December 03, 2018

Why Ohio Republicans Differ from Texas Republicans

Heard interesting NR “Editors” podcast in which Charlie Cooke asked Reihan Salam why Ohioan Republicanism is different from Texas’s libertarianism:
“Ohio is a state where Gov John Kasich basically reversed his early approach. Soon after coming to office he decided he wanted to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees including firefighters, police officers – so in some ways he was more aggressive than Gov. Scott Walker, his contemporary, yet Kasich then got this intense pushback from organized labor and then he caved. Then he pushed through a Medicare expansion.
"One argument about the Ohio Republican party is that it really did move to the center of opinion in Ohio (whether folks in the Democratic party acknowledge it or not), [since Ohioans] were for Medicare expansion and more pro-life than pro-choice, so that’s where the party went and it wound up being a recipe for the party’s success.

"I guess my big picture thought is that at the state and local level I believe in small government, that’s lean, effective.  At the national level I believe you have to do something about the huge disparities across states. A state like Ohio, or more so West Virginia - has very limited fiscal capacity. What this winds up meaning that 1.5% spent of West Virginia’s GDP on teachers means a very low teacher salary, while 1.5% of New Jersey’s would mean a relatively high teacher salary.

"Those disparities across regions make it really hard to have the kind of decentralized government I’d prefer.  You’re not going to be able to say that Medicare is going to go down to the states and leave them in charge of it when some states just don’t have the fiscal capacity and others do.  That’s why Canada is actually a lot more decentralized country than the U.S. is.  We have to have some sort of redistribution across regions. This isn’t too popular now because the Left, the traditional party of redistribution, happens to now represent all the rich parts of the country.

So I see the politics of Ohio as part of the perverse reaction to how we haven’t gotten things right at the federal level."

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