Tag Archives: Rep. Jarrod Martin

Economy Continues to Struggle One Year After Biennial Budget

By Jarrod Martin, State Representative

As we are all well aware, Ohio’s economy has continued to struggle while other states have seen a slight economic rebound. Unlike many of our neighbors, our economy cannot grow because our tax rate is so high. If we were able to lower taxes, small businesses would have more income to hire new employees and businesses across the state would expand because Ohioans would be spending more. However, House Democrats raised taxes in 2009 and passed a budget last July that will cost the taxpayers for years to come.

The biennial budget, which passed in 2009, increased spending by $1 billion in 2010 and $950 million more in 2011. Tax revenue alone cannot fund this budget nor repair the state’s deficit. The Office of Budget and Management projected that the state’s tax revenue will grow by $974 million in the next two years, but will not reach the $5 billion necessary to replace the losses from this budget’s out of control spending.

To otherwise fund this spending, the governor proposed 150 new fees that will take nearly $1 billion from the wallets of the taxpayers. Additionally, the budget usurps $8.5 billion from one-time sources that could have been more wisely spent. On top of these sources, the state received $900 million more from the taxpayers after Ohio’s Democrats passed House Bill 318, which repealed the final installment of the income tax reductions and raised your 2009 income tax rate by 4.2 percent.

With the government reform initiatives my Republican colleagues and I proposed, the state would have saved more than $1 billion annually. Our proposals include legislation to streamline the bloated executive branch and to weed out wasteful Medicaid spending. We found areas where we can painlessly eliminate excess spending; however, the House Democrats decided to cut spending from the areas that need funding the most, including education and elderly health care programs. Their shortsighted moves will jeopardize important programs and will not pay off in the long run.

Raising my three children in Beavercreek, I frequently think about their future here in Ohio and whether there will be enough incentives for them to stay when they are considering colleges and careers. I fear that our state will not grow jobs and hold as many economic opportunities for them if we continue to overspend and burden our taxpayers. All parents hope that their children will have as many opportunities-if not more-than they had, and I would like to do my part to make this a reality for all of our children in the Buckeye State.

A better way to balance State budget than cut services to the poor, elderly, and library patrons : HB 25/SB 52 Reorganizing Ohio’s Executive Branch

In April, Gov. Strickland issued an executive order to reduce and control spending. In May, the office of Budget and Management estimated an additional budget shortfall would exceed $900. In response to this assessment, Gov. Strickland made the following statement:

“The national recession continues to present historic economic challenges for every state and Ohio is no exception. Even though we have reduced state government spending by nearly $2 billion this biennium, we are now faced with even steeper revenue shortages. Addressing the challenges before us will require extraordinary collaboration and bipartisan consensus-building among the state’s elected leadership. I know that we can work together to make the tough choices necessary to maintain a balanced budget while continuing to invest in education and job-creation that will lead to Ohio’s economic revival.

Did the governor mean state jobs or private sector jobs? Earlier this month, Gov. Strickland said state government must be reduced by another $2 billion to balance the budget. To accomplish this, he has closed mental health facilities and other facilities, reduce staff to Reagan era numbers, and reduced budgets of most state agencies. State employees have voluntarily sacrificed further increases in pay for several years. After all of these fiscally responsible steps, a budget deficit of $3.2 billion still exists.

I suppose that is why Gov. Strickland proposes additional cuts to local library budgets. The deficit probably accounts for a number of proposed cut is services for the poor and elderly as well.

In his last press release, Gov. Strickland repeatedly said, “We must resize the government.” Of course, he means the cuts to agency budgets and some of their personnel. What he doesn’t mean is downsizing the executive branch itself. Yet, there are concurrent bill in both House and Senate committees that will do just that. In February, Representatives Jarrod Martin and Robert Hackett cosponsored HB 25 and Senator Timothy Grendell is the sponsor of SB 52. (Where is Senator Chris Widener?) If these bills would pass, at least $2 of the $3.2 billion would be realized.

Yes, it would be limited-government advocates dream come true. The 20 cabinet-level agencies would be consolidated into 10 cabinet-level departments.

Yes, it would actually reflect the downsizing occurring throughout the private sector as well.

According to analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the bill would not “affect the provision of services by and operations of political subdivisions.” Because government is notorious for inefficiency anyway, the disruption of some services during the transition is bound to occur. Nevertheless, less bureaucracy means less waste and (god-forbid) less taxation.

Although Gov. Strickland still says he doesn’t want to raise new taxes, his comrades on Capitol Hill and elsewhere are creating a New Deal Era economic crisis requiring more taxes and more national debt to justify the enlargement of the federal powers and further the Left’s goal of a fully socialist-Marxist economy. Maybe that t is why loyal party member Strickland is in the key position in a key state.

This federally-driven economic crisis is even more reason for getting Ohio legislators to pass HB25/SB52 to consolidate the executive branch and meet the balance budget. If we can achieve it in Ohio, we can also achieve it at the federal level too. “Yes we can!”