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10.01.2008 0

When Push Comes to Shove

  • On: 10/22/2008 14:32:16
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • When economic times are hard, revenues to governments tend to dry up. This year, several states are experiencing steep budget deficits. And they have a choice to make in order to balance their budgets: cut spending or raise taxes.

    And in Ohio, it is no different. However, there is some debate over which choice is prudent considering the current economic circumstances. Only this debate is between one man and himself: Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH):

    “Gov. Ted Strickland ordered $540 million in cuts and other budget adjustments Wednesday because of revenue shortfalls… The latest moves are on top of $733 million in cuts he ordered in late January, meaning the state will be cutting a total of $1.27 billion out of a two-year, $52 billion budget that ends in July 2009…”

    “Strickland promised not to raise taxes, saying it would have a detrimental impact on economic recovery. Still, he said it would be irresponsible to deny the possibility of raising taxes if conditions greatly deteriorated.”

    This of course raises the question: which problem does Mr. Strickland see as the one that actually hurts Ohioans more? A sinking economy? Or a budget deficit?

    His logic does not add up. If he believes that the ailing economy has dried up tax revenue, that it is the economy that is more problematic, and that tax increases only hurt the economy further, why—if the economy really got bad—would he then say that that was the time to raise taxes?

    Because his opposition to tax increases is actually a con. A sham. A swindle.

    What he really cares about is keeping government well-funded. Whatever the cost to the people of Ohio.

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