Editorial Roundup

• The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Dec. 29

Gov. John Kasich has sided with taxpayers and in the cause of Ohio jobs and the state’s future by vetoing two objectionable bills, and parts of a third, that the General Assembly passed during its frenzied postelection (“lame duck”) session.

The Republican governor’s veto of House Bill 554 is especially welcome.

The bill, which a dozen of the legislature’s GOP members also opposed, would effectively have extended Ohio’s wrongheaded freeze on the state’s timetable for alternative-energy and energy-efficiency standards. (The timetable was set in a bipartisan 2008 law.) The freeze already has cost Ohio two years of progress in developing and adopting new energy technologies and gaining related investment, jobs and entrepreneurship — two years a state seeking innovation couldn’t afford to lose. HB 554 would have taken Ohio further backward. Kasich’s veto moves Ohio forward.

Kasich also vetoed Senate Bill 329, a needless and potentially costly proposal that would have abolished Ohio Cabinet departments unless the General Assembly periodically decided to keep them.

State legislators already have the power to abolish, merge or reorganize all state agencies, including Cabinet departments— notably, when writing Ohio’s budget…


• The Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 31

As everybody knows, buying stuff is more fun than paying for it, and living within one’s means entails unpleasant choices, such as doing without and delaying gratification. Financial discipline is not much fun. But neither is bankruptcy and ruin, which is why most people knuckle down keep their finances under control.

But not some politicians, whose willingness to spend is unbridled because they are spending someone else’s money.

This is why today the United States’ national debt is $20 trillion and climbing and its major entitlement programs are headed directly for insolvency in short order. As things stand now, the fiscal trajectory of the nation is unsustainable. Debt will continue to grow, interest payments on the debt will continue to mount, and the demands on Social Security and Medicare will exceed the resources available to meet them.

Eventually, the government will face some kind of default, either on its obligations to creditors or on its promises to citizens. Its insatiable hunger for credit could drive up interest rates, or it will try to set its finances in order by increasing taxes to punishing rates. Either solution means dire results for the economy and the standard of living of most Americans.

Politicians and pundits poo-poo the problem, arguing that interests rates are historically low so more borrowing is OK, and that robust economic growth— which always seems to around the next corner —will overtake the growing mountain of debt…