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A New Day In Ohio

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Gov. John Kasich signs the budget at his office in the Ohio Statehouse. (Neal C. Lauron | Dispatch)

Governor John Kasich signed a budget into law yesterday that contains sweeping and crucially needed changes to the Buckeye State’s long-dysfunctional government culture.

Kasich’s budget repealed Ohio’s estate tax, privatized prisons, expanded charter schools, restricted abortion and balanced the state’s income with its expenditures.

From the Columbus Dispatch comes a concise summary of what Kasich has accomplished: “The budget also addressed what began as an $8 billion deficit without raising state taxes, and includes tax breaks such as the elimination of the estate tax in 2013 and a tax credit for those who invest in Ohio companies.”

The Ohio budget is a signal achievement, a concrete expression of what can happen when the voters elect a reformist governor and provide him or her with majorities in the state house. The example for the United States is obvious.

The public employee unions are of course angry and loud, but the voters wanted exactly this –a state living within its means, embracing job creators and innovation, and evolving to adapt new technologies and the amazing power of private markets to achieve great results.

Governor Kasich will be my guest today, and smart leaders from struggling states will play close attention to what he and his partners in the Ohio Statehouse accomplished yesterday.

Now if he could only do something about the Indians’ bats and the Browns’ linebackers.


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