Friday, January 21, 2011

It's going to be a very long 4 years in OH

Before he became Ohio's governor, John Kasich worked for Lehman Bros., a Wall Street firm that cooked its books for years to cover up its colossal bungling. Then it went bankrupt and nearly took down the entire global financial system back in 2008.

You almost have to admire Kasich, a guy who worked for Lehman Bros. but has the stones to say, "no more bureaucrats, no more bungling, no more tripping over one another."

Kasich likes to blame public employee unions for Ohio's budget problems instead of his Wall Street cronies who created a housing bubble and sold complex derivatives that wrecked the economy and put 8 million people out of work.

Now Kasich wants poor and middle-class workers to make sacrifices in order to balance Ohio's budget. He doesn't think rich people should have to make sacrifices, though. He gave big raises to his close friends and advisors on his staff.  But he cut the pay of the mailroom staff by 21 percent.

He wants to get rid of the estate tax, which only kicks in on estates worth $338,333. But if public employees want to strike, "they should be fired." He wants to "break the back of organized labor in the schools."

We'd like to remind Gov. Kasich that Ohio's public employee unions have already made sacrifices.  In 2009 they agreed to a 2-year pay freeze, 10 unpaid furlough days per year (a pay cut) and to forgo the accrual of personal leave for two years.

It's not surprising that Kasich is so indifferent to the working families in Ohio. He named 20 white people -- 16 of them men -- to his cabinet.  No African Americans, no Hispanics, no Asians. He's the first governor since 1962 to pick an all-white cabinet.

Ohioans are starting to see through their new governor. A Quinnipiac poll released this week showed

• Ohioans are starting to see through him. A Quinnipiac poll released this week showed his approval rating was only 30 percent. (Ted Strickland’s is 46 percent.)

• Nearly one-fourth of Ohioans disapprove of the job he’s doing.

• By 46% to 43% Ohioans OPPOSE Kasich’s plan to lay off state employees;

• By 51% to 30% Ohioans OPPOSE leasing the turnpike;

• By 51% to 34% Ohioans OPPOSE Kasich’s plan to restrict or eliminate the right of public employees to collectively bargain;

• By 51% to 36% Ohioans OPPOSE Kasich’s plan to eliminate the state’s estate tax.

Good luck, Ohio.