A Cleveland columnist recently said no one should expect state government to save the state. He said it should get out of the way so the entrepreneurs and big business can save us. Do we actually believe that?
State government is the 500-pound gorilla. Ohio has been terribly ill-served by this state government and particularly this legislature for more than 10 years. They have taken university and public school systems that were once considered in the elites of this country and practically dismantled them. Think employers want poorly educated workers?
This legislature has sent a resounding message around the country that Ohio is not an inclusive and welcoming state. Think cutting-edge industry and innovative entrepreneurs want to locate here with a message like that?
While declaring they've lowered taxes, this legislature has ferociously pushed the tax burden down to the local level. Upset about your local school taxes? Point your finger at this legislature.
What concerned parents will move to a state that doesn't value public education?
Look around this country and you find prospering areas have forward-thinking, innovative governments unafraid to lead. Those areas not doing well often have self-serving governments more interested in the next election than defending the people's interests.
We usually get the government we deserve. Unfortunately, right now we are getting exactly what we deserve. We swept the executive offices clean this last election. We'll see how our new leaders perform. However, the lame duck legislature's performance this month should have shamed all Ohioans. A majority of those folks are back next year. That does not bode well for our state.
Wake up, Ohio. Government does matter. Until we begin voting our economic interests we will continue our descent into the lowest-tier states. You and I and Ohio deserve much better.
Michael E. Kovack
Medina County AuditorMedina, Ohio
Mike Kovack is a Democrat and has been county auditor for Medina County since 1993. He was re-elected in 2006 without opposition.