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.