Post-Election Progressive Scorecard Update: Kasich 9, Obama 1

In my last update, Kasich had a 3-0 lead:

 

http://my.firedoglake.com/ohiogringo/2012/12/13/post-election-progressiv...

Congratulations, Obama fans! He finally scored on the Barbarian's tally! He proposed legislation to ban military-style assault rifles, limit the size of magazines, and expand background checks to close the notorious gun show loophole. He might even be serious. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Well done, Mr President. Push hard, and some of this will actually be enacted, even by this Congress, into law. 

Then, today, Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio came out with his proposed budget. He scored with me by proposing the following:

1. A real small business income tax cut. Half of the first $750, 000 of business income, or $375,000 is exempt from the state income tax. As a Socialist, I'm not totally in favor of this, but it is progressive in its way.  It clearly helps out local merchants and start ups, green grocers and farmer's markets and repair shops and bookstores and the like. And it definitely does not give away the store to large corporations. 

2. The state sales tax is lowered from 5.5% to 5%. Sales taxes are inherently regressive. Any reduction is welcome. To make up the revenue, Kasich proposes imposing the sales tax on previously exempt businesses,  including law firms and lobbyists. You gotta love that. 

3. Medicaid expansion. Families making up to 138% of the federal poverty line, or about $32,000 a year for a family of four, will qualify for Medicaid. Contrary to many expectations, especially in the progressive blogosphere, Kasich went for it. Yes, I realize this was part of Obamacare, but that was before the 2012 election. This scorecard is only about what has happened since. 

4. An excise tax on oil and gas companies extracting oil and gas from Ohio lands. It's not much, only 1.5% the first year and 4% thereafter, but a lot better than the current rate of nothing. Kasich originally wanted 10%, but I figure he figured he'd never get it through the Republican legislature. 

5. No cuts to state funding for K-12 education as a whole. His budget actually increases state funding for poorer districts and lowers it for the very wealthiest. Hence the score. 

6. Refusal to privatize the Ohio Turnpike. In fact, revenues from the state-run road will finance $1.5 billion in desperately needed revenue to improvements in roads throughout northeastern Ohio. This is a complete reversal from one of Kasich's original campaign promises, and a good one, IMHO. 

For a nice, short article on the budget, go here:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/02/tax_code_overhaul_educat...

9-1. One would think a Democratic President could do better. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. I'm not optimistic, for reasons very well-known to the reader if he or she has read my previous posts, but we shall see. 

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Kasich has been a pleasant surprise, to me, since the...

Ohio Barbarian's picture

Issue 2 debacle when Ohio voters soundly rejected the attempt to destroy public sector unions. He did refuse to back plans to attack the unions one by one afterwards, and has acted  far more like an Eisenhower Republican than a Tea Party Republican after his first year in office. The Chamber of Commerce, the Oil lobby, and the more extreme social issue R's are quite upset with him. 

He is the son of a postman, and grew up lower middle class at best in western Pennsylvania. The point is that even somebody with an 'R' after his name can be more progressive in his actions than the man in the White House Republicans like to mis-label as a socialist, and all for solid conservative, in the original sense of the word, reasons. 

Most Republicans these days are not conservative. On the contrary, they are quite radical. Whatever he is, Kasich is no radical. The Democrats really don't know who they will run against him in 2014. As things stand now, he'll be re-elected because he seems reasonable, especially when compared to most Republicans in Congress and the likes of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. 

 

 

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It seems a lot of this is ...

BruceMcF's picture

... a case of screwing Ohio so very hard in his first biennial budget to lay the foundation for rolling back some but not all of it and make the second biennial budget look like a step in the right direction.

That is, the small business tax cut and sales tax cut is coming two years after a big business tax cut. The increase in Gas and Oil royalties are coming after the tax cut for Gas and Oil companies two years ago, which remain in effect. "No Cuts" and some modest increases to public education is, of course, still a net cut when added to the massive cuts of two years ago, and public education funding is still in violation of the state constitution.

The only reason that the future of the Turnpike was in doubt was because he started the push for privatization. Not carrying through his threat is not a net win for Kasich, its a win OVER Kasich. We beat him on the Turnpike.

And as far as "Yes, I realize this was part of Obamacare, but that was before the 2012 election. This scorecard is only about what has happened since." ~ the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare is HAPPENING after the 2012 election. You can't score Kasich 1-0 against the President because he couldn't resist the bribe to expand Medicare built into the President's conservative health care reform.

Indeed, it is double counting, because the Medicaid expansion represents a net saving for the state, so its part of what's funding the rest.

Saying, "I'm going to ignore half of Kasich's term and only looking at the biennial budget when he is running for re-election" is OF COURSE going to make him look better compared to a more moderate Republican like Obama.

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You are an Ohioan. You're here. You saw all of this. I see...

Ohio Barbarian's picture

things a little differently. WE didn't beat Kasich on the Turnpike. He could have done a Scott Walker and rammed it through; he chose not to do so after actually studying the debacle that happened in Indiana, and decided it was a stupid idea. I see nothing wrong with a politician changing his mind after actually looking at the facts. 

As for Medicaid expansion, Kasich could have refused it; the fact that he didn't just showed some common sense to me. As for Obama, he could have gotten the public option through--it had already passed in the House--but he didn't even try. Besides, what's wrong with bribes if they help people? And it's my admittedly opinionated scorecard; I can score it any way I wish, though of course you are free to disagree. 

Finally, it's not even half of Kasich's term; the Issue 2 debacle happened in the first year, so I'm looking at what he has actually done, or tried to do, or not done, since then. And Obama's no moderate Republican, he's a pure Fascist by Mussolini's definition. It's Kasich who turns out to be the moderate Republican, and I'll take that any day over a Fascist, no matter what letter is after their name on TV. 

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My initial impression of Kasich was that he was a creature..

Ohio Barbarian's picture

of Wall Street, specifically Lehman Brothers. I thought we were well and truly screwed when he barely won in 2010. I thought the same when he pushed for Issue 2. 

Since then, however, he's given me lots of pleasant surprises. He's no Scott Walker and no Barack Obama, for that matter. Credit where credit's due and all that. 

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I've been waiting a long time for a certain thing to happen

geomoo's picture

and maybe this is an example of it.  I've been wating for former co-conspirators in all things politically evil, the ones who are actually in some way decent people, I've been waiting for some of them to take a look around and say, "Whoa," this is getting out of hand.  One dreams.

I didn't understand this essay when I first read it.  I needed to read the comments to get the significance of this.  Very interesting.

Yes, stand up.

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