The landslide loss of Issue 2 this month prompted glee from Ohio leftists, whose contribution to the state in the past year has been to smear and sue conservatives at every turn. The Ohio Democratic Party, the unions, and Progressive fellow-travelers want desperately to believe their $30 million anti-reform campaign killed Governor Kasich’s entire agenda so they can resume demanding tax hikes.
As indicated by the bigger landslide passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment and the failure of 78% of all new tax levies, Issue 2 numbers don’t tell the whole story. The party of limitless government is free to count their chickens… but counting is hardly the Democrats’ trademark.
Although Governor Kasich is frank about the need for public union reform, he has not blamed Ohio’s problems on public workers. Again and again, Kasich portrayed Senate Bill 5 as one piece of the puzzle – a tool to enable local officials to deal with the cuts necessary for a balanced state budget. For proof, just look at the governor’s YouTube channel: Kasich made this case during a Feburary event, a February Fox News segment, a March presser, an April 700WLW appearance, and on dozens of other occasions in the past 10 months.
As I wrote back in January:
Crippling the ability of public unions to hold Ohio taxpayers hostage will not solve Ohio’s budget crisis – and, though you wouldn’t know it from listening to his detractors, Governor-elect Kasich has been clear about that. Nonetheless, it’s an important step to fiscal sanity. Faster, please… there’s plenty more to do.
Political opponents use Kasich’s landmark budget as a foil for their caring (and idiotically unaffordable) policies, but this isn’t the governor’s first budgetary rodeo. During his time in Congress, Kasich wrote a deficit-cutting bill that garnered only 30 votes and then a bipartisan plan that narrowly failed before shepherding a balanced budget as House Budget Chairman in 1997. He didn’t quit then, and we shouldn’t expect him to now – regardless of how Progressives slam Kasich’s woefully unicorn-deficient agenda.
If you’re keeping score at home, here are a few things the Ohio Democratic Party has failed to block:
- A budget balanced without raising taxes
- Repeal of the death tax
- Support for and simplified regulation of shared local services
- Reform to “multiple-prime” and “prevailing wage” laws for construction projects
- Development of a teacher evaluation system
A loss for Ohio is a loss for Governor Kasich, and Issue 2 was certainly a loss for Ohio. With a little luck, voters will realize government unionization is inherently wrong and always expensive. With a little more, the General Assembly will continue doing their jobs in the face of opponents who get rich misinforming their members!
Cross-posted at Big Government, where you can laugh at my typing “in” in place of “is” in the next-to-last sentence.