Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Ohio State Budget Follies

Governor Strickland, the former anti-gambling crusader turned casino pimp, now has to fall back on the old Democratic standby, tax increases.

Thanks to the State Supreme Court, which, amazingly enough, ruled that slot machines are gambling, t he whole casino poor tax issue has to go to the voters, leaving Strickland with a $900 million dollar hole (plus or minus) in the state budget.

Naturally, he's threatening that this will r equire draconian cuts in education if he doesn't get his way. Based on the s tate budget plan of about $25 billion per year, this amounts to less than 4% of planned spending – actually, about 3.6%.

Are we to believe that there's not 3.5 – 4.0% of the Ohio state budget that can't be cut? Certainly seems a) both unlikely, and b) 4% hardly seems “draconian”.

It also seems like his proposed tax increase (yes, Gov., it is an increase when the government voids a law providing for tax relief) will likely not generate the $850 million dollars he's looking for. In this economy, the last thing that Ohio needs is to act to make it's business climate even worse. .