Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy - Ohio’s Balanced Budget

Over the past few weeks I have been witnessing our lawmakers in Washington barter over raising our nation’s debt ceiling. This country has over $14 trillion in debt and it will continue growing.

Governor Kasich and my colleagues in the state government have passed a budget that will ensure Ohio has good credit in the future. In fact, as a result of the strong economic policies supported in this General Assembly, the Standard and Poor’s credit agency has upgraded the credit rating of this great state. At the same time, the federal government has brought this country to the brink. The same credit agencies are speculating lowering the credit score of the country even after the debt ceiling has been raised.

Quite simply, the national debt is getting to high and the country should not continue to spend more than it takes in. We must cut spending, yet leaders such as the President believe the answer is to raise taxes on families and businesses; this should not be an option. Tax increases stifle economic growth. In Ohio, our local economies will receive the benefit of a balanced state budget that did not increase taxes. I personally would support a constitutional amendment to require the United States to balance the budget just like we do in Ohio.

Higher taxes and increased costs are the wrong direction for government. In Ohio, we are working to lower the tax burden. The cuts in government spending impact various agencies and organizations, and are sometimes unpopular, but those cuts are imperative to continue providing the important services of the state. The previous Ohio budget under the Strickland administration was balanced using stimulus dollars, which created an $8 billion gap between spending and revenue when we began working on this budget. At the end of June, Governor Kasich signed a balanced budget that was achieved by reducing spending. The agencies and organizations that have received cuts are also working with the General Assembly to develop new ways to save dollars and reduce the costs of operation. Cutting spending is not difficult when the public is willing to find new ways to reduce the costs of doing business.

Many local schools have witnessed a direct decrease in total funding dollars from last year due to expired stimulus dollars, but to offset this we have reduced the burden of unfunded mandates such as requiring the purchase of new textbooks or requiring all-day kindergarten. As a result of questions raised by administrators in this district, the budget included a provision that released money set aside for textbooks to be used by administrators in other ways providing students the most needed educational materials.

The budget also included an outline for the procedure of using the internet to make up missed school days due to inclement weather. This also found its genesis in our local schools. By permitting the option of making up school days online, the costs of operating the school building will be reduced and provide savings for school administrators. Reducing the costs and size of government starts with YOU; your opinions are important and will make a direct impact in helping the state continue to balance a budget with less spending and less taxes.

The fair season has started and I look forward to seeing many of you at the local fairs and parades. I value your opinion and believe you have many ideas to reduce the costs and size of government in this state. Please see me at the fair or contact my office to further discuss your ideas.


  1. The only thing the state did was push the debt on down to the local level. Less money for schools and municipalities. Ask any local person and they will tell you that they simply cut off the tax revenue from being pushed down to the local level where it can do some good. I'd rather have my tax money back to use at the local level rather than the state clowns keeping it and declaring a victory.

  2. Why is it that Republicans always cry the national debt is too high when a Democrat is President, but say nothing when a Republican is in the Whitehouse? Didn't the last Vice President, Mr. Cheney, say "deficits don't matter" when G. W. Bush was in office?

  3. I'm curious, where was the money suppose to come from if not from the people who live within the state? So all of you who agree with Anonymous10:13 think we should what? live in our state for free? Not be responsible for the services we take advantage of? Get more handouts from the Feds? If the state is 8 BILLION in the hole then what revenue is there to pass down? In many instances, more taxes are paid locally than on the broader "State" basis. Look at the local big picture... LOCAL tax dollars have been voted to pay for things like police/fire salaries, maintenance levies and if half of greenville has its way, the new school might just get voted in when they manage to get it back on the ballot again in Nov. So we will have to pay to get that started. Then we will have to pay later 'cause I am sure the initial amount of money wont be enough (initial cost estimates rarely are)...another levy. Then maintenance cost increases...another levy. That is just for the new school. There is also the high school to consider. What about when the council or someone wants a pay raise? Federal Stimulus money ran out...that is the state's fault? The state found a way around that loss for the schools and gave them some latitude with their budgets...its not free reign granted but we dont live in an ideal world either.
    Anonymous8:59...Republicans cry when the debt is too high for the same reason that democrats cry about losing spending from their entitlement programs (it doesnt matter who is president). Grown men/women always cry when they can't have their way...just like when they were spoiled little brats.

  4. The latest textbooks and all day kindergarten are best for our students. These students are our future and we are short changing them. Many schools do not have money for textbooks so changing the restrictions will not help much. Many schools did not have all day kindergarten so there is no savings there.

    What has our legislative branch in Columbus given up? Nothing. It is time for our leaders in Columbus to give up some of their pay and benefits. They are more than willing to force the rest of us to give them up.

    I voted for Mr. Buchy every time he has run for office. I would not vote for him today. He is a changed man.


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