State Rep. Cliff Hite (R-76th District) was in the news today for a couple of state issues. While I didn’t agree with his overall comments I do give the man credit for acknowledging that alternatives for the budget issues facing Ohio would not be painless.
In an interview on WFIN’s morning show Hite said that the Republicans had ideas to help fill in the approx $900 million budget gap after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that allowing video slot machines had to be voted on by the public. He said that one was restructuring state government by reducing the number of departments. The example he gave was eliminating the Department of Agriculture and absorbing the work into multiple departments. Such a change would lead to the loss of many state worker jobs.
Another suggestion was reducing Medicaid benefits which would hurt those who get those benefits.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has said he wants to postpone the 4.2% tax reduction scheduled to take place in 2009 for two years. Some Republicans are against the delay because they feel the tax cut was meant to make “Ohio more competitive for jobs.” Hite is also against a delay.
I will credit Rep. Hite, that unlike the previous guy to hold his seat, he at least acknowledges the Republican alternatives aren’t perfect.
I disagree with Hite’s view on postponing the tax cut and changing state government.
It makes no sense, when one is losing revenue, to cut your revenue further. Ohio has made massive spending cuts in the past so any more cuts will be hitting bone.
The fact is that Ohio isn’t even in the top 10 for personal income tax and the corporate tax rate is only 5.1% for those that actually pay it. The argument that our taxes are too high is not supported by the evidence. The tax cut that Strickland wants to delay was passed in 2005 before the economy tanked and was to be phased in 4% a year with this year being the last of the 21% cut.
It is good to know that Hite isn’t a plain Jane Republican ideologue. Picture Robbie the Robot waving arms and saying “Must cut spending must cut spending must cut spending must cut spending…” and ignoring reality like Mike Gilb and Lynn Wachtmann use to do.
In an article in The Findlay Courier Rep. Hite said he favored State Issue 2 which supposedly creates yet another state board to prevent groups like the Humane Society from getting laws passed in the state to protect farm animals from cruel treatment.
So smaller government is good for business unless you can use it to protect business, then it needs to be larger.
It doesn’t make sense to me either.