Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘2016’

Bernie Sanders Addressed Georgetown University On Democratic Socialism

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 29, 2020

Try as they might, pundit and naysayers of most all stripe continue to castigate, demonize, and mischaracterize Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a “socialist” in the “classical” sense.

The “classical” sense, or definition of “socialism” is when a government controls the means -and- the method of production. Period. End of conversation.

In the United States, there has NEVER been, nor will there ever be, any “government factory.”

So, there’s that to consider.

But, think about the coins and currency (money) in your pocket.

You might have an argument for calling it “socialist,” because it’s
• made by the government,
• on government-owned machines,
• using government-owned paper, ink, and metals,
• by government employees, and is effectively
• owned by the government (on temporary “loan” to you, though it is in actuality, a promissory note, itself – but monetary theory is a topic for discussion another day).

BUT… the reason it’s NOT socialist is that EVERYTHING – the inks, the metals, the papers, the stamping and printing machines… EVERYTHING – was obtained by Publicly Bid Open Contracts FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Yeah.

So, there’s also that to consider.

And then, there’s our military… which issues official government-owned uniforms to government employees, who work using government-owned equipment, and their healthcare – which is given at NO COST TO THEM -and- TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS – using government-owned equipment, in government-owned healthcare facilities and hospitals, with government-owned-and-provided medicines.

And, in that scenario, the government employees control the means –and– the method of production, per se. It’s a “socialist” system if ever there was one!

But,, once again, ALL of those materials, and all the manpower to perform ALL those functions COMES FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR via Publicly Bid Open Contracts.

Yeah.

So, there’s that to consider, as well.

Guess it must not be “socialism,” eh?

At least since 1931 (and likely at least 20 years or so earlier), the great “demon” of socialism has been a source of name-calling and fear-baiting in government.

The word “socialism” has been tossed around more than a Caesar’s Salad with oil and vinegar dressing. And, it’s only done for political hay-making purposes. In other words, it’s much like “The Boy Who Cried ‘WOLF!'”

Here are two examples from the Congressional Record of 1931:

Congressional Record–Senate, 28Feb1931, p6448

You see, in October 1917, something happened in Russia, and that country changed its name, which included the word “socialist” in it. Thereafter, it was easy to demonize the word, simply because of association with what happened in Russia.

The “something” that happened in Russia was the “October Revolution,” (i.e., the Russian Revolution) in which Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) and his merry band of men (mostly) known as the Bolsheviks, overthrew the Russian government, which at the time had been long ruled by Czars from the Romanov family, the royal family of Russia – which was a 300-year long imperial dynasty (the 2nd in Russian history), and one of ineptitude, nepotism, incompetence, excess, corruption, and hubris – which in all fairness, also included a few successes, but exceedingly few.

Congressional Record – House 2March31 p6850

It was actually the 2nd (or 3rd, depending upon what source you read) that year, with the first being in March (or February, again, depending upon what source you read). An earlier revolution in 1905 had also happened, and the situation and circumstances of the that revolution was culminated in the 1917 revolutions. Riots, work stoppages, strikes, food shortages, economic upheaval, lack of industrialization, were almost commonplace, and social upheaval was in the air, and in the hearts and minds of Russian civilians.

In the early 1900’s, Russia was one of the most impoverished nations in the world, and most European countries, and did much of the world, viewed Russia as being a backwards, and undeveloped nation, which was also plagued with high poverty, among other social ills. It was only a relatively few years earlier, in 1861, that serfdom had been made illegal in Russia, though it had been illegal in Europe for much longer.

“Serfdom” is a practice of the landed gentry (wealthy real estate/properly owners) in which indentured servitude of the lowest social class members, called “serfs,” occurred, though which the impoverished serfs were in some way indebted to the land owner, typically in exchange for the privilege of working a plot of land for their own purposes, which in more modern times in America is called share-cropping. After serfdom was outlawed, the former serfs had freedom to organize, and they did.

Industrialization, which occurred much later in Russia than in other nations, was the harbinger of significant social change. Between 1890 and 1910, the populations of the well-known cities St. Petersburg, and Moscow, doubled in size. Such overcrowding brought along other social ills such as destitute living conditions for industrial workers, and with it, disease.

Decisions to grow agricultural products in the harsh northern Russian climes were similarly fraught with difficulty, and production was stymied, which in turn brought about food shortages, and their accompanying ills. In conjunction with the Crimean War (1854-56) arising from Russian pressure on Turkey which directly threatened British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India, combined with Russian involvement in other armed conflicts (notably with Japan), their economy was brought to a practical stand-still.

The “Bloody Sunday Massacre” of unarmed peaceful protestors by government troops in St. Petersburg on January 22, 1905, set the stage for even greater civil unrest shortly thereafter.

THE POINT BEING…

History is full of events of people revolting when food and housing – 2 of the 3 most fundamental human needs of food, clothing, and shelter – cannot be obtained.

The same thing happened in the United States, albeit with less violence, during the Great Depression.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aka “FDR”, and his administration, sought to do everything humanly possible to PREVENT another occurrence of a “Great Depression” by correcting laws that led to the problem.

In the years since, Republicans (mostly), have done their damndest to tear down, and destroy everything FDR accomplished – including their wet-dream of privatizing Social Security – in order to hand it over to Wall Street speculators, who are salivating like hungry dogs to get their greedy hands on The People’s money.

As evidence of mostly Republican effort (though in all fairness, some Democrats have been involved, as well – aka “establishment Democrats,” or Wall Street Democrats In Name Only, or DINOs) to tear down the laws and rules protecting the people, look at the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (repeal and replaced by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – 145 pages, and signed into law by President CLINTON in 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act passed in 1933, signed by FDR, was 37 pages in length, and forbade the commingling of money from Insurance companies, Stock Brokerage houses, and Banks, i.e., each industry could not perform the roles which the others did), which led DIRECTLY to the “Great Recession” during the George W. Bush administration, in which numerous “too-big-to-fail” banks collapsed, insurance companies went under, people lost jobs, and automobile manufacturers requested a bail-out… while the people got no bail-out.

Following, are the transcribed remarks made by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at Georgetown University November 19, 2015 about what he means when he mentions “democratic socialism.”

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.

He saw millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

He saw millions lacking the means to buy the products they needed and by their poverty and lack of disposable income denying employment to many other millions.

He saw one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

And he acted. Against the ferocious opposition of the ruling class of his day, people he called economic royalists, Roosevelt implemented a series of programs that put millions of people back to work, took them out of poverty and restored their faith in government. He redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our country. He combatted cynicism, fear and despair. He reinvigorated democracy. He transformed the country.

Bernie Sanders delivers his long-awaited speech on Democratic Socialism at Georgetown University. He also speaks about his vision for bringing American foreign policy into the 21st century.

And that is what we have to do today.

And, by the way, almost everything he proposed was called “socialist.” Social Security, which transformed life for the elderly in this country was “socialist.” The concept of the “minimum wage” was seen as a radical intrusion into the marketplace and was described as “socialist.” Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as “socialist.” Yet, these programs have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.

Thirty years later, in Read the rest of this entry »

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Do You Want What Your Enemy Wants For You?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Should you want what your enemy wants for you?

That’s essentially the question that many should be asking themselves.

Our enemies, America’s enemies, the enemies of freedom, desire our destruction.

That’s a given.

Knowing that they desire to see America destroyed, they all have various tactics and strategies which they hope will accelerate, and prove successful in their effort to destroy America.

Should America do what our enemies want us to do?

Should America cower and coalesce to them?

Or, perhaps, should America stand firm in the beliefs and practices which made us strong?

The answer, I think, is obvious.

We should stand firm in the in the beliefs and practices which made us strong.

So, here’s a very real quandary.

It’s the first page in the report.

This is NOT a Republican “thing,” nor is it a Democratic “thing” – it’s an American thing.

Our nation’s Intelligence agencies have ALL unanimously concluded that Read the rest of this entry »

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Famous Last Words

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 29, 2019

Brought to you by Twitter.

Jim Jordan is a Republican who has represented Ohio’s 4th Congressional District since 2007.

It – the blatant hypocrisy – would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.

Representative Jordan continues to be an outspoken critic of the Impeachment Investigation which the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (aka the House Intelligence Committee) has been conducting over the past couple weeks. The committee has been investigating allegations that President Trump abused the office of the President and betrayed the American people, and possibly even violated law, by withholding Congressionally-mandated and approved monies specifically appropriated for Ukrainian defense against our common enemy, Russia.

In 2014, Russia invaded Crimea, an independent autonomous territory in the Southern Ukraine bordering the Black Sea, following civil unrest there. At the time, Ukraine was in the midst of socio-political turmoil as a national revolution was under way.

Then-former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was friendly to Russia, had requested assistance from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Read the rest of this entry »

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RUSSIA DOES NOT PLAY! SO STOP PLAYING WITH THE RUSSIANS!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

REMEMBER THE RUSSIANS!

Intelligence Community Assessment

This report is a downgraded version of a more sensitive assessment; its
conclusions are identical to those in the more sensitive
assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

TOP SECRET//HCS-P/SI-G//ORCON/NOFORN/FISA

6 January 2017

This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

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Russians Hacked Into Election Software

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The ONLY FAILSAFE means to electronically count ballots is by using an Optical Scanning system. Votes can be counted manually, and Voter Intent can be determined by examining ballots. I write from experience as an Election Official in numerous elections. Can any electronic device be hacked? Yes. But physical ballots are the “backup” which can be examined to check against any suspicious machine, or software.

—//—

Russians Hacked Into Election Software, Databases In 39 States

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they complained directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.”

By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON – Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.

“They’re coming after America. They will be back.”

– Former FBI Director James Comey testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington declined to comment on the agency’s probe.

Russian officials have publicly denied any role in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. elections, including a massive “spear phishing” effort that compromised Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, among hundreds of other groups. President Vladimir Putin said in recent comments to reporters that criminals inside the country could have been involved without having been sanctioned by the Russian government.

One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

As the first test of a communication system designed to de-escalate cyber conflict between the two countries, the cyber “red phone” — not a phone, in fact, but a secure messaging channel for sending urgent messages and documents — didn’t quite work as the White House had hoped. NBC News first reported that use of the red phone by the White House last December.

The White House provided evidence gathered on Russia’s hacking efforts and reasons why the U.S. considered it dangerously aggressive. Russia responded by asking for more information and providing assurances that it would look into the matter even as the hacking continued, according to the two people familiar with the response.

“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama. “Given that our election systems are so decentralized, that effort meant working with Democratic and Republican election administrators from all across the country to bolster their cyber defenses.”

Illinois, which was among the states that gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security almost full access to investigate its systems, provides a window into the hackers’ successes and failures.

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to Read the rest of this entry »

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Answering @chrkirk: Electoral College’s Voting Problems Violates Equal Protection Clause

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 19, 2016

New York Times Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents. Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
From: New York Times Op-Chart November 2, 2008
This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents.
Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

Having read the article How Powerful Is Your Vote? by Chris Kirk several times, I still disagree with it. The article’s premise is that by using the Electoral College (EC) system, the votes cast in less populated states are somehow “more powerful” than those in more populated states. To posit such an assertion is to demonstrate a wholesale lack of understanding of the system. That is not to say the EC system is perfect, nor that changes to it are not needed; rather, it only acknowledges the author’s fundamentally deep misunderstanding of the manner in which the system is established, and a virtually wholesale ignorance of the Constitution.

Apparently, as evidenced by the graphic seen herein, others are similarly misguided. However, one would expect more from George Mason University. Much more, in fact. However, to understand – as I mention later – the bias is strictly and exclusively from including 2 Senators in the number of Electors. Dr. Mark Newman, PhD, who is the Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan correctly writes that “The electors are apportioned among the states roughly according to population, as measured by the census, but with a small but deliberate bias in favor of less populous states.

According to the Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 & 3, Electoral Votes in each state are equal to Read the rest of this entry »

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The @GOP’s Love/Hate Relationship With @realDonaldTrump Is Beginning To Show Hair

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 12, 2016
Day 4: The shit’s starting to hit the fam… er, fan

Donald Trump, the GOP Presidential nominee who appears to have won the 2016 General Election, has reportedly made remarks that he might not, after all, as he proclaimed in his “Contract with the American Voter” that he would “5.) Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines…”

Strike One:
According to his first post-election interview, which was exclusive to the Wall Street Journal, “President-elect Donald Trump said he would consider leaving in place certain parts of the Affordable Care Act,” and that “Mr. Trump said he favors keeping the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions, and a provision that allows parents to provide years of additional coverage for children [up to age 26] on their insurance policies.”

Regular readers will recall that yesterday I had made the same observation, that portions of the law are worth keeping.

 President-elect Donald Trump leaves a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC Zach Gibson/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump leaves a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Strike Two:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY, R) has pointedly said he opposes and will refuse Trump’s first order of business in his Contract with the American Voter which is “Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits.” The Senator, who has been in office since 1984 (32 years), said, “I would say we have term limits now. They’re called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

Strike Three:
Furthermore, McConnnell has also said that he’s opposed to Read the rest of this entry »

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“It is finished.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I couldn’t help but think of that phrase as I reflected upon the stunning conclusion of the 2016 Presidential Election.

“It is finished.”

The erudite will recognize the utterance attributed to Read the rest of this entry »

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Hillary & Trump: Two Deeply Flawed Candidates

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By many accounts, the 2016 Presidential Election year is a complete campaign in the ass. Two deeply flawed candidates manipulated and exposed deeply flawed processes in both major political parties, not the least of which is for the GOP, how to vet their candidates more thoroughly, and have the ability to remove them from official party candidacy, and for the Democrats, how to maintain candidate neutrality, and prevent party officials from influencing candidates of the top officials’ choosing toward nomination. I predict many much-needed changes on the horizon for both parties… following the November General Election.

—/—

by Gary Cosby, Jr.
Used with permission

WARNING:  This is a long post. It is also my final political post before the election.

I am not an editorial writer but today I am going to play one on Facebook. First, let me say, everyone is welcome to comment; however, if your comment uses foul language or is abusive to anyone else, your comment will be deleted. One of the great problems we have today is our lack of ability to disagree and still have civil discourse; therefore, we will practice it or be censured. Keep in mind, this is my opinion and you do not have to agree with it. Thank your First Amendment rights for that.

By now, we all know this presidential election cycle has presented us with the two poorest candidates in memory, perhaps in all of American history. Certainly there have been poor candidates running for one party or the other throughout our history but not facing one another in the same election.

They have turned the presidential debates into bad Saturday Night Live skits. In fact, I doubt the writers of SNL would have been able to dream up anything this hideous. The American political scene will never be the same and Read the rest of this entry »

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Known vs Unknown: A Voting Rationale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 3, 2016

Someone opined that they hoped the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee would be elected.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Here’s why:
As we have suffered, never before has there been a more grotesque figure campaigning for the noble office of the President.
party_democrat

party_republicanThe candidate has never served in an office of Public Trust, nor ever served in any Elected Office. There is literally no shred of evidence of governing competency, much less experience, in any Public Office, and though our Constitution states that the minimum eligibility requirements for the office are to be “a citizen of the United States… the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States,” we have never elected an individual as President whom has never served in any capacity of Public Trust, nor Elected Office.

And so, in that regard, the candidate is a significantly Unknown Quantity. That can be, and often is, fraught with enormous peril.

We expect Read the rest of this entry »

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Your Tax Dollars At Work: Taxpayers Subsidize CEO Pay, Here’s How #BonusLoophole

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 3, 2016

Executive Excess 2016: The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

This 23rd annual report reveals how taxpayers are subsidizing financial crisis windfalls.

By Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati, August 31, 2016

CashingInOnTheCrisis-Graphic-1-1This report is the first to calculate how much taxpayers have been subsidizing executive bonuses at the nation’s largest banks.

The study focuses on a 1993 Clinton administration reform that was intended to rein in runaway CEO pay by capping the tax deductibility of executive compensation at $1 million. But the new rule included a huge loophole for stock options and other “performance” pay. As a result, the more corporations hand out in executive bonuses, the lower their tax bill. This perverse incentive for excessive compensation has been a major factor in the explosion of CEO pay.

The financial bailout program closed this loophole for recipients, but only until Read the rest of this entry »

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Reasons Why Ohio Governor John Kasich Will Be Our Next President

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 24, 2015

There are numerous reasons, actually.

Here are a few:

He has an excellent political background/pedigree/experience.
• In 1978, aged 26 he was elected to the Ohio State Senate’s 15th Senatorial District, and remains OH’s youngest ever elected state senator
• In 1982, he was elected to the US House of Representatives 12th Ohio District, where he served from ’83-2001 (was re-elected 8 times) by at least 64% each time
• In 2010, he was elected governor, and in 2014 re-elected in a landslide, carrying all but 2 counties (86/88) – including the traditionally Democratic-leaning Hamilton county, where Cincinnati is located

Ohio Governor John Kasich (2010 & 2014)

Ohio Governor John Kasich (2010 & 2014)

He has done quite well by Ohio voters.
• His approval rating (always fluctuating for any elected figure) among Ohioans, has been as much as 77%.
• He expanded Medicaid in Ohio (which reduces uncompensated care & increases hospitals’ solvency)
• He saved $3Billion in the Medicaid budget, and slowed growth in the plan from 9%-3%, the lowest rate nationally
• He used cost-saving reforms & turned a $6-8 Billion Ohio budget shortfall into a balanced budget without raising taxes
• During his first term as governor, he grew the “Rainy Day Fund” (surplus) from $890M-1.5B
• In his first budget, he implemented a Personal Income Tax cut
• In his second budget, he implemented a 10% Personal Income Tax cut, and a 50% Small Business Income Tax cut
• During his first term as governor, he created 316,800 new jobs, and the state Unemployment Rate fell from 9.4% to 5.1%
• Education funding is at the highest level it’s ever been
• Because of Criminal Justice reforms, Ohio’s recidivism rate (reoffending) of prisoners is the lowest in the nation
• He has vigorously worked Read the rest of this entry »

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