President Barack Obama does have a knack of giving advice to others, because…well, he knows better, right?
In an interview with Romona Robinson of WKYC TV, Cleveland’s NBC affiliate, Mr. Obama stated that he strongly disapproves of new laws restricting public employee unions in Ohio and Wisconsin. He said states should not use the financial crisis as an excuse to erode bargaining rights.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio responded to Obama’s comments testily.
“The president of the United States has, I think, a $13 trillion debt. Why doesn’t he do his job?” Kasich said. “When he gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, maybe he can have an opinion on what’s going on in Ohio.”
Lets look at some facts, shall we? Kasich came into office facing a $8 billion shortfall left by his Democratic predecessor. Kasich’s budget would slash that deficit in one year, without the aid of tax increases.
“We can’t tax our way to prosperity, but we can’t cut our way either,” said Kasich in a meeting last month.
And in that line, Kasich has also looked to cut the size of Ohio’s bloated government. The governor said he found savings not only in the $26 billion in the state’s general revenue fund, but also in the special accounts that are usually dedicated to specific needs. Altogether, the state funds total $52 billion. This includes reform in local city expenditures, education spending, and Medicaid.
Now, one can argue with Kasich’s plan. I don’t at all…Kasich balanced the needs of government services in the state of Ohio against the economic realities the state faces, and came out with a reasonable solution.
Of course, Obama’s arrogance as usual makes him think he knows better. Like Kasich has stated, Obama would have more credibility if he could balance his own balance sheet, before lecturing others on the topic.
Obama’s one comment that made me laugh? “Whether it’s Wisconsin or what we’re seeing in Ohio, I strongly disapprove.”
Well, maybe he should look to his own party’s actions in the State of Massachusetts, not to mention his close friend Deval Patrick, Massachusetts’ Governor.
In a 111-to-42 vote in the State House, Democrats followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.
Democrat House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said the House measure would save $100 million for cities and towns in the upcoming budget year, helping them avoid layoffs and reductions in services. He called his plan one of the most significant reforms the state can adopt to help control escalating health care costs.
Gov. Patrick had similar changes proposed in his budget, although the restrictions on collective bargaining would be less severe.
In total, what we are seeing are states, who cannot print more money, cannot borrow deficit spend, and cannot tax the way the federal government can coming up with solutions that fit them. This has occurred not only in Republican led states like Wisconsin and Ohio, but in Democrat states like New York, California, and now Massachusetts. These are common sense solutions to difficult problems.
The real problem is the lack of common sense now existing in the Oval Office.