You mean the two conferences that had a team tOSU beat in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl last year?

              1. Now that’s pathetic. One and forever against the SEC, and the one is like the number six or seven team in the entire conference. Poor The OSU.

                At least Michigan really, really sucks at football now. You have that.

          2. Though in basketball this year, I think Ohio State has a good team. They’ll likely choke, but that’s not because they aren’t good.

            1. I’m already pre-hating them.

              1. I’m headed to Frankfort Monday. God, I hope I don’t have to put up with insufferable, gloating UK fans.

                1. Yes, my dislike of UK basketball fans may be greater than my amusement at the suffering of OSU fans. I may have to recompute my emotions on this.

                  In my pool, OSU makes it another round and loses to NC.

  7. Gee, a politician lied.

    Stop the fucking presses.

    1. So you’re against newspaper bailouts?

      1. Fucking presses are marital aids they took off the market a few years back. They would never shut off at the appropriate times, and a few people lost an eye.

        1. Fucking presses. How do they work?

          1. Well when a mommy and a daddy love each other, but daddy can’t do what mommy needs done and is too embarrassed to turn to pharmaceuticals, they explore mechanical options instead.

            Like fucking presses.

  8. Fucking presses are marital aids they took off the market a few years back. They would never shut off at the appropriate times, and a few people lost an eye.

    NASA is still interested.

  9. He inherited a historic $8 billion deficit, a consequence of out-of-control spending that spiked outlays by 41 percent in inflation-adjusted dolars since 1990. (That huge bump, incidentally, happened mostly under Republican legislators.)

    “It’s not ballooning the budget when we do it.”

  10. you’ve heard the saying, “you owe the bank 1,000 dollars, you have a problem. You owe them a billion dollars, and the banks have a problem.”

    Obviously, the solution to our problems is to owe so much money to some bank, they will have the problem and not us.
    Debt – makes dull men witty and ugly women beautiful.

  11. Except that they do nothing to maximize shareholder value.

    Most managers these days are much more concerned with enriching themselves at the expense of shareholders than actually maximizing shareholder value. And maximization which actually occurs is strictly a byproduct of management’s equity holdings.

    So they analogy is not as far-fetched as it might seem.

    1. It’s a fair cop.

      1. fair cop

        No such thing.

  12. Tuping am hsrd.

  13. I’m sure your next coach will be perfectly cromulent.

    But what of the armed robbers? Will they be sufficiently fleet of foot to sway the Heisman Committee?

    1. That’s a good question. Besides money, what impresses them (or the NCAA) enough to allow shenanigans to continue? Because both organizations are notorious for closing their eyes when it’s convenient to do so.

  14. What’s gone on in Wisconsin, and especially what’s still going on in Wisconsin, shows that it’s impossible to do what Reason and most libertarians want to do in each and every state of the union and at the federal level: to actually cut back government.

    I think the public sector unionistas in Wisconsin have delivered their message: “you will cut back government and cut back our wages and benefits over our dead bodies.” The parasite on the body politic has now fully wrapped itself around the nervous system of that body, and if it doesn’t actually call all the shots, it can still exert so much pain that it can stop any move that body takes to free itself.

    Is there a solution short of civil war? Discuss.

    1. I think the public sector unionistas in Wisconsin have delivered their message: “you will cut back government and cut back our wages and benefits over our dead bodies.”

      So, win/win.

    2. Is there a solution short of civil war?

      Acquiescence?

    3. Is there a solution short of civil war?

      Honestly, at this point with the entitlement mindset so ingrained and intractable, I would have to say no. The “positive rights” crowd have painted the “negative rights” crowd into a corner and I think it will be a matter of time before history repeats itself yet again.

      1. Fortunately, we’re the gun enthusiasts.

        1. Fortunately, we’re the gun enthusiasts.

          Yes, yes we are. Unfortunately, their agents are too.

    4. Hey! Respond to my question on your blog, im interested in your crackpot monitary theories.

    5. The parasite on the body politic has now fully wrapped itself around the nervous system of that body

      Public employee unions = the Goa’uld

      1. I always thought union thugs acted like Jaffa. Now I know why.

    6. But wasn’t it done in some other democracies like New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic, Norway, or somewhere like that? I know one success story has to be among those, I just forgot where. And we read about it here!

  15. Kasich, I am disappoint.

    I was hoping my workweek home was better than my weekend home (MI). But Snyder’s actually TRYING in MI – Kasich didn’t even TRY.

    Disappointed by pols. And the sun rises in the east, and sets in the west…

    1. Re: Almanian,

      Kasich, I am disappoint.

      Almanian, I am rage.

      1. Yeah, I just can’t get there. Too many years of this shit – I expect it now.

        Plus, I just work in OH = MI is where I live and pay taxes (except for the FUCKING BROOK PARK CITY TAX, MOTHERFUCKERS), so I’m much more concerned about what happens in the Great Lakes State?.

        So – “disappoint” for me. Keep the faith, brother – we fight on!

  16. barbarians with access to the Internet

  17. Listening to Matt Mayer’s argument you would think that the Republicans are doing absolutely nothing to address excessive public sector compensation. BULLSHIT. Kasich and the Republicans are moving aggressively to rein in the excesses of Ohio’s public employee unions. Until that’s accomplished any talk of addressing public sector compensation is just gibberish. Which, I guess, is where Mayer comes in.

    ——–

    ‘Under the Ohio bill, government workers can only bargain for pay increases based on merit and performance, not years of service. Wisconsin’s law allows workers to negotiate wage increases on seniority, but it limits increases to inflation. Anything more would require voter approval.”

    “Ohio would limit bargaining on health insurance and reduce sick leave and holidays to what’s allowed for nonunion government employees. Wisconsin has no similar provision.”

    “Public employees in Ohio wouldn’t be able to negotiate on hours, discipline issues, transfers, equipment and outsourcing of services, staffing levels, and teacher-student ratios?all areas Wisconsin’s law doesn’t address. Police, firefighters and other public safety personnel would be covered by Ohio’s law. They are exempt in Wisconsin.”

    “Ohio also ends binding arbitration to settle contract disputes. Unions like arbitration because it takes power away from elected legislatures, city councils and country commissions. Wisconsin allows binding arbitration for local and county employees.”

    “Finally, Ohio would broaden its current ban on strikes by police and firefighters to cover all government workers?as is already the case in Wisconsin.”

    WSJ

    1. I suppose the problem is that if you claim that the unions are breaking you, vote to restrict their bargaining abilities, and then increase spending anyway, you sort of come off as being full of shit about the fiscal need to rein in unions.

    2. So… the Ohio GOP should get points for union busting and yet still increasing spending?

  18. Someone should tell this stuff to the Columbus Dispatch, because every front page I see says Kasich’s decimating the state with all of his cuts. He’s throwing poor people out in the cold, his cuts are hurting the mentally ill, he’s leaving prisons without adequate staff, he’s eliminating major state funds to local governments hurting fireman and police? The disconnect between what’s being reported in the news here, and what this article claims is astounding. In fact the last story I heard on local radio was that he was cutting the budget by 25%? So WTF?

    1. typical dispatch story:

      http://www.dispatchpolitics.co…..cs&sid=101

      1. Let’s not forget the children either.

        http://www.dispatchpolitics.co…..plan.html?
        adsec=politics&sid=101

        1. Lets try that link again

          http://www.dispatchpolitics.co…..cs&sid=101

          1. and not to be outdone by the paper, the local TV stations are reporting daily about all of the Kasich “Cuts” as well.

            http://www.10tv.com/live/conte…..ml?sid=102

            1. Wow, when I lived in Columbus in the 80s the Dispatch was extremely conservative. WTF happened?

              1. Yeah, I remember those days. They’re long gone. I’m guessing journalism school happened to the new generation of reporters.

  19. As a former Ohioan and now Arizonan, Big Government Republicanism strikes again. I can’t get away from it!

    Please enough with the narrative that Republicans are for small, limited government. Their rhetoric almost, always never reflects their actions. Again, Again, and Again.

  20. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some cuts in his budget, but the New and Expanded Medicaid is killing them and accounts for the overall increase.

    1. No, his disinclination to propose actual cuts in the budget is what is killing them.

      He could propose eliminating Medicaid in its entireity. It is not a mandatory program.

  21. So, Reason appears to be jumping the shark. Not only are they too lazy to link the budget they were complaining about, they did so for a very obvious reason: You don’t have to read past the first paragraph of the official Ohio budget summary to find out what is really happening.

    “Governor Kasich recommends GRF appropriations of $26.9 billion in FY 2012 (a 1.1% increase over
    estimated FY 2011 spending) and $28.6 billion in FY 2013 (a 6.4% increase over FY 2012
    recommendations). The Governor’s recommendations for all funds total $59.4 billion in FY 2012 (a
    5.3% decrease from estimated FY 2011 spending) and $60.2 billion in FY 2013 (a 1.4% increase over
    FY 2012 recommendations).
    The state share of the GRF, not including federal reimbursement for ODJFS programs, is $19.3 billion
    in FY 2012 (an increase of 5.3% over FY 2011 spending) and $20.1 billion in FY 2013 (an increase of
    4.0% over FY 2012 recommendations). Figure 1a, on page 2, displays the total GRF budget by major
    functional area, while Figure 1b displays the state-only GRF budget by major functional area”

    Overall spending is decreasing, but the feds are pulling back their share, so the amount spent by the state is increasing a little.

    Odd how you forgot to mention that…

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