Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor received the Intelligencer endorsement for their work alongside Republican leaders to balance Ohio’s budget, cut taxes and enact a pro-jobs agenda that’s working.
When John Kasich took the reins as governor of Ohio in January 2011, the state was a mess. Far from being able to do anything meaningful to improve the state – and address rampant unemployment – state leaders could not even get their own house in order. Among the first priorities of the new governor and General Assembly had to be closing an $8 billion gap in the state’s two-year budget.
They did that quickly and effectively. Then Kasich moved on to making progress happen for Ohioans.
Kasich would be among the first to emphasize politicians do not create jobs. All they can do is eliminate barriers for the private sector to do so.
During Kasich’s administration, state government seems to have done an excellent job of that. Tax relief for Buckeye State residents has left more money in their pockets. Trimming taxes for businesses has allowed them to create more jobs. Overall, state tax breaks under the Kasich administration have totaled about $3 billion.
Since the governor took office, more than 260,000 new jobs have been created in Ohio. The state’s unemployment rate, 9.4 percent when Kasich took office, has been slashed to 5.7 percent.
It is true there remain pockets of severe unemployment, including in our area. But four years ago, there would have been little reason to expect economic growth anywhere in Ohio. Now, in part because of the governor’s initiatives, there can be hope.
One often-risky type of economic development, providing state incentives for job creators, was embraced by Kasich. The evidence is that his administration chose wisely in doling out incentive money. Just as important, companies that received it are being policed to ensure they hold up their ends of the bargain.
On other critical issues, Kasich also has shown effective leadership. Public education is improving – and administrators in some of the state’s worst school districts are being held accountable.
Four years ago, Ohioans were preoccupied with hoping state government could dig its way out of a mess that had been allowed to build for years.
Now, they can have reason for optimism – much of it because of Kasich’s leadership.
The Intelligencer endorses Kasich for re-election as governor. Ohio voters who want more progress should cast their ballots for him in theNov. 4 election.