Earlier today, Allahpundit lit the candle on the exciting news that Ohio Governor John Kasich was virtually certain to be running for president. In that article, AP listed a number of items which would speak well of such a plan. (Aside from filling the yawning void we currently face in our inability to find anyone who wants the nomination…) Among the topics discussed were some compelling arguments. Ohio is almost certainly a must win state for the GOP. They’ve got that whole Midwest corridor thing locked up, just in case Scott Walker falls down an elevator shaft. Experience as a Governor counts for something – as it does with roughly a third of the rest of the already crowded field – and there’s always the argument that with so many runners in the race you may as well give it a shot. The one thing I noticed about all of these arguments is that they could generically apply to any warm body who was a high ranking Ohio official who wasn’t named John Kasich. But his individual record surely has to raise a few questions, doesn’t it?
The Governor’s laudible goal of decreasing the state income tax came at a proposed price of another $5.2B in tax increases, including raising the sales tax for everyone from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent. This drew the ire of even the home town papers.
The Republican proposed an across-the-board cut, in addition to previously announced increases in the value of personal exemptions for those earning less than $80,000 a year and elimination of income taxes on many small-business owners.
Kasich would cover the cost of the income-tax cut with a variety of tax increases, led by a two-year, $2.48 billion increase in sales taxes by increasing the state rate from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent and taxing more business activity.
Of course, it went a lot further than that. Kasich included a plan to raise cigarette taxes by a $1 per-pack to $2.25 as well as being a ground breaking sin taxer with a nearly first in the nation tax on e-cigarettes.
Gov. John Kasich’s steep e-cigarette tax, should lawmakers pass it, will have deep repercussions. For one, central Ohio small-business owner Alec Cardellino will probably be out of work .
“It would destroy our business,” Cardellino told Ohio Watchdog in a phone interview. “We basically would have to close our doors the day it was enacted.”
There were also increased energy taxes – including hits on fracking – and a boost in income taxes for retired individuals making more than $100k. And then there was the question of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
Given the pack already in the running and the questions about the tax and spend budget he proposed, I’m just not seeing what sets Kasich apart as the guy we’re all waiting for at this point. Yes, I get that Ohio is important. That’s probably the biggest reason we’re having the convention there. But aside from a possible edge on the Ohio electoral votes (which rarely works out, historically speaking) what does the governor bring to the party that you’re not already getting from Scott Walker, minus the union fighting record and history of winning tough elections that the Wisconsin governor is packing? I’m open to suggestions from the floor.