When it comes to the nation’s economy, there isn’t much good news to be found. Economic growth in the US slowed to just 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, a number that greatly threatens the chances of an economic recovery anytime soon. Americans are being squeezed at the gas pump and in the grocery store checkout line. The national debt surpassed $16 trillion just a couple weeks ago. Unemployment remains above 8 percent. The Federal Reserve is printing more money (known as “Quantitative Easing 3”), further devaluing the dollar and likely leading to inflation. The list goes on.
Ohio also has been affected by many of these realities. However, the state has been able to buck the national trend of rising unemployment and out-of-control deficits by tackling its problems head-on. Not only did the state’s most recent budget eliminate an $8 billion deficit without raising taxes, but it actually killed the death tax, which had become an unmanageable burden on many families and farms throughout the state.
While the federal government continues to fall deeper and deeper into debt, Ohio has been an example of a state that is turning its economy around by cutting taxes, dialing back regulations and making government less intrusive. Many hurdles still stand in the way of where we are and where we want to be. But the last two years, at least in Ohio, are a small blueprint of what needs to be done.