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Kasich: Doubling Down On Trickle-Down

By The Reverend Published: February 25, 2014

How has Ohio been doing since Republican John Kasich took over in Columbus?

....in 2013, Ohio’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent to 7.2 percent — higher than the national rate of 6.6 percent and the highest year-to-year increase in the U.S. Nearly 31,000 people were added to the unemployment rolls.

Ohio added 25,600 jobs for the year — 22nd-most in the country — but Ohio is the seventh-largest state. When job growth is measured as a percentage of the state’s workforce, Ohio ranked 45th in 2013.

Weekly wages might be up in Ohio, but at $769.35, the Ohio average wage is still $58.21 below the national average.

Yet, in his campaign speech last night in Medina...check that....his State of the State speech, Ohio GOP Governor John Kasich had the audacity to say this....

We didn’t raise taxes but instead we cut them—we cut them by $3 billion.

We did it by eliminating the death tax so that if you have a family farm or a family small business, you can pass it on to your kids.

We cut small business taxes by 50 percent so the people who provide jobs to half of our private sector workforce can hire more people.

And we cut income taxes by 10 percent so every Ohioan can take home to their family more of what they earn.

Here we find Kasich bragging about the alleged success of his administration's supply-side agenda in confronting a demand-side state economic problem.

Now think for yourself here. Look again at the Ohio economy's 2013 numbers at the top....and then ask yourself.....why would Gov. Kasich be bragging about those "accomplishments?"

Yes, state government spending was slashed the first year Kasich took office. Towns, cities, communities, schools saw their budgets ripped to shreds in Kasich's balancing the budget act. Most are still reeling today, still trying to find a way to make ends meet in a still-sluggish state and national recovery. And taxes have been reduced in Ohio, the state's estate tax which only affects the state's richest citizens, eliminated altogether.

Those ingredients.....cutting government spending (primarily hurting average and poorer state citizens) WHILE lowering taxes (primarily benefiting the wealthiest)....are the two recipe ingredients that conservatives throw into their voodoo-economics cauldron each and every time they gain political power.

But....just like with every other attempt ever made to institute the voodoo....Kasich's state version of supply-side economics did not pan out as advertised. In 2013, Ohio's unemployment rate increased by 1/2%, 31,000 more Ohio workers are on unemployment and, compared to the other 49 states, Ohio now ranks 45th in job growth as "measured as a percentage of the state's workforce."

Not really much to brag about I would argue, yet, Kasich did just that last night.

No supply side, trickle-downer can give a speech without genuflecting before our state's rich overlords....and Gov. Kasich didn't disappoint last night....

We treat job creators with respect by giving them peers, business experts and specialists in their fields to work with—and we work at their speed, the speed of business, not at the speed of government.

With that, John Kasich touched every conservative economics-cult base. Wealthy business owners will never be "job creators." Consumers are the only authentic job creators. As consumers demand more goods and services, business owners hire more workers to deal with the increased demand. We the People are Ohio's genuine job creators, not We the 1%.

And so...in summarizing Governor Kasich's speech last night....allow me to paraphrase the governor's riff quoted above....

"We eliminated the estate tax altogether, we cut other taxes as well.....BECAUSE the state didn't have enough revenue. We slashed funding to the quick to cities, communities and schools. We cut taxes on small business owners. We did everything we could to service the state's "job creators" (rich Ohioans). And in 2013, two years after we did all those trickle down things....Ohio had the worst unemployment spike of all 50 states."

"And all that informs me, and my GOP state colleagues, that we need more of the same going forward."

Last night, Kasich outlined another round of state income tax cuts, arguing....

....I’m proposing another round of tax cuts that will finally succeed in getting Ohio’s tax rate below 5 percent.

Since 1995, more than $12 billion in income has left Ohio for states with lower income taxes. We’ve got to keep our best and brightest in Ohio to keep fueling our recovery and cutting our taxes helps do it.

Join me in cutting Ohioans’ income taxes once again, in cutting our small business taxes once again—and let’s get Ohio’s tax rate under 5 percent.

There is no evidence that refusing to lower a state's income tax rates drives rich business owners out of the state. Additionally, small business owners will only hire new employees if there is increased demand for their products or services, not because their state income tax rate is fractionally reduced.

John Kasich's "argument" for more supply-side economics has no clothes. Supply side economics is simply a political construct by conservatives to continually excuse giveaways to the already-rich. As Bill Clinton said...."supply-side economics has never worked, anywhere, ever."

For so many reasons, Ohio deserves a better governor. But on the basis of John Kasich's seeming addiction to proven-to-be-unsound economic-cult beliefs alone, Ohio voters should resoundingly show LittleJohn the door come November.

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