Kasich’s zeal to restore fiscal order would occur once more as he unseated incumbent Governor Ted Strickland in 2010. The Governor erased an $8 billion budget shortfall. Kasich’s reforms cut small business taxes in half, reduced income tax rates by 10 percent, and eliminated the death tax. Simply put, his fiscal record will be the envy of most of the other Republican candidates in the field.
Often mocked for appearing to “wing it” in delivering remarks or discussing complex policy matters, those who know the Ohio Governor are aware there is much more going on behind the scenes. I remember when Kasich was chairing the House Budget Committee and he couldn’t find his reading glasses. Remembering that he left them at home, I volunteered to fetch them as we lived around the corner from each other in Alexandria, Virginia.
In a sight that surprised my fellow staffers and me, Kasich’s glasses were sitting on a thick stack of Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports about a variety of policy complex matters. Kasich did his homework out of sight from many who worked for him. The hard work paid off, and he always seemed to have an encyclopedic understanding of budgetary matters. Night after night, he was back home burning the midnight oil to remain abreast of a variety of issues. He takes policy seriously, which is a breath of fresh air during a time when charlatans like Donald Trump are doing well in the polls.