Defending Ohio from a wrecking-ball governor

People from around the state will be converging on Columbus tomorrow to protest the anti-worker, anti-non-rich-citizen policies of Gov. John Kasich. It takes place at the Statehouse on High Street form 2-3 p.m. has been doing a great job of detailing the jaw-dropping actions of our new governor — the retreads (virtually all white males) he's been naming to top posts in his administration, the advent of cronies and donors which doesn't seem to alarm our state media as much as when a Democrat hires an old friend, and his appalling hire of a Californian with no intention of moving to Ohio and no public policy experience to run the Department of Development — to create jobs in Ohio! I don't need to rehash it all. I would just get sick. Go over and read about it.

Worst of all — after all his talk how government workers should have benefits and wages ripped away because after all, the taxpayers pay for these things and the taxpayers aren't doing so well so why should government workers have it better — is that he has given his top staff lavish raises at our expense over what Strickland's comparable staffers made. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility, and setting a horrendous example! It's the top people who should be having their salaries cut. I don't know about you, but I think every Ohioan should be screaming bloody murder about the fact that Kasich has raised the chief of staff salary from an already-comfortable $123,000 a year to a greedy, extravagant $170,000 a year. Yup, we're paying for this person to get a RAISE equal to more than many of us make in a year, total. The arrogance, the tone-deafness, and the hypocrisy are jaw-dropping.

What's just as jaw-dropping is that, with a massive budget crisis looming for the state, which virtually demands that those at the top make sacrifices in order to have the moral authority to ask others less well paid to do so, our pathetic state media is mostly acting like nothing's amiss. I can only imagine the weeks of front-page howling and outraged editorials had Strickland or any Democrat done this in this era of belt-tightening. They would, frankly, have been crucified. Every paper in the state should be mocking Kasich's half-assed excuses (he claims he needs opulent salaries to lure such outstanding people from the "private sector," only most of them are political operatives who have never worked in the private sector). They should be eviscerating him for giving those at the top these pay increases while simultaneously slashing pay at the bottom of his staff list — people like mail-room workers and receptionists.

That's true Wall Street thinking, where a handful of top guys rake in everything and leave everyone else with barely enough to live on. And that's John Kasich's plan for Ohio's next four years: those fortunate enough to be rich will get to "keep" what's "theirs" while the rest of us will be increasingly burdened to pay for basic services — or to live in crumbling counties, townships, and cities. It looks like our state tourism slogan after a year or two under Kasich will be "Why go to a third-world country when you can come to Ohio?"

So if you're in Columbus tomorrow afternoon, you might want to join the people there objecting to Kasich's attacks on unions, government workers, teachers and public schools, and just about anyone else who does an honest days' work and forms the backbone of our communities and our state.

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