Monday, June 22, 2009

Beacon Journal's Michael Douglas Shows Why Editorial Writers Aren't Politicians

On Father's Day, June 21, the Akron Beacon Journal ran a column by Michael Douglas, who is in charge of the editorial board, blasting Governor Ted Strickland for advocating slot machines at racetracks to raise much needed revenue. Apparently Douglas believes that Strickland should advocate tax increases. Perhaps Douglas is in need of a history lesson, one that Ohio Democrats haven't forgotten.

In 1982, Dick Celeste became Ohio's Governor. Following his election, the Democrats had control of the General Assembly and all the executive offices in the state. They also had the obligation to govern the state during a severe recession.

The Democrats bit the bullet and raised the state income tax. Celeste managed to get re-elected in 1986, and the Democrats held on to the House of Representatives, but in 1984, they lost control of the Ohio Senate. The Republicans used the campaign theme of the supposed 90% tax increase that Celeste had gotten through the General Assembly. It worked, and the Republicans haven't lost control of the State Senate since that election.

Douglas apparently believes that all Strickland has to do is come out for higher taxes and the Republicans in the Senate will just roll over and help raise taxes. There is absolutely no evidence that Bill Harris, and the rest of the Republican leadership in the Senate, will go along with that idea.

What is more likely to happen is that Strickland would come out for a tax increase, the Republicans would block it in the Senate, and the Democrats would lose both the Governor's race and control of the House in 2010. Such a result is way too high a price to pay to make editorial writers happy.

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