|From Left to Right: Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Gov. John Kasich, and Senate President Larry Obhof announced Ohio Budget projections are off by $400 million a year during a stable economic period|
I don't mean to pile on here, but where is the outrage over Gov. John Kasich's budget director being off by $400 million a year on his revenue projections when there isn't a recession going on?
I was in the legislature the last time revenue projections were this off. And that was during the Great Recession, when you could explain missing the mark because our economy was in free fall. But that didn't stop legislative Republicans from calling for then-Gov. Strickland (a Democrat) to fire his budget director Pari Sabety for her inability to provide "reliable projections due to inaccurate estimates."
Contrast that with the silence from legislative leadership (which is Republican) from making similar calls of Tim Keen (whose boss is a Republican). In fact, as the above picture shows, the House Speaker and Senate President stood with the budget director who couldn't project revenue accurately during a relatively stable economic time.
I'm not saying that Tim Keen needs to lose his job. But I'm just amazed that being as bad at projecting revenue as he was during a steady economic period hasn't been met with more concern by Ohio's legislative budget hawks than Sabety's inability to project revenue during an historically bad and unpredictable economic time.
Now the question becomes what to do with this budget loss? Do legislative leaders decide to go ahead with the $3.1 billion income tax cut? Do they hold off on some of that? Do they hit the rainy day fund?
The real question is whether Ohio's legislative leaders will do what's right or will they continue their obeisance to the Laffer Curve, which just screwed them. We'll see.
One thing I do know: Any hope of increased education funding seems to be all but gone. And that sucks for Ohio's kids.