Ohio Republican Mike DeWine has released a pair of ads blaming Richard Cordray, his Democratic opponent for governor, for the great recession. Or, if not for the recession as a whole, for its effects on Ohio. “We didn’t forget you, Richard Cordray,” one of the ads says. “You were there when our taxes were hiked. And over 400,000 jobs were killed, forcing so many of us to the unemployment line. And now that we’ve recovered, you’re back.” Images in the ads tie Cordray to Ted Strickland, Ohio’s governor at the time of the recession.
”You were there when our taxes were hiked. And over 400,000 jobs were killed.” There are so many problems with these lines. Cordray was state attorney general, not exactly a tax policy position. Jobs were killed not because of some Ohio-specific policy but because there was a national recession. And about that tax “hike”:
The spots again raise the long-cited red herring that when Strickland postponed the final year of a five-year, 21 percent income-tax cut to help avoid further cuts to a beleaguered state budget, it constituted a tax increase of more than $800 million. The intended 2009 tax cut was deferred for one year, to 2010. The move did not increase Ohioans’ taxes; it delayed tax relief for a year.
There was a massive national jobs crisis and Ohio was not exempt. There was a massive national crisis and in Ohio a tax cut was delayed for a year to respond. But it sounds so much scarier the way DeWine’s ads put it, as if the delayed tax cut was a tax hike that singlehandedly killed 400,000 jobs, rather than the 400,000 lost jobs causing the delay in the tax cut.
If Ohio wants to vote for dishonesty, the choice is clear.