Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kasich's state of the state: Full of sound and fury, but....

GOV. KASICH'S State of the State boilerplate address was familiar to all of us who have witnessed the battle cries of chest-pounding politicians who are obligated to speak to a friendly audience. To his delight, he promptly gained traction with the top-heavy Republican legislature by defiantly promising that he would not raise taxes, an always-productive applause line. I had to go back to Calvin Coolidge to track the genetic origin of such sweet-sounding thoughts. (Silent Cal allowed that taxes were "legalized larceny".)

Having successfully established that story line, Kasich, in his usual pugnacious mode, then went on for more than an hour to tell us a lot of things that, unfortunately, we already know: the state is broken; the best and brightest are packing up their brainpower and leaving Planet
Buckeye; we're being screwed big-time by China; your grandmother is better off at home than in a nursing home.

He also slipped into his extemporaneous comments some gratuitous references to John Kennedy and endurable Democrats, so long as the other side went along with his ideas. Oh, the ideas. The few examples that he offered in leading the state in a new direction would hardly dent the huge deficit.

But for all of his avowed tolerance of new ideas, we heard none. You'd think he would have projected one smashing game changer in his long Rhodes-like narrative besides promising us that he would rise above politics in reforming the way we deal with our problems. You remember Jim Rhodes. A half-century ago he rode into power by promising jobs and no new taxes. Since then, the definition of taxes has changed and are now called "fees". But that's another story .

Well, now we must await the Kasich budget that arrives on March 15. He says it will be a
blockbuster to turn the state around. It might even prod pigs to fly. We'll see. Keep your binoculars handy.


Mencken said...

Public employees are supposed to grasp the depth and gravity of the budget crisis and make sacrifices so the state can make ends meet. And I'll accept that if it's done fairly. Which it wasn't.

"No taxation without representation" has found new life with the baggers, but apparently "pay and benefit cuts without representation" is just fine and dandy to the three corner hat crowd.

But more to the point, while public employees are expected to make sacrifices to benefit the citizens, the rest of Ohioans can't be asked to sacrifice as well by paying additional taxes. That's sacrilege.

What's Egregious willing to sacrifice to do his part ?

JLM said...

Granted, there was no substance, all platitudes, cheerleading and hot air, but it was entertaining. For instance, counting how many times he said, "Okay, okay". Also my personal favorite, the "Schmoozing with Bono" segment. I also found his first eleven words quite telling (and chilling)....
"Well, first of all, I don't want to screw this up"

JLM said...

So now Wall Street Johnny is giving $8 million in state money to assist Bob Evans move their corporate HQ from Columbus to New Albany, twenty miles away. The CEO of Bob Evans happens to live in New Albany. 8 mil to save the CEO a half an hour commute.
It isn't about cronyism and taking care of your corporate pals, it's about balancing the budget and JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!
The wife and I used to drop in Bob Evans when we wanted a quick meal out. Now everytime I walk into one, I'll think of Kasich and lose my appetite. I guess we'll be eating in more. Thanks, Johnny. I really used to like their biscuits.

Mencken said...

It takes Bob Evans about a day and a half to generate $8 million, which about the same amount of time it took Kasich to reneg on his promise to fight corporate welfare.

Grumpy Abe said...

As Kasich himself boasted in his Fate of the State address, "You ain't seen nothing yet." To the victors go the biscuits. For the less fortunate, JLM, you must be satisfied to eat cake.

Grumpy Abe said...

Mencken: It's the old bait-and-switch scam that he may have picked up from his Wall Street schooling.