In a previous entry on Fire Dog Lake, I gave Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio a 1-0 lead over Democratic President Barack Obama on issues since the 2012 election because the Kasich Administration opposed a proposal by Obama's Department of Agriculture to cut Food Stamp benefits for many recipients by up to 50%:
Now Kasich has out-progressived Obama again, not once, but twice, in just a couple of days. First, in the wake of Republican Governor Snyder's pushing Michigan over the economic justice cliff into the ranks of so-called "Right to Work" states, Kasich was asked at a press conference if he had any plans to do the same in Ohio.
Turns out he doesn't. He basically said he had better things to do when he said,
I have an agenda that I think is going to benefit the state of Ohio. We’re doing very well vis-a-vis the rest of the country now, and I think if we continue to pursue the agenda I have and the legislature has, I think we’ll continue to be successful.
For the full article in the Columbus Dispatch, go here:
That was on Tuesday, Then today, Kasich announced his plans for the Ohio Turnpike. When he first ran for election in 2010, one of his platforms was to privatize the turnpike like Indiana did. It turned out, however, that Indiana actually lost money by doing that due to the subsidies the state provided to the private toll road operator after its initial cash bonanza. To make matters worse, tolls skyrocketed as quickly as maintenance plummeted.
Kasich heeded the warnings and announced that, instead of privatizing the turnpike, he would use revenue from it to finance bonds that would be used maintain and improve roads throughout the state. No government employees will be laid off, and the Ohio Department of Transportation will continue to run and maintain it. Some fares will rise at the pace of inflation, but that's it. For the full story, I go to the Toledo Blade:
No doubt the free marketeers and privatization advocates and other vulture capitalists will be appalled. I look forward to hearing the howls of dismay from the Chamber of Commerce and maybe even the Teabaggers over these two decisions.
The fact is that Kasich has been acting more and more like an Eisenhower Republican, which most of the current Republicans would probably call "socialist," ever since he got spanked by the voters who rejected his attempt to strip public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights. He refused to bring that issue up again, and proposed a new tax on oil and gas development. That last went nowhere in the Republican state legislature, but the union-busting efforts went the same way.
Obama, OTOH, has accomplished exactly nothing that could be called progressive since his re-election. To be fair, I'll give him a chance. He'll get a point for sticking to his guns on letting the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% expire, and another each if he refuses to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Social Security.
See how nice I am? I'm actually giving Obama the chance to overcome Kasich's lead on my scorecard. But given how positively fascistic Obama's actual accomplishments have been, I'll be amazed if he gets more than a single point. We shall see.