Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"...Serious Implications..."

An editorial in the Recordpub questions Republican John Kasich plan to phase out the state income tax:

A proposal by Ohio gubernatorial candidate John Kasich to phase out the state's income tax may be music to the ears of individual taxpayers and businesses, but a loss in revenues projected by the Ohio legislative services to grow to $12 billion annually has serious implications for the programs the state funds, and voters should think long and hard whether that result is desirable.

Beneficiaries of state revenues, of course, include public education from kindergarten through higher education, local libraries, Medicaid, the Ohio Highway Patrol, state prisons, our state parks, state welfare programs and workers' compensation. Would all of these programs and others face more reductions or would Kasich, as governor, find new ways to fund them?

....Ohio has already entered a program that drops the state's income tax over a five-year period, but because of the recession and budgetary burdens has deferred a year of the implementation so it is now a six-year program. The fact that the state has encountered so many budgetary issues with the modest phased reduction of the income tax now under way makes us wonder what the effects of totally phasing out the tax might be....

Kasich also has some odd ideas about teaching Ohio's children. (With ideas like these, you can see why teachers usually don't vote for Republicans.)


He (Kasich) talked dreamily of the time when Ohio school children could learn from online courses. For that to happen, though, Ohio needs to have broadband Internet operating in many rural parts of the state that still don't have it, despite efforts to expand it by Strickland and former GOP governor Bob Taft.

Kasich said Ohio, under his leadership, would be "marching on education against powerful forces," a veiled reference to Ohio's teachers unions.

Kasich said students should have "customized education through software" because that's how they can get turned on to learn. He said charter schools and vouches represent a "laboratory of opportunity" and that labor, viz. teacher's unions, "don't want to do it for fear of change."

It appears that Kasich does not appreciate the role of the teacher in the classroom. He also doesn't understand much about schools. (I wonder how long it has been since he last visited a public school classroom.) Although a small minority of students might do well with a computer-based education, a majority of students profit from a classroom with a human teacher and other students.

I think many people are starting to have doubts about Kasich.