To the editor:
If local citizens believe the rhetoric that we have a fiscally conservative government in Ohio, you may want to think again.
In spite of Gov. Kasich’s claim in the national news that he has cut taxes by $5 billion during his tenure, tax collections in Ohio INCREASED by more than $6 billion (over 40 percent) in 2015 alone compared to when he took office. I assume, in political-speak, this “cut” represents a slowing in the rate of growth … not a real reduction in tax collections. Yes, some income tax rates have been cut modestly but there is never a mention that the state sales tax rate was increased to offset those cuts.
During the same period, state general fund expenditures have increased by more than 40 percent in spite of several billion dollars of local government funding being shunted back to the state. Most of that local government money now sits in the state’s reserve fund which is another source of “fiscal responsibility” rhetoric promoted by the governor. In addition, several pieces of legislation have been quietly passed that have the effect of shoving additional costs down to local taxpayers in years to come.
We have a problem in Columbus not that much different than the one in Washington. With total single-party control, there are virtually no checks on the handful of power brokers who decide what legislation will pass and what won’t be considered or even debated. Sad to say, our own local outgoing Sen. Faber has become a prime mover in that process and other representatives have at least played along so as not to be ostracized as is the practice with anyone who has the temerity to buck the “leadership.”
In his first three terms in office, Mr. Adams played the game and progressed within the “leadership” ranks. In his final term, he did speak out concerning the taxing and spending spree and immediately began to lose favor with the in-crowd. As nearly as I can tell, Mr. Huffman rarely broke ranks and he has been rewarded with endorsement and campaign money. Mr. Vitale has been a budget “hawk” from the beginning and is already suffering the consequences of being an “outsider.”
I do not present this to indicate a break with my party’s principles but to show strong disagreement with the way power is being mishandled in Columbus.
Do not cast your vote blindly. Force your candidates into the “no-spin zone” and demand true accountability.