The following is an editorial I wrote in response to a letter written by a Ripley resident who was singing the praises of Ted Strickland using fuzzy facts. Here is the text of the article, which will be appearing this weekend in the Brown County Press:
I guess I don’t live in the same Ohio that Ripley voter Kerrin Cushing is describing. My Ohio is in trouble, thanks to Ted Strickland. I have some problems with the talking points that Cushing got from Ted’s running mate at the Brown County Democrat Dinner, or from Ted’s website, or from the Democrat booth at the fair. Cushing says that Ohio has the 6th fastest growing economy. I found the study referred to. It is by a company called Reed Construction Data. This group says Michigan is the 2nd fastest growing economy. Does anyone believe that? And do you really want to brag about being behind Michigan if you buy the numbers to begin with?
Cushing goes on to talk about unemployment and tough decisions. Strickland will brag that unemployment has dropped five months in a row, but what he won’t tell you is this: Ohio’s unemployment rate has not fallen below double digits in the past 17 straight months. In fact, under Ted, Ohio reached ITS HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN A QUARTER CENTURY. Under Ted Strickland, 400,000 jobs have been lost in Ohio. Ted’s unemployment rate is 4 points higher than the peak of the previous administration.
Here are some other sobering facts from reputable sources:
According to Forbes, 4 of America’s fastest dying cities are in Ohio--Toledo, Cleveland, Dayton, and Youngstown. Also according to Forbes, Ohio is 47th in its prospects for growth in areas like job creation, income groth, and business openings. Ohio tops the country, according to ABC News, with the number of most “downsized” cities. Since Ted Strickland took office, according to the Ohio Department of Development, 22,920 businesses have disappeared. If the economy is growing so much, why are so many people leaving the state that we will lose two congressional seats at minimum? According to the Thomas Fordham Institute, 58% of Ohio college students are planning on leaving the state after graduating. Ohio lost 6,981 of our best and brightest between the ages of 25 and 34 in 2008 alone, according to the Columbus Dispatch. According to the Tax Foundation, Ohio is now 47th in business tax climate, causing businesses like NCR and others to leave after being here for decades. CNBC rates Ohio as 48th lowest in number of available workers and success of work training programs in the state. Yeah, the jobs candidate has done real well, hasn’t he? Look around in our own area at the shops and business closings on Ted’s watch. DHL, Ford, etc., and all the layoffs. Does this sound like growth to you?
And Taxes? As Ochocinco would say, “Child please.” Ohio has the 7th highest state and local tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation and is rated 49th in economic performance on the 2010 ALEC-LAFFER State economic competitiveness index. Ted Strickland the candidate said he viewed raising fees and license costs as taxes and would not do such a thing. Fees have risen almost every year since he has been governor. He also, along with the Ohio Senate, decided to retroactively raise our state income taxes. You can find that in the public record.
Then there are the scandals. His director of faith based initiatives was busted for sexual misconduct and prostitution felony charges. His administration lost the data of over a million Ohioans. He allowed drunken inmates running drugs to work in his home, and when these inmates were going to be arrested, his administration squashed the sting operation to arrest them, supposedly for the safety of the governor, or at least his reputation. And outsourcing? Ted Strickland knowingly went with a Texas company that outsourced jobs to El Salvador to handle the cash for appliances program. What about those Ohio jobs? Ted Strickland has screamed that people who disagree with him hate Ohio and the country. His running mate in Brown County said that people who want a better Ohio are just angry and loud. Ted Strickland has not turned around Ohio. He has spun it into the toilet. It is time for a new day and a new way. That’s why I will be voting for Kasich and Taylor in November.