OK, I did survive it. Gov. Kasich's hour-long lecture on Tax Cuts 101, I mean, in his State of the State address to an audience of more than a thousand mostly white guys in black suits in Wilmington. I hung around to watch the live transmission on TV because that's what I do in my never-spare time. The follow-up of the PBS documentary The Italians made viewing worthwhile again.
About the speech: with the governor's defiantly protruding lower lip pointed at the seated following, he repeatedly rambled through his version of the evils of taxation. And when he mentioned that Ohio businesses are moving to a friendly economic climate in Florida, I wondered whether he couldn't solve the problem by lining I-71 with palm trees.
The crowd was courteous with muted applause and nobody shouting,"You lie!"
He said nothing about the environment, climate change, and other current matters that impact so many people's lives. But he defended consumption (sales) taxes, an idea that has been dismissed widely since he was a blue-collar kid as the most regressive of taxes.
He boasted that his tax reforms would be a model for the country.And he declared his support of charter schools, a billion-dollar industry that is siphoning taxpayer money from public schools, and isn't working. He pleadingly glanced often at a couple of stone-faced gremlins seated nearby - Ohio Sen. President Keith Faber and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, both hard-core conservatives from southwest Ohio districts that for all that I know extend farther west to below Evansville. Ind.
He desperately needs their help in the legislature and there's a good chance he won't get it. Rosenberger is but 33 years of age and hails from Clarksville (Pop 548), collects toy soldiers and has soaring support from the gun, pro-life and other right-wing lobbies. Faber is a fellow from Celina (pop. 10,400) which tells you that northern Ohio won't have a snicker of a chance in this legislative session.
But wait: "We're on the move! We're rising! Creating jobs! Nobody is left out!" Kasich asserted. Don't you wish that as the governor that lags so many others in job creation would give the Obama Administration a little credit for an economic recovery that has slowly but surely turned the nation - and Ohio - around?
Wasn't he the same guy who opposed the stimulus that saved a mountain of jobs but later said he was glad it worked out?
I've left out a lot of numbers that desperately arrived from the governor's podium with the authority of someone who once was an advisor to a Wall Street firm that went belly-up-down-and sideways.
It might have helped if Kasich had brought along Joe the Plumber.