Both Ohio gubernatorial candidates could learn a thing or two from the experts recently gathered by the Columbus Dispatch to discuss the state's fiscal issues. The Dispatch organized "four of Ohio's best budget brains," put them in a room and asked them about their ideas to solve the state's projected $8 billion shortfall.
The two former budget directors and two former state tax commissioners (who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations) agreed that solving the budget shortfall isn't possible with simply spending cuts alone and that all options, including tax hikes, should be on the table. William Wilkins, budget director for former Gov. James A. Rhodes, said, "The next two-year budget is going to require more skill and finesse than any other two-year budget in the last 50 years."
Given the enormity of the budget shortfall and the increased needs of Ohio residents, it's simply unrealistic, and perhaps even immoral, for Republican candidate John Kasich to take the "no new taxes pledge." Kasich has reiterated this sorry stance repeatedly and says he would actually cut taxes. To not even entertain the idea of tax increases may win Kasich points in the election this November, but it's a strategy that is not fair to Ohioans looking for responsible leadership. It comes as no surprise that taking this pledge puts Kasich at odds with some of Ohio's best and brightest.