Big Government (Liberal) GOP Governors
The first GOP debate was useless for viewers who tuned in to hear from the candidates on how they plan to solve the plethora of problems that plague America. However, anybody who tuned into the debate hoping to see bad reality television would have been pleased. The strategy deployed by Fox News was designed to attack Donald Trump and elevate big government Republicans like Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
Fox News is all about big government Republicans (see also RINOs, liberals, progressives). What the average voter doesn’t know about most of the GOP candidates, especially the governors, is that they are in favor of growing the size of government and have records to prove it.
The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) provides the fiscal records of all of the governors campaigning for the GOP nomination. The only candidate that has shown fiscal restraint is Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
The graph below shows the average annual spending increase for each former and current governor. Bush’s average increase while he was governor of Florida was 6.08 percent, which on the surface makes him the biggest spender in the group. Kasich increased spending an average of 4.95 percent per year. Rick Perry follows Kasich with 4.01 percent average annual spending increases. Jindal is the only governor in the field of GOP candidates who cut spending in his state. Jindal’s fiscal restraint has resulted in an average annual reduction in spending of 1.76 percent.
Kasich is actually worse than Jeb Bush despite a lower annual increase in spending because he presides over a smaller, shrinking population. He spends most of his public appearances bragging about how he turned around Ohio by developing and implementing fiscal policies that reduced unemployment and created reserve funds for the state. His interpretation of reduced unemployment and spending is straight out of Obama’s playbook.
When Kasich brags about reducing the unemployment rate in Ohio, he never explains how he did it. The truth is he didn’t do it. Ohio’s unemployment rate went down because its labor force shrank by 34,910 people during Kasich’s first term. The population of Ohio has been shrinking rapidly since 2000 and the trend has continued under Kasich. In 2013, Kasich was able to reduce Ohio’s unemployment rate when 102,000 Ohioans left Ohio to seek work elsewhere in the U.S. Kasich’s boasting about Ohio’s unemployment rate is the work of a snake oil salesman.
Kasich has significantly increased the size of government just like his fellow progressive, Barack Hussein Obama. He has been so successful at growing the size of government that the third largest employer in Ohio is government. If the State of Ohio categorized public colleges and universities as government entities (Ohio State is not a private institution), government would be the largest employer in Ohio.
During the GOP debate, Kasich bragged that he took tax dollars from the federal government to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). According to Ohio Watchdog, the State of Ohio has spent $2.7 billion on Obamacare in just 14 months. The $2.7 billion is the result of Kasich’s administration putting 510,000 working-age, able-bodied, childless Ohioans on Medicaid.
What about Kasich’s boasting about Ohio’s general reserve fund (GRF)? Kasich has Ohio drunk on federal tax dollars, and Ohio’s reliance on federal tax dollars has increased every year under his governorship. As reported by Ohio Watchdog, “After he [Kasich] was elected in 2010 as a foe of big government, Kasich increased GRF spending by 20 percent during his first term, dwarfing a net 4 percent increase in Democrat Ted Strickland’s two biennial budgets.” Kasich is Obama lite.
Take away federal aid and Ohio has a massive deficit. Kasich has turned Ohio into Greece. Ohio relies on the federal government for its survival just as Greece relies on the European Union for its survival.
The governors running for the GOP nomination, with the exception of Jindal, are all big government politicians who think spending is the solution for all social and fiscal problems. It is very important for voters to verify the claims candidates like Kasich make during their stump speeches and debates because their boisterous claims are normally pure fiction.