As part of his struggle to regain control of the Washington debate agenda over balancing the federal budget his way, President Obama has taken to granting targeted TV interviews from the White House to select political markets around the country.
This week one of them was with Cleveland's WKYC during which he opined that he strongly disapproved of states like Ohio and Wisconsin balancing their seriously troubled budgets by limiting the bargaining abilities of powerful public unions.
But Ohio has also taken firm action under the leadership of Republican ex-congressman and new Gov. John Kasich. As part of an immense, multifaceted reform and cutting process to address the state's $8 billion structural deficit, Kasich has signed a controversial measure called SB 5.
It has no effect on the wage and work-condition bargaining rights of the state's 350,000 public union members, twice the size of Wisconsin's membership. SB 5 does, however, remove sick time, pension benefits and healthcare from negotiations between unions and the government.
Obama suggested this was blaming public workers for the public problems.
Kasich was asked about the president's strong opinion. And Kasich offered his own strong response. The full answer is on the video below, but Kasich said in the 1990s he had been House Budget Committee chairman and chief architect of the last federal budget to be balanced.
He noted that Ohioans' elected representatives had reached this legislative agreement and, as required by law, balanced the state budget while preserving tax cuts. Then, he added:
"The president of the United States has I think a $13 trillion debt. Why doesn't he do his job? When he does his job and gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, then maybe he can have an opinion on what's going on in Ohio."
Strong letter to follow.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.
Photo: Chris Carlson / Associated Press