State of the State '14

State of the State '14

Civic Commons ideastream
on Feb 24, 2014

Following the State of the State address, we will be holding an online forum with reporters and political figures all day Tuesday, February 25, to discuss the topics outlined in Government Kasich's address. Joining us will be:

Aaron Harris - Libertarian Party of Ohio

Don Shrader - Constitution Party of Ohio

David Ellison and Bob Fitrakis - Green Party of Ohio

Chris Schrimpf - Communications Director for the Ohio Republican Party

Brittany Williams - Cuyahoga County GOP

Joseph Mismas - Plunderbund

Nick Mascari - Third Base Politics

Jill Miller Zimon - Candidate for House District 12

Alicia Reece - Ohio House member

Eric Sandy - Cleveland Scene

Randall Lipstraw - Former Port Clinton City Councilman and Community Activist

Casey R. Kozlowski - Former State Representative & Candidate for Ashtabula County Commissioner

 

For a transcript of the State of the State address, click here, and for an on-air discussion of the speech, check out the Sound of Ideas!  

Conversation Starter

What were the most important themes in Governor Kasich's State of the State address? Do you think there were any surprises?  

Moderators (1)

Participants (12) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-09-20T21:41:59+00:00
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Recent Activity

Peter Pattakos
on Apr 18, 2014
"Late to the party here but this is excellent. Thank you, Mr. Ellison."
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014
"Again, Chris, please explain how an alleged $8 billion shortfall was fixed by INCREASING state..."
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014
"The secrecy around JobsOhio and the bill Jill is talking about are disturbing. Putting JobsOhio —..."
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014
"i'm still baffled how Kasich can go on talking about this fictional $8 billion hole in the state..."
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014
"While I think reviving robust high school trade programs is a good idea in general, I cringe at..."
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014
"Chris, maybe most- not all — Ohioans can agree that those items are important — although there..."
Gale Joy
on Feb 25, 2014
"First, I will state that nothing in Governor Kasich’s State of the State talk last night was a..."
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014
"Here's a first rough draft: The state of our state is unavoidably connected to the state of our..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014
"Thanks to everyone who participated today!  This discussion is officially over, but the forum..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014
"So from your perspective, if you were going to give a State of the State speech, what would it..."
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014
"Fortunately, he did not lie about his environmentalism or his position regarding USEC or Davis..."
Chris Schrimpf
on Feb 25, 2014
"He focused on job creation, education, tax relief, and worker training.  Those are items that all..."
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014
"From the point of view of those in the audience, it seems he got most everything right, and he..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014
"There has been a lot of criticism of Kasich's speech so far - was there anything that he got..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014
"Einstein himself didn't speak until he was four, apparently..."
Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014
"Well of course that's how the tax cut has to work, Piet.  Otherwise, as the Governor pointed out..."
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014
"It's naive to believe politicians who say they want to lower taxes in order to benefit common..."
Piet van Lier
on Feb 25, 2014
"We should pay attention to Gov. Kasich's desire to keep cutting individual income taxes. It's..."
Piet van Lier
on Feb 25, 2014
"Among issues to consider when looking at education funding in Ohio are increased dollars flowing..."
Randall Lipstraw
on Feb 25, 2014
"I'm with Piet van Lier. The tax cuts shift the burden on the middle, working class. Even the tax..."
Piet van Lier
on Feb 25, 2014
"Our key findings box was created for a report we released last April. It's worth noting that..."
Piet van Lier
on Feb 25, 2014
"From June 2005, when Ohio's tax-cut phase-in began, to March 2013, Ohio lost 4.4 percent of its..."
Aaron Harris
on Feb 25, 2014
"I think this thread is indicative of what you get when you look at politics as a horse race. How..."
Daryl Davis
on Feb 25, 2014
"Good question Andrew, Anyone who has attended a 50 year class reunion can relate examples of..."
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014
"Kasich referred to the occupations of Accounting, Teaching and Veterinarians as those that would..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Feb 25, 2014
"Andrew - the legislature renamed the public profits that the liquor bureau receives, which are..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Feb 25, 2014
"Joseph - I agree with you. I think other good numbers to start with have to do with the actual..."
Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014
"It's an interesting move politically, at least.  The Governor has talked a lot about workforce..."
Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014
"Every news outlet in the state has reported a similar set of numbers, Jill. They may vary..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014
"But isn't the question a bit different than funding trade programs?  Or is there a general..."
Gale Joy
on Feb 25, 2014 - 9:45 pm

First, I will state that nothing in Governor Kasich’s State of the State talk last night was a surprise, with maybe the exception of the Courage Medals to the three women.  While I disdain these kind of opportunistic public exhibitions, whether at the state level or during a President’s State of the Union message, I understand that this is part of today’s politics. 

With respect to the Governor’s State of the State address last night, I agree with much of what Charlie Earl wrote, particularly with respect to the Governor’s “end run” to enact Medicaid Expansion and his “Jobs Ohio” program.  With respect to Jobs Ohio, a recent family experience with a couple of my daughters attempting to initiate a home-based business in Ohio made them ready to move to another state, and ultimately caused them to set aside that business (at least for the time being) even though it was initially growing and had a prospect for future expansion to give others an opportunity to participate and earn additional income. 

I also agree with Mr. Earl’s assessment that, “our elected representatives choose to play along with an over-reaching and ineffective federal monster rather than resist its unconstitutional and anti-individual liberty measures that restrict our freedom to grow and prosper. Ohio’s representatives and our state constitutional officers were elected to serve the citizens of our state, not to enable and advance a huge expansion of the federal government.” 

While not addressed in his State of the State talk, I would remind voters that Mr. Kasich was all too eager to sign SB 193 in the dead of night, a bill drafted at the last hour and passed using the “emergency” clause to get it through the Legislature in a timely fashion to impact the 2014 election.  That bill was designed to eliminate third parties from the ballot and thereby dissolve and disable Mr. Earl’s opportunity to run for Governor as a third party candidate.  SB 193 was affectionately labeled the “John Kasich Assured Reelection Bill” as it would have taken Mr. Earl out of the campaign, thus “robbing” Kasich of his margin of victory and thereby allowing Mr. Fitzgerald the opportunity to defeat Kasich.  Whether or not Mr. Earl would pull only voters from Mr. Kasich or equally take voters from both major parties as well as encourage independents who would not otherwise vote for either major party candidate is argumentative at best at this point.  While a federal judge issued an injunction against SB 193 for 2014, subsequently upheld by an Appeals Court, it is still up in the air whether or not the courts will strike it down permanently before the 2016 elections and beyond. 

As to what was addressed by Governor Kasich in his State of the State talk, I applaud Mr. Kasich and his administration for what tax reductions they have initiated and the recreation of a positive balance in the state financial condition.  However, what concerns me is that the bulk of the Governor’s speech was all about what he and his administration were going to do for everyone in the state during his next four years.  It was the essence of big government akin to what the current President is doing in Washington.  To me, it looked like Obama-lite.  I have said the same thing in the past about Kasich’s school funding initiative which was essentially designed to take from the rich schools and give to the poor ones, an income redistribution plan that should make our current President proud except for scope and size.  But I guess income redistribution is appropriate, even from a Republican, if it is for the children of the state.  And now, according to last night’s talk, the Governor intends to do even more for our education system.  What we will not do is invoke the idea of personal responsibility, allow them to fail, and suffer the consequences thereby.  And when they do ultimately fail, we blame the system, particularly the school system and the educators for their failure, not the individual. 

Certainly it is popular with many to hear all that the Government is going to do for them, to protect them from ruin, to provide for their every need, to take from those who can afford it and give to those in need.  As the old saying goes, “He who buys votes with his own money is considered a crook, but he who buys them with other people’s money is considered a great politician.”  Certainly I was dismayed to hear all that the Governor and his administration was going to do for us in the coming years.  Remember the rather infamous quotation, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” 

Ohio has the potential to once again be a great place to live and work.  But to realize that potential, the people of Ohio need to be set free from the burdens of centralized government and centralized control over every aspect of their lives as it is today.  Rather than hearing all that he and his big-government administration are going to do for us to ensure our success, I would much prefer the Governor re-invoke the Declaration of Independence for our state, “That we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  It is not our Governments’ duty to ensure our happiness; it is their duty to ensure that we have equal opportunities in Liberty to pursue and construct our own happiness, being allowed to keep the proceeds of our ingenuity and appropriate endeavors, respecting one another as brothers in all we do.  Freedom to pursue our dreams unencumbered by the burdensome constraints of a centralized government that wants to give us everything is what can regenerate our economic engines and thereby provide the people of Ohio with renewed prosperity and happiness and make us one the best states in the nation in which to live and work. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
From the Moderator: Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014 - 5:10 pm

Thanks to everyone who participated today!  This discussion is officially over, but the forum will still be open for more comments, so feel free to weigh in if you didn't get a chance to.  

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014 - 4:34 pm

So from your perspective, if you were going to give a State of the State speech, what would it say?  Is the state of our state strong?  (Broad outlines only, you don't need a 15-page transcript!)

 

Responses(2)

David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014

Here's a first rough draft:

The state of our state is unavoidably connected to the state of our country and the world.  All around us we are faced with environmental degradation, the effects of climate change, poverty, unemployment and violence.  The surveillance of our every action is becoming common and almost taken for granted.  In rare instances, populations are rising up to demand accountability from their leaders and effective means to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.  In Ohio, the legislature has passed laws restricting access to the ballot and the right to participate in free elections without undue burdens and obstacles.  In Washington, the legislature and Supreme Court have failed to restrict the definition of personhood to living beings, instead conveying the rights and benefits reserved for "we the people" onto the zombie-like automatons of sociopathic corporations.  Our leaders have failed to limit the influence and power of the very wealthy and instead have instituted policies that further concentrate their wealth and influence over all of us.

Our inherited public infrastructure is failing faster than we can repair it, and financial resources that might make our economy stronger are being drained away by out-of-state institutions and individuals.  Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are out of work and are being forced to relocate or accept public assistance to survive.  Our prison system is overflowing with the results of a failed educational, economic and healthcare system.

Our collective financial future is at stake.  We have within our power to take responsibility for that future and make it what we know it can be.  There can be an Ohio where we work together to heal our cities and countryside, where the ravages of industry and energy extraction are remediated and the natural world are invited back to restore a healthier ecosystem, where children have enough to eat and the opportunities that come with universal access to pre-kindergarten programs.  There can be an Ohio where we allow the nuturing of our young by their parents because their parents are able to make a living wage at meaningful work and can afford to spend the time to raise their children responsibly.  We can create an Ohio where school children are helped to learn how to think and solve problems, including how they can live productive lives and participate in an active civic life.  Access to public education can become a right, without the need to restrict it to those with money or those willing to become slaves to the debt required to acquire it.  Access to education in Ohio can become free to those who seek it.

If we are to build this alternative Ohio, we will need to take responsibility for our collective financial future.  As long as we leave this to others, and especially to the global financial brokers and gamblers who currently bank our wealth, we will not be able to even begin to shape that different Ohio.  We need a state bank, dedicated to helping us finance the projects that will lead to a sustainable, ecological future.  One where we are not dependent upon derivatives, hedgefunds and other investment vehicles that are hardly better than poker chips.  The current rainy-day fund could easily fund that state bank, which could begin to see dividends immediately in the grounded, focused investment in Ohio's people and energy efficient and sustainably-built infrastructure.  Far from centralized state or corporate planning, Ohio's citizens,  business leaders, municipalities and their regional associations would develop consensus-based plans, not unlike those of the Marshall Plan, designed to leverage our own collective wealth to make our state a cleaner, more efficient, more stable and more sustainable place.  Nonsensical ideas like wind turbines in the midst of pack ice on the Great Lakes can be set aside for practical, pragmatic and sensible solutions to the questions of a wind energy market, and the giant multinational corporations like Bechtel, GE and Siemens, which have misled efforts to establish a regional wind industry will not be allowed to skew the public interest.  The subsidy of national professional sports franchises can be adjusted to an appropriate level based on actual cost/benefit analysis and those subsidies, if they exist, can be funded in a progressive manner that doesn't require municipal fiscal irresponsibility or  regressive taxation of the poor.  The unevenness of economic cycles will be lesssened by the construction of a diversified, self-reliant network of producers, markets and consumers that exist in a collaborative, cooperative and consciously interdependent way.

We face seemingly insurmountable obstacles climbing the mountain of Governor Kasich's dreams.  The mountains of Ohio's problems aren't so high, nor so insurmountable that Ohioan's can't solve them if they work in a conscious, intentional way.  Leaving our problems to the senseless forces of an unbridled and inhumane 'free market' will not solve them. Eviscerating the state budget by reducing taxes to the bare minimum will not solve them. The evidence is abundant that the approaches of the past leave people unemployed and uneducated, imprisoned, in debt.  We can create an Ohio where people have meaningful work at wages that allow them to live in relative comfort, access to free education if they seek it, and where business opportunities to fulfill the needs of Ohioans and others around the world abound, because of an honest, trustworthy and efficient, clean and collectively responsible governmental regulatory structure and the educated and employed people who can help those businesses grow.

 
Peter Pattakos
on Apr 18, 2014

Late to the party here but this is excellent. Thank you, Mr. Ellison.

 
Expand This Thread
Andrew Samtoy
From the Moderator: Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014 - 3:23 pm

There has been a lot of criticism of Kasich's speech so far - was there anything that he got absolutely right?  

 

Responses(4)

David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014

From the point of view of those in the audience, it seems he got most everything right, and he is, afterall, elected.  Might makes right in the new world order, doesn't it?

He read his speech convincingly.  He used plenty of platitudes and sound barks.  He got lots of applause by packing the auditorium with a friendly audience.  He didn't reserve an entire seating section in the name of his friends and then keep it empty...

 
Chris Schrimpf
on Feb 25, 2014

He focused on job creation, education, tax relief, and worker training.  Those are items that all Ohioans should agree on.

 
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014

Fortunately, he did not lie about his environmentalism or his position regarding USEC or Davis Besse or Perry.  By not mentioning these Ohio problems, he was able to avoid a quagmire - this was good for him.

 
Anastasia Pantsios
on Feb 26, 2014

Chris, maybe most- not all — Ohioans can agree that those items are important — although there are serious disagreements about how to go about them.

For instance, on so-called "tax relief," i am in disagreement with Kasich on cutting the state income tax, which is one of the smaller taxes most average working people pay. If you cut this income steam to the state, then you must continue to cut vital local services and public school funding, which has been a steady theme of Kasich's administration. Then local income taxes, sales taxes, fees and especially property taxes go up, surpassing what the average person pays in state income taxes. Since Kasich has been governor, my property taxes have gone up by an amount double the largest amount of state income tax I have ever paid. So even if the state income tax was cut to zero, it wouldn't help me.

 
Expand This Thread
Piet van Lier
on Feb 25, 2014 - 1:51 pm

We should pay attention to Gov. Kasich's desire to keep cutting individual income taxes. It's clear that Ohio tax cuts since 2005 have not helped our economy. I referenced our Aprill 2013 report on this elsewhere in this conversation. Another report that addresses the lack of a connection between tax rates and economic growth was put out by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4094

In general, Ohio's tax cuts have benefited the wealthy, and current proposals being floated will continue to do so, according to the analysis done for us by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. We created the attached graphic to show the impact of the latest idea to cut taxes in Ohio. Also relevant in this context is that Ohio got rid of the estate tax, which was applied to only 7 percent of the weathiest estates in Ohio, but has taken significant revenue from municipalities across the state. http://www.policymattersohio.org/why-the-estate-tax-is-good-for-ohio

 
Pizzafinalfb

Responses(2)

David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014

It's naive to believe politicians who say they want to lower taxes in order to benefit common people.  The ONLY rational explanation for their actions is that their intention is to defund government so that it is incapable of regulating corporate interests. The strategy is an effective one because it plays to people's selfish interests.   The results are actually more expensive costs of living for the poor and middle class because of fewer, lower paying jobs, a degraded environment, more dangerous working conditions, and fewer, more costly communitarian benefits (public schools and services, healthcare, etc.) Of course all of this goes hand-in-hand with the concentration of wealth and obscene corporate profits.

 
Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014

Well of course that's how the tax cut has to work, Piet.  Otherwise, as the Governor pointed out last night in one of his unscripted comments, all the rich people would move to Florida. :)

In all seriousness, proposing tax cuts in an election year isn't about fiscal policy and/or ideological beliefs; it's about racking up good headlines for the upcoming onslaught of political advertisements.

And it isn't the exclusive domain of either party.  Governor Strickland gladly took credit for income tax cuts that occured on his watch even though they were passed under Taft and largely opposed by legislators from his own party.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Andrew Samtoy
From the Moderator: Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014 - 11:52 am

One of the topics Kasich hit last night was trade schools (among other education topics).  He urged the state to embrace trade schools starting in seventh grade, both as a way to train future workers and a spur to practical eduation (show kids why math, language, science, etc. is practically important and they will be more likely to want to learn about it).  

On the one hand, it makes sense - if kids want to be mechanics, or doctors, or own a construction company, they might as well get exposure to these tracks and learn about what is required.  On the other, might this be too much for kids to process, and do we want 12-year-olds in seventh grade putting themselves on a life path that might not be what they want to do at 22?  

 

Responses(7)

Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014

Honestly, funding trade programs seems like a fine idea.  But here's a better idea:  let's fund full-day kindergarten for every Ohio child.  Better yet, let's fund universal pre-K.

 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014

But isn't the question a bit different than funding trade programs?  Or is there a general concensus that this is something worth going after?  

(I'm consciously not addressing funding universal pre-K, as it is a different idea; someone else can pick that up if they want!) 

 
Plunderbund
on Feb 25, 2014

It's an interesting move politically, at least.  The Governor has talked a lot about workforce training over the years, and this generally plays into his "jobs" message at that level.

Earlier State of the State speeches touched on the idea of working with businesses to see what kind of workers they need, and then supporting programs to help get those workers trained. 

It will be interesting to see what types of trade programs this initiative will support, and if they can tie it into those earlier proposed initiatives.

 
David Ellison
on Feb 25, 2014

Kasich referred to the occupations of Accounting, Teaching and Veterinarians as those that would be possible through vocational training - after that, he threw in owning a construction company.  The last time I checked, each of these fields required somewhat more than a vocational education.

It  seems to me that a worthwhile Industrial arts, home economics and financial literacy curriculum in elementary and secondary public schools would do a lot to help young people develop the skills they need to survive.  Of course critical thinking and problem solving would be part of these courses... skills essential to survival, but that's not what Kasich promised or what he proposed.  He proposed granting credit to veterans for their training in the military and he proposed what sounded like an on-the-job training program for autobody workers.  He proposed that vocational skills "prepared kids for college" and begged us to "work with me on this, will ya?"

 
Daryl Davis
on Feb 25, 2014

Good question Andrew, Anyone who has attended a 50 year class reunion can relate examples of people who were written off as hopeless as children but who surprised everyone with their success as business owners and innovators. If we had shuttled them off to an early abandonment of traditional education I don't believe they could have seen the scope of opprtunities let alone their own potential. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Feb 25, 2014

Einstein himself didn't speak until he was four, apparently...