Kasich sets sights high for successPublished 10:53am Friday, December 28, 2012
The old saying is to “shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.” In that case, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a virtual astronaut.
With two years now under his belt Ohio’s citizens can start to get a picture for what type of governor Kasich has been and will be for the rest of his term.
One word comes to mind: fearless.
The governor has not shied away from the myriad of problems facing the state and his relentless approach — which sometimes comes across much like a bull in a china shop — has the state in a stronger position than it has been in many years and there is a plan in place for many of the long-time challenges deemed unfixable.
Right from the start he bridged an $8 billion deficit without raising taxes.
Kasich changed the entire business climate and the perception of Ohio. The state has climbed from the bottom of the ladder in terms of job creation to now rank in the top five this year.
The governor has helped initiate reforms for Ohio’s higher education system that will hold the institutions more accountable for student success.
He has created a plan for the Ohio Turnpike that will benefit that roadway and jumpstart infrastructure projects across the state. He has helped address the public employee retirement system that still needs work but is stronger than it has been for decades.
These successes don’t even include huge strides in eliminating the “death tax,” reforming Medicaid, focsuing on public education and the state’s prison system and just cutting general government inefficiencies at every level.
Perhaps the only area where Kasich has fallen short was Senate Bill 5, what became State Issue 2. This legislation is much-needed reform of how public unions operate, but it failed in part for overreaching and in part for the abrasive way the governor approached it.
But Kasich seems to have learned from this misstep and has sharpened his tact on many key issues, which has helped propel some of the recent successes.
The Columbus Dispatch may have said it best recently: “… Kasich’s most critical accomplishment doesn’t appear on a spreadsheet or in legislation; it rests in the hearts of the many Ohioans who again have hope that their state and their prospects are on the rise.”
At one time it looked like Kasich was all but certain to be a one-term governor. Now, if his second two years are as good as his first, Ohio’s citizens should hope he gets four more after that.