OHIO'S HIGH-FLYING BUDGET SLASHER

One morning in March, Ohio's pious, anti-spending governor, John Kasich, got up, brushed his teeth, and went to the capitol to announce that he was slashing spending on schools, teachers, and other public employees. Gotta balance the budget, he lectured.

One morning in March, Ohio’s pious, anti-spending governor, John Kasich, got up, brushed his teeth, and went to the capitol to announce that he was slashing spending on schools, teachers, and other public employees. Gotta balance the budget, he lectured.

The very next morning, Kasich got up, bushed his teeth, and went to an airport in Columbus, where he climbed aboard a state-owned King Air to fly him 144 miles to Cleveland to give a speech. His traveling entourage was so big that the governor’s hop to Cleveland required two airplanes. Cost to taxpayers: $2,200 just for the short flight.

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Indeed, this small-government champion turns out to be a fly-happy believer in socialized transportation – for him. In only his first three months in office, Kasich used government airplanes for 20 trips, far more than his predecessors. Then there are the little add-ons at taxpayer expense. For example, arriving at one airport in a rain, the governor noted that there were no umbrellas. No problem – his personal aide dashed off to a sporting goods outfit and came back with 20 of them at a cost of $424. That’s $21 each. What happened to competitive bidding?

“I can’t get to all those places if I’m not able to fly,” retorts the stern state budget slasher. Well, golly guv, no one’s asking you to walk or even drive around your state, but five airlines have flights from Columbus to Cleveland. You’re big on privatizing government services, so why not start with yourself by flying commercial?

“I only use [a state plane] when we have to use it, when I think the schedule demands it,” the governor insists. Yeah, like on those “essential” trips you made to Canton and Cincinnati for press conferences to announce staff appointments.

But then, budget cuts are for little people, not for Republican Governors.

“Kasich state plane use off to fast pace,” www.springfieldnewssun.com, April 16, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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