John Kasich: To win in November, focus on smaller and local

Posted By on July 19, 2010

Candidate for governor John Kasich would be smart to focus his campaign on what is impacting Ohio residents — focus on “smaller and local” kasichtaylor2010needs: Jobs, Economy & Taxes.

As the Tip O’Neill saying goes, “all politics is local.”

There isn’t anything quite as local as a paycheck and a job … whether one is fortunate to be fully employed, unemployed or just underemployed due to economic circumstances. Our economic situation overshadows everything. First and foremost, we need jobs, ones that grow the economy. These are jobs that are created when the private sector is freed from overly burdensome regulation and taxes. If government is going to get involved at all, it should only be to remove disincentives not to locate or expand here. The current trend of adding taxpayer funded public jobs is putting a costly demand on companies and their workers and creating reasons (higher taxes) not to be in Ohio. As government expands, those in the private sector are taxed in order to pay for salaries and benefits of public sector workers (not to mention paying for those not working). It’s a downhill slide that needs to stop.

The current administration’s stimulus program expands public sector employment and the size of government. This bloating demands more from taxpayers and private industry and strips any incentive for new businesses to start or existing ones to expand. For Ohio to succeed, we need to create the best business environment … meaning reducing the size of our state government and stopping the taxpayer funded expansion we’ve seen over the past few years (and most likely longer – not all blame goes to the Strickland administration)

It is difficult for me to fathom stimulating jobs by adding more government? It isn’t working and where it may offer a short term ‘blip’ in employment data, it only saddles the public sector with more taxpayer funded jobs and entitlement programs for years to come. States that over-regulate and continue to raise taxes will flounder in the coming years … or at minimum will stagnate compared to those embracing lower taxes, fewer centrally controlled services and smaller government.

When money is tight and citizens have time to sulk and are less likely to want more taken from their paychecks, especially if they see what is being taken as squandered by politicians; it festers like an open sore and make close communities adversarial with each other. After voters in my community expressed frustration over a costly school levy in May, our school district “hired a firm for about $18,500 to conduct a survey of voters, asking about the failed May levy and the potential support for a November levy.” (See recent Pulse Journal article) Perhaps it is just me, but I could have saved them the money by referencing the 60% against/40% for election results? Cost containment folks.

The distaste for those elected to Washington DC is spilling over local and those on a spending binge are sure to suffer the wrath of the voters … so as long as the majority are still privately employed. As tax receipts wane and property values fall, those elected to keep services running will do what they always do … make a show of trimming the fat while they ask for more tax dollars. I’ve noticed the trend has been for public services and schools to put levies on local ballets – three request on our last ballot. If ‘no’ vote is the outcome, just put it on again … and in some cases again and again. By the way, do we really need this many employed in our schools? (Article link for graph below)

Coulson-Cato-PS-Enroll-Employ-2010-s2

I recognize the challenges, but have difficulty in understanding the logic of continuing to expect more when homeowners are struggling to keep their heads above water and business face the real probability that the increased cost will force them to close their doors or sent them elsewhere.  I’m not alone in the struggle to vote to increase taxes during a down economy. I’ve seen our local school board makes some difficult cuts (just as most companies have), and I think putting a large request back on the ballot six months after one was turned down is to asking too much. For our area, this is especially hard since a significant portion of our local tax is siphoned away by the state to fund school districts declared less affluent. It creates yet another disincentive to support a school levy and choose an  increase in property tax;  most residents want to take care of our community’s needs – but the property tax structure needs to change. Take note Mr. Kasich … and consider keeping “politics even more local.”

Comments

  • To add to the “local” flavor of this post, the news confirmed what folks in my area will be asked to vote on again in November. This time we are told that “a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining contract” has been reached, but that “No details will be released on the agreement until it is ratified by the LEA and the Board of Education. with the union” (this can’t be good)

    I suspect we are not alone seeing levies from law enforcement to libraries showing up on local ballots, although none seem to compare in size or frustration than those coming from school districts. Here’s our latest …

    Updated 9:41 AM Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    LIBERTY TWP. — Lakota has finalized its ballot issue, placing an emergency levy before voters in November.

    Voters will be asked to approve 7.9 mills to generate about $21.75 million per year for 10 years, when it expires.

    The cost per $100,000 home valuation will be $242, according to the certification from the auditor’s office.

    Lakota is facing an expected negative cash balance of $10 million in 2012, and the funding received from this levy would maintain basic classroom instruction for the 18,500 students who attend 22 Lakota schools.

    The district’s last attempt at an incremental levy that would have raised an additional 11.8 mills by 2013 was defeated by 62 percent of voters May 4.

    http://is.gd/dzrRr

  • Robert Dowd

    It is about time to start comparing public-sector employees and those in our country who are ask to pay for them AND their benefits. In terms of job security and the unsustainable retirement plans and health benefits, things have got to change. If we’re going to successfully support necessities in this country, the costs need to be kept in check. Rich makes a perfect point with the graph showing the number of students and number of education employees … it is beyond explaination. In my company, we do more with less than ever before … why can’t school districts, cities, states and the federal government do the same? I’m voting NO on incrasing any taxes until public employees return to a fair wage and pensions and their managers are more efficient in hiring only what is needed to get the job done.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.