The rest of America should take a look at Ohio.
Currently our nation is faced with debt problems and a far to high unemployment rate. We do not need to look to other countries for solutions. A success story in dealing with similar problems exists in our own country.
In 2010 Ohio was at a low-point. The state’s job creation ranking was hovering around 47th place and the state had 89 cents in the bank. As then candidate for governor John Kasich pointed out, most toddlers have more than 89 cents in their piggy banks. In 2010, incumbent governor Ted Strickland lost in a close race to Kasich in a year marked by a resurgent GOP.
This new conservative leadership didn’t start off terribly well. On early issue was Senate Bill 5, a law restricting collective bargaining rights. It went down in flames during a special election.
It was not long after this defeat that Kasich and his allies began to resurrect their administration and their credibility. Kasich, who was a leader of the Clinton era balanced budget effort, balanced the state’s budget and lowered the income taxes. By the end of 2012 Ohio was 4th in the country in job creation and first in the Midwest. There has been bipartisanship in this effort as well. The governor partnered with Democratic Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson to spur redevelopment in the city. Today the state unemployment is well below the national average.
Kasich has also shown the willingness to compromise on certain issues, especially the Medicaid expansion that has irritated the state legislature. This combination of conservatism and compromise has done well for the former Fox News host. He now has a 54% approval rating including an impressive 63% rating among the lucrative 18-29 group (source: Quinnipiac University Polling, June 24, 2013).
For all the failures of the Republican Party at the national level, strong leadership exists at the state level. It’s not just in Ohio. Rick Snyder brought Michigan back from the brink and Chris Christie has done great things for New Jersey.
The problems of the United States today looks remarkably like those faced by Ohio in 2011. The president and the congress could learn a lot from the quiet revolution that has occurred in Ohio in recent years.
Ohio Perspective is my blog about political commentary and current events. It will include commentary from the perspective of a young man from Ohio who is concerned with the issues our country is facing.