John Kasich on Budget & Economy

Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President


Ohio went from $8 billion deficit to $2 billion surplus

We've gone from an $8 billion hole to a $2 billion surplus. We've cut taxes by more than any governor by $5 billion. We have grown 400,000 private sector jobs since I've been governor. Our credit is strong. Our pensions are strong. And frankly, we leave no one behind. Economic growth is not an end unto itself. We want everyone to rise.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

We're nowhere close to a balanced budget; needs 3 things...

It takes three things basically to grow jobs. And I've done it when I was in Washington when we paid down a half-trillion of debt and our economy was growing like crazy. It's the same thing that I did in Ohio. It's a simple formula:
  1. Common sense regulations: we should freeze all federal regulations for one year, except for health and safety.
  2. Tax cuts, because that sends a message to the job creators that things are headed the right way. And if you tax cuts--if you cut taxes for corporations, and you cut taxes for individuals, you're going to make things move, particularly the corporate tax, which is the highest, of course, in the world.
  3. But in addition to that, we have to have fiscal discipline. We have to show that we can march to a balanced budget.
And when you do that, when you're in a position of managing regulations; when you reduce taxes; and when you have fiscal discipline, you see the job creators begin to get very comfortable with the fact that they can invest.
Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Working families are nervous with economic uncertainty

When wages don't rise--and they haven't for a lot of families for years--it's very, very difficult for them. Sometimes we're not giving people the skills they need. I'll tell you what else people are concerned about. Their kids come out of college, they have high debt and they can't get a good job. People are concerned about their economic future. We got to make sure that every American has the tools, in K-through-12 and in vocational education, in higher education.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Converted Ohio's $8B deficit to $2B surplus

When John Kasich took office in January 2011, he inherited a state struggling to overcome massive problems: 350,000 private-sector jobs lost, an historic $8 billion projected budget shortfall, overzealous regulations that hindered job creation, and a failed economic development model. By making job creation his number one priority, Gov. Kasich helped Ohioans create hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs and reduce Ohio's unemployment rate to its lowest point in over a decade. At the same time, Kasich's conservative financial management has helped grow the state's "rainy day" savings account from just 89 cents to $2 billion, reduced the size of state government bureaucracy to its lowest levels in more than 30 years and cut red tape.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, JohnKasich.com , Nov 25, 2015

Economic theory is fine, but people need help

I come from a town where if the wind blew the wrong way, people found themselves out of work. An economic theory is fine, but people need help. I have a plan that would cut taxes, but not $11 trillion or $12 trillion that would put my children further in debt. I have a plan that would not only cut taxes, lower the income tax rate for individuals, lower the tax for businesses, and also a plan to get us to a balanced budget by the end of a second term.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

No more silly deals; amendment for Balanced Budget

I want to go back to this budget deal in Washington. This is the same old stuff. You spend the money today, and then you hope you're going to save money tomorrow. If you really want to get to a balanced budget, you need to reduce your expenses and you need to grow your economy. I'll go back to Washington and there will be no more of these silly deals if I become President because we'll have a constitutional amendment to require a federally balanced budget.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Lift everybody and build a stronger America

Let's start off with my father being a mailman. I understand the concerns of all the folks across this country, some of whom having trouble making ends meet.

We were talking about balancing budgets. People were saying, could we do it? I was the chairman of the Budget Committee and the lead architect the last time it happened in Washington, and when we did it we had great economic growth, we cut taxes, and we had a big surplus.

Economic growth is the key. But once you have economic growth, it is important that we reach out to people who live in the shadows. And that includes people in our minority community; that includes people who feel as though they don't have a chance to move up.

You know, America is a miracle country. And we have to restore the sense that the American miracle will apply to you. Each and every one of the people in this country who's watching tonight, lift everybody, unite everybody and build a stronger United States of America again. It will be and can be done.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Wall Street is vital for the US, but often times too greedy

Q: You used to work at Lehman Brothers, which famously collapsed, starting the financial fall. Should the government have bailed it out?

A: You know, look, that's past history. Wall Street is necessary. Because it helps move the financial operations of America forward. But I'll tell you the problem with Wall Street. It's too much about, "I've got to make money." There's too much greed. If all you seek is money without values, then you're bankrupt. And so what I think is our financial community has to realize that there's a moral underpinning. Free enterprise and free markets are exactly what we ought to have in America. But there has to be a conscience that underlays it.

Q: Anything positive to say about Lehman?

A: The greatest thing I got from Lehman is I spent a lot of time in the Silicon Valley. And when I went out there, I could see the future. And that's what we have to be about in America, bringing ourselves together, innovating, you know, in terms of innovation and vision.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 19, 2015

National tour to call for a balanced-budget amendment

Three months ago, Kasich set his sights beyond Ohio, embarking on a national tour lobbying state lawmakers to call a constitutional convention aimed at ratifying a balanced-budget amendment.

In 1989, Kasich landed on the Budget Committee, where he let his inner deficit hawk soar. In 1993, Kasich became Chair and the key player in the bloody budget battles with President Clinton. A couple of government shutdowns later, Kasich emerged as chief architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

Bottom line, for now, he says, "my energy and my passion and my fight is in two things: Ohio and my balanced-budget cause."

Speaking of which: When I suggest that crisscrossing the country in the hopes of convincing 34 states to call a constitutional convention on balancing the budget seems a bit quixotic, he appears almost amused. "Is it? Am I Don Quixote? I've been that way before!" He flashes me a smile. "And you know what? It seems to work out."

Source: National Journal 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 7, 2015

Balanced Budget Forever: promote constitutional amendment

In recent months, Kasich has been quietly making stops around the country to promote a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. The cause has for years animated Kasich, who formerly chaired the House Budget Committee during his nearly two decades in Congress. Balanced Budget Forever, a non-profit advocacy group founded by Kasich associates, is organizing Kasich's trip.
Source: Robert Costa in 2015 Wash.Post on 2016 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 11, 2015

1989 had 3 budgets: Democrats'; President's; and Kasich's

I was overwhelmed because both 1989 budgets were deeply flawed proposals. Bush the First, his budget was terrible. And the Democratic budget was even worse. So I went back to my office and announced to my staff that we would write our own budget.

In 1989 there was offered on the House floor the President's budget, and the Democrats' rebuttal budget, and the Kasich budget. The Democratic budget received 230 votes. The Bush budget received 213 votes. The Kasich budget received 30 votes.

Every year I offered my own budget for consideration, and my 3rd or 4th year my budget received more votes than the President got for his budget, and in so doing I learned a few things about leadership. Leadership is not talking. Leadership is doing. Every time they beat my budget on the floor of the House and I lay there in a bloody heap, people knew I was committed. It wasn't talk. It was action.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 84-86 , May 10, 2006

1995 shutdown led to first balanced budget in 40 years

In 1995 when the Republicans won the majority I became chairman of the House Budget Committee. We were poised and ready to balance the budget for the first time since man walked on the moon.

As it happened, Pres. Clinton wanted to phony up the numbers on this first go-round, so we shut down the government. I look back and think it was one of the greatest moments of my career. Why? Well, typically, politicians make their decisions based on votes. And yet in at least this one instance politicians set aside these concerns and stood up for what was right. For our children. For our shared future. For America. For this one battle, for the time being, we forgot about politics and focused on good government, and if we had to take a beating for it then so b it. And as a direct result of that government shutdown in 1995, we wrote a bill that provided for the first balanced budget in nearly forty years and allowed us to pay down the largest chunk of our staggering national debt in the history of this country.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 86-87 , May 10, 2006

Sarbanes-Oxley deters legitimate American business

Mutual funds were established in the early 1900s as a way for the average investor to participate in the markets without the benefit of deep pockets. They have lately been operating under such a cloud of suspicion that many people have taken their investment dollars elsewhere.

The cleanup continues, and frankly I don't think we're doing a good job of it. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, hailed as the most significant change to federal securities laws since the New Deal, has had a deleterious effect on American business. I see it as a clear case of the government overreacting to a serious problem, one that can't be solved through legislation. Why? Well, for one thing, you can't legislate ethical behavior; you either know the difference betwee right and wrong, or you don't.

On the positive side, Sarbanes-Oxley has established a strong set of internal controls. But they've been a deterrent to legitimate American businesses. They've put many honest businessmen and women on the defensive.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p.135-136 , May 10, 2006

Require balanced budget; block grant everything to states

Q: Do you support amending the US Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the use of block grants given to states, rather than federal spending, in the following areas: Agriculture?

A: Yes.

Q: Education?

A: Yes.

Q: Farm subsidies?

A: Yes.

Q: Food stamps?

A: Yes.

Q: Law enforcement?

A: Yes.

Q: Medicaid?

A: Yes.

Q: Medicare?

A: Yes.

Q: School lunches?

A: Yes.

Q: Welfare?

A: Yes.

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Against ethanol subsidies, and all subsidies

Kasich opposes federal subsidies for ethanol, a corn derivative added to gasoline. Ethanol is especially important to Iowans, who see it as a way to expand demand for corn. “I’m not against ethanol, but I’m not for any subsidies,” Kasich said, adding that he’s against similar benefits for sugar and peanuts. Kasich’s candor was appreciated [by an Iowa gathering], although his stance was not. “They tell me that’s going to kill me in Iowa, but I’m not changing my position to get votes,” he said.
Source: Associated Press, “Strong Positions in Iowa”, 4/26/99 , Apr 26, 1999

Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto.

Kasich signed the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:

The Fiscal Responsibility Act:
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA3 on Sep 27, 1994

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016