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Ohio's Fiscal Situation

By Gene Krebs How bad is the fiscal situation in Ohio?  It depends who you talk to and how well informed they are in this area.  In reality, there are only fourteen people (yes, that exact number) who understand how Ohio is put together as a fiscal construct.   In talking quietly to several of them or reading the news reports, you get one overwhelming sense; it is bad.  If current economic conditions maintain, we are looking at a $ 8 billion deficit for Oho in FY 2012, some reasonable people believe it will be $ 13 billion.  If we only fund debt service (about 5%) and keep the prisons open, continue to care for senior citizens in nursing homes, and fund all levels of education (if the state slashes support to local schools they will go on the ballot, potentially raising your property taxes) and eliminate all other aspects of state government (the state parks, the governor, the legislature etc.) we still can’t make the books balance.  We are going to have to target our resources in a more strategic manner where Bobby and Betty Buckeye get the most bang for their buck.

Oh, and ODOT is going broke also, and cash for clunkers is making it worse.  More on that later…