I promise I won't try to deconstruct every political ad in this campaign season -- it's impossible and I'd drive myself nuts (or further nuts, if you prefer) -- but here's one that really chaps my ass. It's from the Koch brothers Freedom Partners Action Fund, in unspoken support of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and attacking his opponent Ted Strickland, former Ohio governor:
Small business owner "Tricia" says that, as governor, Strickland drained Ohio's $1 billion rainy day fund, created a $6 billion budget deficit, raised taxes, and "left us in a bad place." Oh, Tricia, Tricia, Tricia!
Every state has some sort of "rainy day fund" as a contingency against economic slumps. The Great Recession certainly qualifies as an historic slump. Use of rainy day funds during recessions is preferable to to the alternative -- cutting services and raising taxes, which can deepen and prolong an economic downturn. Ted didn't cause the global recession, and he made the right decision. He used Ohio's contingency funds as they were intended to be used, at a crucial time, and 35 other states did the same.
Ohio requires submission of a balanced budget. Remember that budgets are just SWAG-method estimates of income and expenses. In the 2010 governor's race, John Kasich repeatedly claimed that Strickland's final year budget, which would end in June of 2011, was projected to end up with a $6 to $8 billion deficit. Kasich won the election in November. When the books were closed on Ted's final budget year the following June, Ohio showed a $973 million surplus.
Ted Strickland did not raise taxes. During his term, overall taxes in Ohio decreased by 13%. He did delay a scheduled tax cut by one year, and that's what dishonest ads like this one refer to as a tax "increase."
Like every ad ever produced by the Koch's Freedom Partners, this one is Pants On Fire!
Remember when facts and fairness counted for something? It's been awhile.