Ohio governor’s fiscal policy barely receives passing grade

KASICH IS A ‘D’ STUDENT: Cato Institute gives Gov. Kasich a ‘D’ on reducing spending and cutting taxes.

By Stephanie Kreuz | Watchdog Wire.com

Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, barely received a passing grade on the libertarian Cato Institute’s 2014 Fiscal Policy Report Card. The scorecard ranked governors on their fiscal conservatism, and how they fared at reducing spending and cutting taxes for the constituents of their state.

Four governors received an “A”: Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Paul LePage of Maine, and Mike Pence of Indiana. Eight governors received an “F”: Mark Dayton of Minnesota, John Kitzhaber of Oregon, Jack Markell of Delaware, Jay Inslee of Washington, Pat Quinn of Illinois, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Jerry Brown of California.

John Kasich received a “D.” Scoring a 44 on the ranking next to Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, they were among a total of thirteen governors receiving a “D” (eight Democrats and seven Republicans).

Kasich scored better on taxes for his reduction of the income tax in exchange for an increase in the sales tax, which Cato argues cut Ohio taxes about $1.2 billion annually. The top income tax rate will fall from 5.93 to 5.33 percent by 2015, and the sale tax rate will increase from 5.5 to 5.75 percent.

However, most notably bringing down his score was the expansion of Medicaid. Nicole Kaeding and Chris Edwards, writes of this years’ report comment, “Governor Kasich pushed to expand Medicaid under the [Affordable Care Act], which the legislature opposed. Indeed, the legislature passed budget language prohibiting Kasich from expanding Medicaid unilaterally, but the governor vetoed that item and went ahead and expanded Medicaid anyway.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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