Posts Tagged ‘Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’

Family Tradition

May 16, 2021

            Talk of the Big Lie is usually filled with names like McCarthy, McConnell, Lindell, Gaetz and Taylor Greene. But never DeWine. Somehow, magnificently, Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine has managed to disassociate himself from anything even remotely emanating the stench of a lie. The Governor appears unscathed. This past week Mike immersed himself completely, and proved it to be quite unremarkable. What was the lie and why the lack of interest? On May 13, 2021 DeWine announced establishment of the Ohio Vax-a-Million program, offering $1 mil to five lucky newly vaccinated individuals as an incentive to get Ohioans vaccinated, and by implication, benefitting Ohio’s economy. The very next day his administration announced that it would be ending the $300 weekly Federal unemployment benefits with the end of June, roughly 2 months prior to when they are scheduled to run out. Let’s get a calculator and compare apples to apples, or rather dollars to dollars. DeWine’s new benefit distribution allocates $1 mil to five individuals for a total expenditure of $5 mil. Simple enough. The termination of $300 weekly benefits checks to one individual, over two months, amounts to that individual not receiving the earmarked $2,400 meant to benefit Ohio’s economy. Both funds, the $5 mil as well as the $300 weekly unemployment, come from the same honey pot. So how many denied individuals would the $5 mil have provided weekly benefits to over two months span? $5 mil divided by $2400 equates to about 2,083 individuals. Not a great number? Which? The 5 lucky ones? The $5 mil? The $1,200 monthly income to live on? Or the 2,083 denigrated individuals? (denigrated by virtue of insinuation, that they are “just not trying”) Enter the Big Lie. It is now exactly 40 years since President Reagan’s Budget and Management guru brought “trickle-down” economic speak into the common vernacular. Since then David Stockman has had a remarkably checkered history of successes and failures, even vaguely disavowing responsibility for what was once termed “voodoo economics.” But one thing for sure is that trickle down never delivered benefits to the people of the US as intentionally projected. It benefitted the few, leaving a whopping deficit for the many. “Ninety-two percent of the wealth is owned by five percent of the people.” (Stockman on Bloomberg TV 2013) But the Big Lie persisted, carefully cultivated and nurtured by the Republican party. In the same year Stockman himself is quoted by Public Affairs as writing “[T]he Republican Party was hijacked by modern imperialists during the Reagan era. As a consequence, the conservative party cannot perform its natural function as watchdog of the public purse because it is constantly seeking legislative action to provision a vast war machine of invasion and occupation.” Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine was just carrying on an old family tradition when he anointed 5 individuals to have a greater impact on “reopening” Ohio’s economy than the 2,083+ affected by the cuts to weekly unemployment benefits. But that’s even less than 92% of the wealth being owned by 5%; more like being owned by .0024%. As Black Lives Matter points out so succinctly: Big Lies morph into family traditions oh sooo easily that it seems almost unnatural to imagine otherwise!

The Updated New Normal

June 25, 2019

The news of the past week included an allegation of rape. E. Jean Carroll claims the current president raped her in the mid 90’s. The headline of an online The Hill interview says it all — EXCLUSIVE: Trump vehemently denies E. Jean Carroll allegation, says ‘she’s not my type’ (Jordan Fabian and Saagar Enjeti, 6-24-19). In a Washington Post op ed (Republicans believed Juanita Broaddrick. The new rape allegation against Trump is more credible. 6-22-19) George Conway (yes, THAT George Conway) crafts an essay examining why the rape claims of Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton differed or were similar to that of E. Jean Carroll. He also looks at how the current president used the victim’s testimony to distract from the “Access Hollywood” tape revelations and the present use. Did Analysis mention the words “victim” and “used’? Missing in all this is the underlying, near universal (in terms of civilized world) definition of rape as an act of violence, with a perpetrator and victim. A few days earlier (6-20-19) cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer headlined Gov. Mike DeWine: End statute of limitations for rape in wake of Ohio State sex abuse report. “DeWine acknowledged that state lawmakers have been reluctant in recent years to extend the statute of limitations for sex crimes. But he said the statute of limitations should be different for sex crimes because victims often don’t — or can’t — come forward until long afterward. “I would just ask members of the General Assembly, what would you tell your constituents today – or what would you tell your constituents tomorrow – if we come upon another tragedy like this where we have a monster who has been doing things like this and he’s alive, but…we can’t prosecute?” DeWine asked.” Analysis finds that with the POTUS it is not so much the statute of limitations as it is that his justice department will not indict a sitting president. In his defense, the president says “She’s not my type.” He’s said that before when questioned about the other women who’ve made claims of his sexual violence. Analysis finds all this troubling. Rape is troubling enough. But equally, if not more troubling, is the use of such violence as cannon fodder in the political struggle for governance of our democracy, akin to rape as a weapon of war. The most troubling is the sense of normalcy that now accompanies such a response to acts of violence. One critical thinker said we are at the point where diners in a restaurant enjoying an evening out will be completely nonplused by an ICE raid storming in and rounding up the kitchen staff that had just prepared their meal. “Not to bother. Just the authorities doing their job and carting off that type.” Analysis can’t help but wonder what type the president has been violent with?

“Stanley ends the short flick with the acknowledgement that “When Fascism starts to feel normal, we’re all in trouble.”” (This blog, The New Normal, 10-16-18 (video: If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the U.S., You Should Be. By Jason Stanley, 10-15-18, NY Times,))

NO COLLUSION

March 8, 2019

First things first, Analysis needs to bring context to today’s post through a follow up to the previous two. Fresh off the new Governor’s State of the State but still the same old marketing to Ohio residents as well as outside investors, we give some numbers (the theme of today’s post). “The average JobsOhio employee made six figures in 2018, records show” by Andrew Tobias for Cleveland.com (3-7-19). The headline speaks for itself. “The nonprofit’s top-paid employee was outgoing President and Chief Investment Officer John Minor, who made $621,322.62 in total compensation, which includes salary, 401k contributions and health care costs. That’s $86,863, or 16 percent higher than he received the previous year.” “The second-highest paid employee was Dana Saucier, the nonprofit’s vice president and head of economic development. He received $353,099.72. Chief Financial Officer Kevin Giangola received $240,486.96, and General Counsel Don Grubbs made $238,163.06. Two senior managing directors made $342,155.67 and $304,863.34; Kristi Tanner and Aaron Pitts” “In all, 39 employees received at least $100,000, and 11 received more than $200,000. The average employee’s compensation was $107,741.25, compared to $98,129.02 in 2017.” You do the math. But Analysis notes the new Governor’s State of the State. What does he make? And his cabinet? From the same reporter/news source (Here are the salaries for Gov. Mike DeWine’s top staff — and how they compare to John Kasich’s, 1-30-19): “State legislators voted last December to give state and county-level elected officials across-the-board raises. As a result, DeWine will make $154,248, while Kasich, whose veto of the pay-raise bill was overturned, made $148,315. We did not include this in our average salary calculations.” And what was the averages for cabinet and staff? “The average DeWine cabinet member will make $156,377, compared to $151,140, or about 3.5 percent more, for the same jobs in the Kasich administration.” “Along with salary data for cabinet members, the DeWine administration last Friday released a partial list for top, but not-cabinet level, administrative staff. Those staff made an average of $114,254, compared to $116,000 for the Kasich staff.” Still want a government job, Bunky? Analysis shows top public private partnership ones pay better. But who’s working for whom? And what are they getting for it? (that includes you, Bunky) Writing for the Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham headlines Household net worth falls by largest amount since the Great Recession, new Fed data shows (3-7-19). Of note: “Total household net worth is a measure of the assets — such as homes, stocks and bank accounts — owned by American families and nonprofits minus their debts. In the fourth quarter of 2018, it fell by about $3.7 trillion, a 3.5 percent quarterly decline. Going back to 1952, the start of the Fed’s data, only three quarters — the third and fourth quarters of 2008, and the second quarter of 1962 — posted bigger declines in household net worth, percentage-wise. The data shows that change was driven by the poor performance of the stock market in the fourth quarter of last year. The flailing market erased $4.6 trillion in assets from household and nonprofit balance sheets, which was offset somewhat by gains in real estate and other assets.” Been wondering why your rent has been going up, Bunky? “More important, most of the household wealth in the United States is owned by the country’s richest families. In 2016, for instance, the top 1 percent of families owned 40 percent of all household wealth, with the next 9 percent of families holding an additional 29 percent. That leaves 21 percent of the country’s net worth for the remaining 90 percent of American families. Furthermore, about half of American families don’t own any stocks, while the top 10 percent of families control about 84 percent of the stock market. Taken together, the numbers are a reminder that the stock market is not the economy, and that big national-level data sets may not necessarily reflect financial reality for typical American families, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to meet even small unexpected expenses.” Speaking of expenses, numbers news came out this week that addresses just that: “In Blow to Trump, America’s Trade Deficit in Goods Hits Record $891 Billion” by Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson for the NY Times, 3-6-19. ““All countries run trade deficits whenever they consume more than they produce,” said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College in Oregon. “And when we borrow to finance tax cuts, like we did with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we make these imbalances worse.”” “It is a case of textbook economics catching up with some of Mr. Trump’s unorthodox economic policies. Economists have long warned that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts would ultimately exacerbate a trade deficit he has vowed to reduce, as Americans, flush with extra cash, bought more imported goods.” Analysis can only conclude that the garage and yard sales market will rise in 2019 as average Americans will have so much more stuff to sell. No matter, as of this writing (3-8-19), Dear Leader’s morning constitutional tweet stresses once again, in all caps, “there is NO COLLUSION.” Confused, Bunky? By design, Bunky, by design.