I applaud Ohio Governor John Kasich's stick-to-it-ness in implementing the Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act despite efforts by state Republicans to stop him from doing so. It is the right thing to do.....and Kasich has figured out a way to do it.
This NY Times piece explains the steps Kasich took to implement Medicaid expansion in the Buckeye state.
What is extra-special, however, is the news that many Ohio Republicans are not pleased with their fellow Governor. It seems that the far-right Ohio group, the Buckeye Institute, will sue Kasich over the way the Governor sidestepped a stubborn GOP state legislature to implement Medicaid expansion per the ACA.
Ohio's political struggle to accept Medicaid expansion mirrors the struggle in Washington by House and Senate Teas to derail or destroy Obamacare. As we've witnessed since the national GOP cave-in last week on the debt limit and the continuing resolution, Republicans have taken to fighting each other. So, too, now Republicans in Ohio. Read the NY Times piece for a full explanation.
But what I did want to mention about this is the "thinking" of an Ohio group labeling themselves the Buckeye Institute.
Democratic Governor Strickland had the bad fortune of inheriting the Bush Depression fallout during the last 2 years of his tenure. State revenues plummeted and Ohio was left with an $8 billion deficit. Ohio voters, fueled by Tea rage, replaced Strickland with Kasich. Kasich then took an axe to public school and community funding. For example: The Reverend's local school district had $1.6 million in yearly state funds slashed in Kasich's slash-a-thon....the exact amount the school district is now trying to raise in a local levy increase.
Proving, once again, that when Republicans legislate, the shite will roll downhill onto the little people while rich Ohioans, in this case, get a tax cut.
But look at what the Buckeye Institute wanted Kasich to do after he first took office.....
Keep in mind that Governor Kasich’s budget did not cut taxes in an amount equal to the amount taken from local governments.
While Kasich was regressively placing burdens on local school districts and local communities to balance the state budget, the people who are now going to sue the Governor for expanding Medicaid complained that taxes on the rich in Ohio were not slashed enough.
Why was this a concern of the Buckeye Institute conservatives?
As a result, our profound concern is that the net impact of his budget on Ohio will be an increase in Ohio’s state and local tax burden.
Yes, I'm treating what the Buckeye Institute says seriously....no doubt a mistake....but WTF? School districts and communities starved of state funds by Kasich's budget balancing slasher routine ABSOLUTELY were forced to raise local taxes to keep schools and other vital public services operating.
Once the deep local cuts were made....there was never any doubt that local communities and school districts.....if they wanted to keep educating Ohio's children....would have to raise more revenue. However, the Buckeye Institute, a proponent of privatizing all things, didn't really concern themselves about degraded public schools and the degraded educations Ohio's kids would receive by Freddy Kreugering state allotments to local schools. Oh, no.....according to the braintrust at Buckeye Institute....it is all about the private sector.....
Should this concern materialize, Ohio’s tax ranking will again rank among the worst, thereby undermining any private sector recovery.
Buckeye Institute folks are devout followers of the Supply-side Voodoo. When one is under the spell of the Voodoo, all economic problems are solved by cutting taxes on the rich, the alleged "job-creators."
Naturally, this is fairy dust snorting stuff.....in that it gets the rich high at the thought of lower taxes....but in real life lower taxes on the rich do not result in a rosy or robust economic recovery. And especially not in our current sluggish recovery marked by low consumer demand.
So, once again for the uninitiated.....lower taxes on the wealthy will do nothing to increase consumer demand. It isn't the rich who need more money to spend...it's the rest of us. Consumers with cash or credit in hand.....are our nation's, our state's, job creators. That is always the case.
The positive proof is seen in the historically deep tax cuts on our nation's wealthiest during the Bush administration, particularly the egregious capital gains tax rate cut. If lower tax rates on "private sector" owners actually resulted in economic growth and robust new hiring.....then unemployment during Bush and after should have approached zero. Instead, during the period from 2001-2009, ZERO net jobs were created.
The Buckeye Institute doesn't really hate poor working Ohioans who can't afford health coverage. Like a good number of conservatives today...they are simply indifferent towards the poors. What these folks are passionate about, however, is helping Ohio's rich few get richer on the backs of the rest of us.
It's important for the rest of us to stop that from happening.
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