In this article in The Dispatch, Darrel Rowland doesn’t hide his big government liberalism:
Of course, none want to raise taxes, either. But it’s hard to see how the only remaining option – $8 billion in cuts, or 16 percent of the state budget – is realistic when eliminating the entire state general-fund payroll only results in a $4 billion reduction. Privatizing the turnpike or selling state assets seem dubious as a permanent solution.
Last month, the nonprofit Center for Community Solutions called for a three-pronged approach of cuts, tax increases and eliminating tax breaks to fix the budget.
“Closing any loophole is difficult because each has a particular rationale and specific interest group that will rise to its defense,” the Cleveland-based group said. “Often, supporters of these exemptions justify them on the grounds of economic development and job creation. Equally often, the rationales are long on theory and short on measurable evidence.”
The center called for legislative scrutiny of the loopholes, saying they should be regularly justified, just like any other part of the state budget.
So far, the report is getting little traction in either legislative chamber or on the gubernatorial campaign trail.
Rob Nichols, spokesman for GOP candidate John Kasich, said the former congressman “opposes raising taxes to fill Ohio’s deficit because he knows it will be a damaging blow to Ohio’s already struggling economy.”
When asked specifically about the possibility of closing tax loopholes, Nichols said Kasich “is not going to do anything to increase the tax burden for Ohioans.”
Amanda Wurst, spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Strickland, said the center’s suggestion “would be carefully considered in the context of the next budget.”
“Tax credits that bring jobs to Ohio are an important part of our strategy to grow the economy,” she added. “For example, the recently passed Film Tax Credit leveraged nearly $9 million to employ more than 1,000 residents, spent $9.4 billion in Ohio wages and an estimated $24.3 million to Ohio vendors and location fees. The Job Creation Tax Credit assisted in the state’s efforts to retain 13,362 jobs and create 1,150 jobs in central Ohio at JPMorgan Chase Bank.”
Maggie Ostrowski, spokeswoman for Senate President Bill M. Harris, said the Ashland Republican “believes that with families and businesses already struggling in this economy, now is the worst time to raise taxes or drive up the cost of doing business in Ohio … He believes that the next General Assembly needs to think outside of the box and make structural changes in addition to cutting government spending.”
House Speaker Armond Budish wouldn’t take the bait, either.
“It wouldn’t be appropriate to make blanket statements about all of Ohio’s tax credits and exemptions because many can have positive impacts on creating jobs, improving our economy, making the state competitive and strengthening Ohio’s tax base,” the Beachwood Democrat said in a statement. “As we approach the next state budget, we will be turning over every stone and reviewing every aspect of the state’s finances.”
Why is shrinking payroll and privatizing assets “dubious?” Because Rowland says so? NJ Gov. Christie’s proposed budget is hardly perfect, but he has shown what a state with massive budget deficits and job-killing taxes can do: privatize, reduce employees, and cut back on the ridiculously generous benefits public employees- especially teachers- enjoy. What Rowland says is dubious is how any state- or any business- fixes their financial situation.
Also, it’s not just a “nonprofit” Center for Community Solutions… They should be referred to as “liberal”, “left-wing”, “union supported”, or “progressive”…. just like the Buckeye Institute is always referred to as “conservative.” And I think most people don’t realize that Center for Community Solutions is also taxpayer funded… so YOUR tax dollars are being spent on behalf of government to support the growth of government. And Center for Community Solutions employs many Democrats, including well-connected former staff members from Strickland’s administration. If readers knew that, wouldn’t that make them put CCS’s report in a proper context?
And with 400,000 jobs lost on Ted Strickland’s watch, I think it’s amusing that the Wurst spokesbabe in the world’s first thought is about tax credits to smutty independent films for the arts and croissant crowd. What’s wrong with serious, across-the-board tax cuts and stop picking winners and losers by manipulating the market?
House Speaker Armond Budish doesn’t want to talk about taxes because his majority is razor thin and tax raising is in his DNA. But the truth is, if you vote for Gov. John Kasich and a Republican majority in the Ohio House, you are electing politicians who are pledging to act like serious adults and make severe cuts- some of which will be wildly unpopular- to improve Ohio’s dismal business climate. But if you would rather have double digit unemployment and taxes raised to fill a budget deficit, vote for Ted Strickland and House Democrats.