Kasich talks about “people in the shadows” but he’s put more of them there
The main reason so many falsely view John Kasich as a moderate is because he expanded Medicaid. Too many fail to understand that he maintains he will repeal Obamacare if elected.
The Medicaid expansion provided Ohio with billions of dollars, and that new money helped pay for Kasich’s new tax cuts for the rich.
Under his tenure, unemployment has gone down in Ohio but poverty has gone up. In seven Ohio cities, at least one out of every four people live in poverty. And in three cities – Youngstown, Dayton and Cleveland – more than half the children live in poverty. In fact, there are 53,000 more Ohio children living in poverty in Ohio than during the height of the recession in 2008.
While acting as if he cares about the poor, he’s consistently championed tax policies that give the richest Ohioans tax cuts and the bottom fifth tax hikes.
Kasich’s first budget, in 2011, cut funds to schools, local governments and health and human services while modifying or extending a dozen tax breaks for businesses, agriculture, and racetracks. He completely repealed Ohio’s estate tax, which affected only the top 8% of earners.
In 2013, Kasich was at it again, with a phased-in 10% income tax cut while increasing Ohio’s regressive sales tax. The result: The top 1 percent of Ohioans saw a $17,618 annual reduction in state taxes, while the bottom fifth pay $17 more, according to an analysis by Policy Matters Ohio.
Kasich’s 2015 budget resulted in an average annual tax break of $10,236 for those making $388,000 or more while the bottom 20 percent of taxpayers saw their taxes increase by an average of $20.
All this while many segments of the state’s economy just aren’t working for many Ohioans because the safety net continues to fray. Just 24% of unemployed workers received unemployment compensation in 2015.
The Kasich administration made it harder for some poor residents to get access to proper meals. It used its discretion to decide that largely white rural areas should have access to federal food aid but not largely black urban regions with similar economic challenges, according to Policy Matters Ohio.
While a good education can provide a path out of poverty, Kasich has consistently propped up the state’s scandal-ridden failing charter schools – especially online charters that have showered him with millions in campaign contributions. Even pro-charter groups have documented the devastating impact Ohio’s failing – but growing – charter schools are having on Ohio’s children.
In Dec. 2014, Stanford University’s Center For Research on Education Outcomes reached this conclusion:
“On average … students in Ohio charter schools perform worse in both reading and mathematics. The impact is statistically significant: thinking of a 180-day school year as ‘one year of learning’, an average Ohio charter student would have completed 14 fewer days of learning in reading and 36 fewer days in math.’’
Hoping to grow Ohio’s troubled charter school sector, Kasich appointees at the Ohio Department of Education submitted a grant request to the federal government that misrepresented the depth of the turmoil in charter schools.
“The Education Mess” under Kasich forced Ohio’s top education officials to backtrack, now admitting Ohio has 10 times as many failing charter schools as they originally reported in the grant application. The incorrect information helped convince federal officials to award Ohio $71 million to expand its charter schools, widely considered among the nation’s worst. Kasich’s top appointee overseeing charter schools, David Hansen, was forced to resign after The Plain Dealer caught him intentionally leaving out failing grades received by some online charters to make them appear as if their student outcomes were better.
Kasich has also inadequately addressed Ohio’s rising infant mortality rate. Ohio ranks 45th in the nation in infant mortality overall and has one of the highest rates of infant deaths for black mothers. In 2014, a black baby born in the state was 2.7 times as likely to die before reaching a first birthday as a white baby. That’s up from 2.3 in 2013, according to The Plain Dealer.
A child born today in Iraq has a greater chance of living until its first birthday than a black child born today in Youngstown.
Kasich supports defunding Planned Parenthood, even though public health experts have warned it will make our maternal and child death rates even worse. The defund Planned Parenthood bill contains $250,000 to address infant mortality – a paltry amount given the scope of the problem.
For all of Kasich’s public statements in favor of families, when asked if paid leave could be an option in Ohio, Kasich spoke out against it. “The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online” because “they fall behind on the experience level” leading to lower pay.
Kasich has erroneously portrayed himself as a moderate on LGBTQ issues, saying in a debate he would love a hypothetical gay child unconditionally and has attended a gay wedding. But, the truth is Kasich supported a statewide constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and urged Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to take Ohio’s ban to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ohio lost the case – and the taxpayers got stuck with a $1.3 million bill for the winning law firm. Gays and lesbians in Ohio can now legally marry but also can legally be denied housing or employment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.