We've talked quite a bit, both here on the blog and (most recently) last night on TRMS , about how the new slate of Republican governors are now actually governing. One example that Rachel talked about with Ezra Klein last night? Brand-new, Tea Party-backed Ohio Governor John Kasich asking -- no, depending on -- his Ohio constituents drinking something stronger than tea.
The success of Gov. John Kasich's plan to recruit new business to Ohio will hinge heavily on just how much Ohioans drink alcohol...
"Over the years people drink more. It's just a natural revenue stream," Kasich said last Tuesday while outlining his proposal, drawing a smattering of laughter from reporters.
Once you get past the "whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis" part about the alcohol, look a little closer. On the surface, this is about recruiting business to Ohio, not about filling the state's reported $8 billion budget abyss. So how does Governor Kasich propose to turn booze into business in an alcoholic beverage control state? Glad you asked!
The governor intends for JobsOhio to be part venture capitalist, spreading around seed money for business in return for a piece of future profits, and part marketer, promoting the virtues of running a company here and bringing jobs to the Buckeye State.
To do that, JobsOhio needs start-up money and steady cash to sustain itself, and Kasich knows he cannot tap taxpayer dollars alone to foot the bill.
If Mr. Kasich is looking for more start-up cash, he's going to the right place. Ohioans bought a record number of gallons of alcohol last year, and the state stores made nearly $230 million in net profits -- for the state. Now a half-government, half-venture capitalist entity proposes to re-direct those profits away from Ohio taxpayers and to JobsOhio, and then, to out-of-state businesses Governor Kasich hopes will come to the state. (All while having an expense account for which Kasich and Co. are barely accountable.)
Drink up, my fellow Buckeyes! Governor John Kasich wants you to have a hot time in the old town tonight! (No, more like needs you to.)