Thursday, April 25, 2013

Voting for a Balanced Budget

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

The U.S. National Debt is now over $16.8 trillion, and our children and grandchildren are each in debt over $53,000. We owe China too much money, and that is something I think could be agreed upon by both sides. In the Ohio House of Representatives, we passed a balanced budget with bi-partisan support. It seems that Uncle Sam is always looking for ways to influence state government and all too often his preferred method is by way of cash with strings attached. Why would we listen to a government that has not been able to balance a budget since 2007?

By law every two years the state must prepare and pass a balanced budget. In previous years, the state has raised taxes, accepted one-time federal money or instituted furloughs and pay freezes to balance the budget. When you budget at home you have a check and a balance, if you have the money you can spend it, and if you don’t you can’t spend the money. The state budget needs a similar check and balance to keep from expanding without reason.

Out of the many ways to balance a budget, there are two methods that do not help the taxpayer: 1.) Raising taxes, and 2.) Accepting money from a government that doesn’t have any to give. Each time I have witnessed either of these methods used, Ohio’s economic position was hurt as a result.

Recently the Ohio House of Representatives lowered taxes and refused federal money, and as a result we have passed a balanced budget that will benefit this state over the next two years. From here the bill will be sent to the Ohio Senate where it may change.

In this part of the country, we understand the art of balancing a budget in our homes and that should be no different for our state government. Relying on increased taxes, or federal money with strings attached is the wrong approach. You work too hard for your money to have it promised away by the federal government in an attempt to manipulate the behavior of the state government. At the state level we understand the distinct responsibilities of a federalist system where the federal, state and local governments each play a different and very important role.

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