By Josh Mandel
Ohio is facing numerous challenges, including a large budget deficit, double-digit unemployment and an exodus of jobs, young people and retirees. Solving these problems requires responsible leadership and fresh thinking — and I am working hard every day to identify business-friendly, limited-government solutions to Ohio’s economic struggle.
Here are some examples:
Making Ohio More Business-Friendly Through Regulatory Reform and Government Consolidation:
Businesses will locate and grow where there exists a stable, certain and friendly economic environment. Unfortunately, too often bureaucrats in our state government view businesses with a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude. Instead, I believe that our state government workers should be waking up every morning asking themselves, “How can I help Ohio businesses succeed, or at least get the heck out of the way?” Therefore, I have been a strong proponent of instituting state government regulatory reform, including:
– Streamlining EPA permitting processes.
– Restructuring the Bureau of Workers Compensation.
– Eliminating the waste, fraud and abuse in Ohio’s Medicaid system.
– Consolidating the size of our state government.
Prioritizing Ohio Businesses Over Out-of State Businesses:
I was disturbed to learn that certain programs in the Ohio Department of Development give preferential treatment to companies located in other states over companies already located in Ohio. Yes, you read that correctly. There are economic incentive programs, funded by our tax dollars, for which companies in Kentucky and West Virginia can qualify but companies in Ohio cannot. This backwards approach to growing Ohio’s economy sends a terrible message to Ohio businesses, and I have been proud to stand up to change it. I have referenced this problem in many speeches and gatherings and am taking leadership to alter the focus of these programs in order to rightly prioritize Ohio businesses.
Eliminating Ohio’s Estate Tax:
Since I stepped foot in the Ohio legislature, I have been proudly advocating for the elimination of Ohio’s estate tax. I wrote about it last year and continue to lead on it today. This form of double-taxation has had the unfortunate and predictable result of making Naples, Palm Beach and Phoenix second capitals of Ohio. By forcing retirees to become citizens of other states, we are losing an incredible amount of financial and intellectual capital that should be invested in our communities. Ohio’s estate tax hits the middle class, homeowners and farmers while driving jobs, capital and families out of Ohio. I am committed to work with Republicans and Democrats at the Statehouse to eliminate this economic burden on Ohio families and Ohio’s economy.
Growing Ohio’s Economy through Independence from Foreign Oil:
I also continue to be a strong co-sponsor of House Bill 107 which is a measure to allow Ohioans to drill for oil and gas on state lands. This legislation would empower Ohioans to maximize the natural resources within our borders in order to create jobs, promote economic activity and foster independence from foreign oil. I believe responsible exploration of oil and gas in Ohio will help drive down energy prices for Ohio families and businesses and contribute to our nation’s fight against terrorism. I am also proud to support efforts underway to build a coal gasification plant in Ohio, which would utilize Ohio coal to create Ohio jobs and foster independence from foreign oil.
These are just a handful of the issues on which I am working to improve the lives of Ohioans and reverse the exodus of jobs, young people and retirees from Ohio. Through countless hours at the Statehouse and by traveling 76,251 miles throughout the state, I have heard from thousands of people and the message is clear – Ohio needs new leadership. I am ready to provide Ohio with the leadership it needs in order to improve our economy through economic freedom, limited government and fiscal responsibility.
State Representative Josh Mandel is the GOP candidate for the office of State Treasurer. His endorsement is seen by many as a win for the Ohio Tea Parties.