In the News: How Federal Budget Cuts Could Hurt Ohio


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The new GOP majority in the US House of Representatives has promised to cut $100 billion from the current fiscal year. These cuts are deep and severe, targeting a variety of programs, ranging from the predictable conservative targets such as the National Endowment of the Arts and Public Broadcasting, to Economic Development Assistance and the COPS program.

Today, President Obama released his budget proposal for FY 2012, which also contained a number of programs for which funding would be eliminated or reduced.

Sampling of Ohio Impacts

The papers this weekend were all over this story, highlighting local programs and projects that could be impacted as a result of cuts at the federal level. Some examples include:

  • The secondary engine for the Defense Department’s Joint Strike Fighter is eliminated in the President’s budget. The engine, produced by GE Aviation in Evendale outside of Cincinnati employs 1,000 Ohioans (Cincinatti Enquirer)
  • The elimination of the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, also contained within the President’s budget. The vehicle was to be produced by General Dynamics in Lima. A study has determined that full production of the vehicle could create 10,000 jobs for General Dynamics and its suppliers. (Dayton Daily News)
  • Reduction in funding for the US Department of Energy’s loan guarantees could severely impact plans to complete the American Centrifuge nuclear enrichment plant in Piketon, which would have created an additional 700 jobs. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • Deep cuts to funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission is included in the GOP proposal. ARC, which passes its funding through the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, supports infrastructure and development projects in 32 economically depressed counties of Ohio. (Coshocton Tribune) It is worth noting that Governor Kasich has not yet named a leader for the Office of Appalachia, nor has he filled the three Appalachian development director spots that work with communities to identify and address critical funding needs.
  • Great Lakes Restoration is cut in the President’s budget, reducing funds to deal with invasive species, pollution and habitat destruction. (Akron Beacon Journal)

And that is but a few examples. The key point here is, cuts will impact Ohio, and very likely will result in job losses in communities around the state. Ohio’s Congressional delegation is working actively to prevent these cuts, but interestingly, do not appear to have a partner at the state level helping to provide objective indications of what the impacts will be to the State’s economy. None of the media accounts indicated any involvement from the Governor’s office.

Unfortunately, this is not surprising. As was recently discussed at Plunderbund, in late December, then Governor-elect Kasich indicated that he would not assign a member of his staff to work in Washington, DC, as has been the tradition with other Governors. Kasich was quoted as saying:

“I think we need have to regular meetings. I don’t think we need a Washington office to accomplish this – that’s just a bunch of people down there walking around.” (source: Gongwer Report, December 30, 2010 – subscription required).

We will attempt to determine whether the Governor has done any lobbying on behalf of Ohio’s interests either with the President or the House GOP, or has changed his mind about having DC representation, but at this point, the silence is noteworthy.

Background Information

A full list of the GOP’s proposed cuts for FY 2011 is available on the House Appropriations Committee Website:
http://republicans.appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf

A list of program eliminations and reductions for FY 2012 from President Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/trs.pdf

And, a quick analysis of some program cuts in the President’s budget that will affect States and Local Governments from Governing.org
http://www.governing.com/blogs/fedwatch/See-34-budget-cuts-that-affect-state-and-local-programs.html

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