Will Kasich and Legislature Become Victims of Success
In 2010, 20 state legislatures and 17 Governor’s offices saw a swing in leadership back to the GOP. Once the citizens realized the President, Democratic Congress and state legislatures were unwilling to cut spending and institute pro-growth business policy they handed control to the GOP. With vigilant taxpayers holding them accountable, the new GOP states began making changes. Unemployment went down in every one of these states after budgets were addressed, even as the remainder of the country continues to struggle with 8+ percent unemployment. The liberal dominated state legislatures continued to pursue Keynesian policies and deficit spending , while GOP states bit the bullet. Ohio is a good case study. Unemployment dropped from 9.0 to 7.3% from Jan. 2011 – May 2012; notable because Ohio is a rust belt state. Kasich has taken considerable criticism for his austere cuts to local government and his union reforms lost at the ballot box in 2011, yet enough cuts and reforms have taken place that the economy in Ohio is improving. The President discovered that Bain Capital and class envy are not selling as expected. What to do? His team plans to take credit for the GOP initiated cuts and reforms and the subsequent improvement in those states. Many of these states happen to be election swing states, meaning states like Ohio, that discarded President Obama’s policies may, by virtue of their successes, play a role in helping to award Obama a second term. The Governors of Ohio, Wisconsin and many other states will need to go public with the accomplishments of their Governors and legislatures. The philosophy of limited government is succeeding (as it always does) at the state level. The President will certainly attempt to have it both ways, taking credit for the businesses that are starting to recover from his policies. As we heard from the President, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” I suppose, if your business managed to survive the policies of the last 4 years, in the President’s fantasy land, he should be given full credit for your survival. If voters understood whose policies are helping the state, Obama’s gambit would fail, but people see improvement and give credit to the person with the best 30 second sound bites and that may be the President. John Green from the University of Akron cautions, ““most voters don’t understand policy in detail, they tend to judge on results.” Over the decades, we stopped expecting citizens to learn how government functions or requiring American’s to take responsibility for guarding their liberties; this makes for an easily swayed electorate and diminished freedom. The GOP cannot allow the President to spin their modest successes into a campaign advantage in November. Swing states like Ohio and Wisconsin are coming back precisely because they are reforming big government, big union power and honoring the requirement to balance budgets. This is the story that American voters must hear.