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.