To start with, I’ll give a disclaimer. I sometimes call myself a Libertarian because I tend to be fiscally conservative while also being pretty socially liberal. Therefore I am normally pretty torn on which candidates or parties to support. However, I am very firmly against much of this new tea party nonsense.
John Kasich in Ohio, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and a few other recently elected governors rode the Tea Party train into office. They got elected based principally on campaign promises to limit spending and lower their states’ debt. At first glance, this sounds awesome! But fast forward a few months to current events. Kasich, Walker, and their counter-parts have now begun dismantling needed prjects and services in their states while tea partiers in Congress do the same. Our wonderful, friendly (read sarcasm) governors have decided to punish working and middle class families for the recent recession instead of focusing on where the problem was caused; politicians, bankers, and the stock market. Since I live in Ohio, I’ll focus on Kasich. Our brilliant governor decided to destroy the teachers’ unions and drastically cut wages for them. I guess he saw that teachers were to blame for the recession, with their evil deceptive ways to mislead students. I personally very much dislike the teachers’ union in particular for personal reasons and I tend to dislike unions as a whole. I feel that they had a time and place but they were now far too strong. I still feel like that, but the solution was not to destroy all their power, just dial it back a bit because unions as an idea are still needed.
Anyway, the union issue is not what caused me to write this post. I wanted to write this after I read a USA Today article this morning talking about high speed rail lines in the US. If you know me, then you know that I am a big supported of mass transit, similar to models in Europe and Japan. Such things would make it easier to travel across country and much cheaper with air tickets and gas prices ever increasing. The US Dept of Transportation had earmarked several billion dollars to several states to start building this needed piece of infrastructure. However, our dear tea baggers decided it was a waste of money to ease travel for their constituents and cut the projects even though earlier reports had detailed a profit coming off of the lines after they were built. In Florida, their tea bagger cut a project that was to create a line between Tampa and Orlando, which the Feds had promised them $2 billion for. After Florida rejected it, the money got split up between 15 other states actually doing the project.
The article also mentions how Wisconsin and Ohio both rejected the funds. Ohio was to have a high speed rail line connecting Cincinnati to Columbus to Cleveland. Our idiot governor has decided we don’t actually need that. Where does he get off doing that? All he is doing is causing residents of Ohio to have to spend more money to travel within the state. His supposed “budget balancing” is only taking money out of projects that are needed like schools and infrastructure. The federal government was granting the state money to build it so that Ohio wouldn’t need to shoulder the burden itself but I guess that meant nothing to him either. Instead of our state receiving it, it was distributed to other states who actually have intelligent leadership. Kasich and the others like him need to be recalled from office for the good of their states. Budget balancing is very clearly needed, but it must be done intelligently, and not focus on areas that would otherwise help or support the middle class.