Amid all of the conversation and debate in Washington about the federal budget and the debt ceiling, you might also have heard the news that our nation’s credit rating was downgraded by Standard and Poor’s. While we’ve known for years about our budgetary woes, a credit downgrade is certainly not helpful in the sense that it makes it more expensive to take on debt and has a significant impact on the interest rates we pay. Although I would love to fix such problems, I—like you—can only voice my concerns and express my views through the ballot box.

But while the national media were highlighting Washington gridlock and showcasing heated political rhetoric, it might have slipped by you that the State of Ohio’s credit rating was, in fact, upgraded. That’s right, Standard and Poor’s upgraded our credit outlook from AA+ negative to AA+ stable. Shortly later, Fitch Ratings gave us an upgrade also. Regardless of what’s happening in the nation’s capital, we are taking care of ourselves back in Ohio. The upgrades signify that our economy is beginning to stabilize and our credit risk is improving. In turn, our business climate improves and it costs less to borrow.

I’m excited about these results for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, they show that what the Ohio House has been aiming to do since we began this General Assembly has been paying off. There are many factors that go into what credit rating a state or nation receives. If you’d like to know specifically what they are, by all means, contact an economist. To me, the big picture is what matters.

Throughout this year the House Republicans have put tough reforms in place, the biggest of which was a state operating budget that filled a budget gap of $8 billion without raising taxes on Ohioans who need the money they earn. Keeping taxes down helps our state to add and retain jobs, and an unemployment rate that has drastically improved over time certainly has given Ohio a better outlook that contributes to the improved rating.

The improved credit rating also highlights the resilience of Ohioans. Regardless of the stress that a struggling economy has put on our state, we have overcome. No longer is Ohio depending on one-time stimulus money that comes from a federal government with a downgraded rating. Rather, House Republicans have made the difficult choices to right our financial ship.

I’m proud to have been a part of this, and we should all be proud that Ohio is becoming a leader in showing other states what must be done for an improved credit rating, an improved economy, and an improved outlook for the future.


Post a Comment