Ohio Governor John Kasich fleshed out his vision of big-government Republicanism during a June 16 speech at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
Video of Kasich’s remarks is available courtesy of Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog.
“I like to compare a strong state like I compare a mom and a dad. When mom and dad have more, they can do more for their kids and for their relatives,” Kasich said.
“And when the State of Ohio is stronger, they can do more for people who don’t always participate and enjoy the fruits of economic growth,” the governor continued.
Gov. Kasich has previously used this analogy to defend his unilateral implementation of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which has already put nearly 250,000 Ohioans on Medicaid.
Moments later, Kasich reiterated his belief that God wants the government to spend more taxpayer money on entitlement programs.
“We had our bumps and all this other stuff on expanding Medicaid, but you know what, we got it done. And it wasn’t just that, it wasn’t just expanding Medicaid — we’ve been working on this stuff forever.”
“Whether it was more money for the mentally ill, whether it was more money for drug-addicted, we started this thing 3 1/2 years ago,” Kasich explained. “It’s just that, Marty, the Medicaid expansion came the seminal moment where people went, ‘Oh, a-ha’ — but this is nothin’ new.”
“So, I always struggle with talkin’ about my motivation, cause people tend to look at it and be very critical of it,” the governor said. “I guess that’s ok. I believe it’s pretty clear — at least to me, you don’t have to agree with this, it’s ok if you don’t — I believe the Creator wants everybody to be lifted.”
“I believe the Creator says, is that, ‘There is a rule here about the poor, the disabled, the infirmed. Ignore them, it’s at your peril.’ I’m not doin’ that.”
Later in the speech, Kasich spelled out more explicitly his view that all Ohioans should be treated as wards of the State.
“For those in the legislature that sometimes say, ya know, well, ‘What’s the role of government,’ well, Doug’s here, he’s from the private sector. The churches and synagogues do their role, but in the 21st Century, they can’t do it all. We have a responsibility,” Kasich said.
“Ignore that responsibility, and it’s at your own peril. But we’re not gonna do that, we’re gonna do the best we can to keep buildin’ things up.”
Gov. Kasich also used his bully pulpit to rhetorically bludgeon his Republican and Democrat critics.
“This whole business of poverty, training, welfare, EITC, tax cuts — hey, they can fight everywhere else in the country, but we’ve gotta stop fighting here in Ohio. Because there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between us when it comes to lifting people,” Kasich said.
“And sometimes the darn partisanship — am I right, Milkovich? — sometimes it gets in the way, and it gets people to fight over, ya know, trippin’ over the anthills on the way to the pyramids. We got big things to do, and they are happening. We are trying to transform the state and include everyone — everyone — in the transformation.”
Wrapping up his remarks, Kasich said, “To me, it’s two wings of a bird. It’s the economic growth side which is, go about cutting taxes and helping people be rewarded for work, and it’s the other side, which is to help people to get on their feet, help them to grow, help them to have hope, so they can inspire that hope, they can implement, or they can direct that hope into the lives of their children.”