Gov. John Kasich Attempts To Take Credit For Ohio's Improving Economy

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Vice President Joe Biden was out on the campaign trail this week in Ohio, and on the attack over Mitt Romney's record as a so-called "job creator" and a businessman who "knows how to create jobs" and get our economy moving again. Fox's Neil Cavuto brought on his former fellow Fox contributor turned Ohio Governor John Kasich to respond.

Kasich of course tried to downplay the credit the Obama administration was attempting to take for Ohio's economy improving and their unemployment rate falling below the national average, and instead credited himself for making Ohio a more business friendly state and making the same points we've been hearing from Republicans ad nauseum on what Paul Krugman has rightfully called "the confidence fairy." Forget the fact that what drives businesses to make investments and grow their companies are consumers and whether the general public has enough disposable income to afford their products. Kasich wants you to believe, like all Republicans, that fear of over-regulation, rather than a lack of customers is what's stifling our economy.

The "confidence" businesses actually need is going to be driven up by a strong middle class and consumers who can afford their products; which as we've seen over the last few decades is what Republicans are determined to destroy.

The Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern pointed out earlier this year exactly why Kasich does not deserve credit for turning Ohio's economy around: REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Says Kasich Should Credit Obama, Brown, Dems for Ohio’s Improving Economy in State of the State Address:

Kasich, like Romney, opposed auto industry investments championed by Dems; has refused to admit mistake in opposing auto rescue

Today Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference to preview Governor Kasich’s State of the State address and highlight efforts by President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democrats that have improved Ohio’s economy.

Chairman Redfern’s prepared remarks follow:

“Tomorrow in Steubenville, Governor Kasich will deliver his second State of the State address. In his remarks, we expect him to give himself credit for Ohio’s improving economy. And while we agree wholeheartedly with Governor Kasich that Ohio’s economy is getting better, we disagree very much on how we got on this road to recovery.

“I have next to me here a chart that shows month-by-month changes in employment over the last four years. The red bars on the chart represent the 4.6 million private sector jobs we lost in the year before the President took office. The blue bars represent job creation under President Obama.

“President Obama took office at a time when our country was losing jobs at a rate of more than 700,000 per month. From day one of his administration, the President worked with Senator Sherrod Brown and others to take swift, bold action to address the immediate jobs crisis. Working together, they stopped the bleeding and invested in America.

“America’s businesses have now added jobs for 23 straight months. More than 3.6 million private sector jobs have been created in the past two years. In the last month alone, 240,000 jobs were added.

“Democratic efforts were essential in saving our economy from free-fall. For instance, by cutting taxes for middle-class families, President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democratic leaders worked to make sure Ohio families had a little more money in their wallets to pay for essential items like groceries, gas and home bills.

“And the Making Work Pay Tax Cut, part of President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, provided 4.5 million Ohio families with a collective $2.2 billion in tax relief. On top of that, President “Obama’s 2010 Payroll Tax Cut provided 5.7 million Ohio workers with a collective $3.6 billion in tax relief, and Democrats are fighting to extend the payroll tax cut through 2012 – all in an effort to make sure that our economy recovers, Ohioans have what they need to pay their bills, stay in their homes and put their kids through school, among other priorities.

“Republicans have a different approach when it comes to taxes. Mitt Romney and his Republican rivals believe that our tax system should instead benefit big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. And John Kasich’s budget imposes backdoor tax increases by passing the burden down to the local level. Because of Governor Kasich’s budget, local officials will need to raise taxes or take drastic measures like laying off police and firefighters.

“And we can’t forget the courageous efforts of President Obama, Senator Brown and Congressional Democrats to save the American auto industry – which is now thriving.

“Because of the Obama Administration’s bold action to extend a loan to Chrysler and GM to give them the ability to re-structure and compete in this economy, Ohio has added more than 8,000 auto manufacturing jobs, since July 2009, and we are set to add more in the near future.

“President Obama’s efforts to rescue the auto industry were not politically popular at first, but he believed in the auto workers in Toledo and Lordstown and the communities affected by the auto industries because as we know, the auto industry here supports a full 12.4% of the state’s workforce!

“Republicans didn’t share in the President’s judgment on the auto industry. In fact, Mitt Romney suggested that we sit back and allow the auto industry to go bankrupt. And John Kasich criticized Democratic efforts to save GM and Chrysler.

“And now Mitt Romney is claiming that what he did as a corporate buyout specialist is no different than what the President did to save the US auto industry. Well, that assertion is just absurd on its face.

“To this day, Governor Kasich still won’t admit that he was wrong to oppose these efforts. If John Kasich and Mitt Romney had their way, the 848,000 Ohio jobs supported by the auto industry would have been in jeopardy.

“President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders also understood that we needed to take quick action to stop Wall Street fat cats from once again engaging in the abusive practices that drove our country into recession. That’s why they passed Wall Street reform and that’s why the President appointed Ohio’s own Rich Cordray as America’s top consumer watchdog. Republicans like John Kasich didn’t support the President’s Wall Street Reform Act. And Republicans like Mitt Romney even want to repeal it.

“And on a number of issues including Kasich’s anti-union bill, supporting a so-called ‘Personhood’ amendment that would completely eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and pushing through an egregious assault on voters’ rights, Kasich is proving he’s not only out of touch with Ohio’s values, he’s out of touch with who stood up when it wasn’t politically expedient to do so, in order to save the nation and Ohio’s economy from going off the cliff.

“While our state and our nation are on a road to recovery, we of course have a lot more work to do. And that’s why President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders are laser-focused on continuing to help our economy improve.

“We hope that John Kasich and his allies in the Statehouse will join Democrats in focusing on building upon the steps of economic recovery we’ve seen instead of continuing their extreme agenda of attacks on workers’ rights, women’s rights and voting rights.”

As Think Progress reported late last year, Kasich tried to have it both ways back then as well on the auto bailout and what it meant for his state's economy: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is ‘Very Pleased’ That The Auto Rescue He Originally Opposed Saved The Auto Industry:

In 2009, the Obama administration fought the tide of Republican disapproval and decided to rescue General Motors and Chrysler. Millions in paid back loans and thousands of additional jobs later, GM and Chrysler are on track to sell 14 million cars, the “fastest pace in more than two years.”

The American auto recovery is simultaneously spurring an about-face among GOP naysayers. Once calling on America to “let Detroit go bankrupt,” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently claimed that the rescue was his idea first. Now, another Republican is following suit: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

When first asked about financial aid for the auto industry in 2008, Kasich dismissed the idea, saying, “If they’re not going to be viable, we shouldn’t throw good money after bad.” Asked for his feelings now that the rescue is showing success, Kasich said he is “very pleased” that the Americans have the jobs he originally opposed saving:

Rick Snyder, Kasich’s fellow Republican governor in Michigan, has said that government invention helped save Chrysler and General Motors – and he warned GOP presidential candidates against criticizing the bailout.

Kasich would not go that far.

“What’s done is done,” he said. “We have a strengthening auto industry in Ohio. And I am very pleased about it. I am pleased for the families of workers who have jobs.”

The auto funds have been vital to saving and creating jobs in Ohio. One Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio was able to add 1,100 new jobs this fall. More than merely pleased, Kasich attempted to take credit for the added jobs — a fact that did not escape Ohio workers.

Mitt Romney famously said we should let Detroit go bankrupt. Now Ohio's Gov. Kasich is taking credit for the economic benefits of ignoring their presumptive presidential nominee's recommendations.

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