COLUMBUS – State Representatives Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) held a press conference today to discuss Gov. Kasich’s anti-middle class policies and failing job creation record. In March, Ohio lost 20,400 jobs. This is the highest month of job loss in the state since the height of the recession in April 2009. Ohio’s job losses in March were also the largest of any state in the nation. And as the nation continues to recover from the recession Ohio’s unemployment rate rose by nearly a half a point since December 2011, from 6.7 percent to 7.1 percent, demonstrating that Gov. Kasich’s top down approach is failing.
“The hardworking people of Ohio continue to be undercut by Gov. Kasich’s policies that put right-wing ideology before commonsense solutions,” said Rep. Foley. “Rather than continuing to reward the rich with lucrative tax cuts and state handouts, we need to be focused on giving middle class Ohioans a hand up. That’s why we are introducing a targeted 10 percent middle class tax cut, and an additional $118 million to schools.”
Representatives Foley and Carney announced plans to introduce a Targeted Middle Class Tax Cut. Their proposal would give a 10 percent tax cut to middle class Ohioans, and was originally introduced as an amendment to the state’s budget. This proposal would also provide an additional $118 million for schools ($54 million in FY14; $64 million in FY 15). The Targeted Middle Class Tax Cut would apply to all Ohioans making under $105,000 or all those in the bottom 7 tax brackets. This Targeted Middle Class Tax Cut will help improve local economies because we know this money will be immediately reinvested in local economies all across the state.
“Our state is only as strong as our local communities, and this plan works to reinvest in the people we know will be immediately reinvesting back in our local economies and that is our hardworking middle class families,” said Rep. Foley.
Representative Carney also addressed recent controversy surrounding Gov. Kasich’s private economic development and job creation agency, JobsOhio. Their use of $8.4 million in un-authorized state tax dollars, coupled with record job losses and a state budget that cuts more funding from education, only serve as a reminder that these economic policies are failing Ohio.
“Gov. Kasich’s failed top down approach to economic policies continues to hurt the very same Ohioans he claims to want to help. Rather than helping he continues to make cuts to education and local governments in order to pay for more failed policies,” said Rep. Carney. “The only jobs we know JobsOhio has created are the jobs at JobsOhio, where most of the staff is making more than double the average middle class Ohioan. This record number of job losses and the continued secrecy of JobsOhio only solidify Gov. Kasich’s top down approach is not working and is taking Ohio backwards, not forward.”
Further making bad economic policy more damaging, Gov. Kasich undersold one of Ohio’s most profitable resources costing the state’s General Revenue Fund billions over the next 25 years. Ohio will receive a one-time payment of $500 million for a 25 year lease to the state’s liquor profits. After accounting for growth and inflation, JobsOhio will siphon off an estimated $9.9 billion in liquor profits over the course of the lease. That means after repayment of the bonding debt against the liquor profits and the one-time payment to the state, JobsOhio stands to gain nearly $6 billion in state funds.