Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, Jan. 2
Let’s put aside all the hubbub associated with the day’s news from Washington. That’s because people must realize that very little of what happens in our nation’s capital has much impact on the daily lives of people in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Politics has become an embarrassment in many ways. Instead of continuing as a meeting of the minds, it has become a game of who’s got the sledgehammer to use on their opponent.
Compromise, unfortunately, has become synonymous with weakness on the part of those who give in to reach a deal.
“Drawing a line in the sand” has grown into a double-dog dare by those who want to encourage some sort of game of chicken.
We hope 2017 brings new attitudes in politics and the world of compromise. Stalemates don’t benefit the constituents being served by those in political office.
“The art of the deal” is a phrase coined by president-elect Trump. We think a real deal benefits those on both sides of an issue.
No matter who’s in power in Washington, or Columbus, they need to remember who they are serving and who feels the impact of decisions made in our capitals…
The Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 31
As everybody knows, buying stuff is more fun than paying for it, and living within one’s means entails unpleasant choices, such as doing without and delaying gratification. Financial discipline is not much fun. But neither is bankruptcy and ruin, which is why most people knuckle down keep their finances under control.
But not some politicians, whose willingness to spend is unbridled because they are spending someone else’s money.
This is why today the United States’ national debt is $20 trillion and climbing and its major entitlement programs are headed directly for insolvency in short order. As things stand now, the fiscal trajectory of the nation is unsustainable. Debt will continue to grow, interest payments on the debt will continue to mount, and the demands on Social Security and Medicare will exceed the resources available to meet them.
Eventually, the government will face some kind of default, either on its obligations to creditors or on its promises to citizens. Its insatiable hunger for credit could drive up interest rates, or it will try to set its finances in order by increasing taxes to punishing rates. Either solution means dire results for the economy and the standard of living of most Americans.
Politicians and pundits poo-poo the problem, arguing that interests rates are historically low so more borrowing is OK, and that robust economic growth— which always seems to around the next corner —will overtake the growing mountain of debt…
The (Findlay) Courier, Dec. 30
The vast majority of people convicted of crimes and sentenced to prison are found guilty based on the evidence against them. But sometimes an innocent man or woman ends up behind bars.
Studies suggest between 2 and 5 percent of all U.S. prisoners may be innocent. Yet even if just 1 percent are, that means that more than 20,000 were wrongfully convicted.
While nothing will right all wrongs in our legal system, a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court should correct some.
On Wednesday, the high court overturned the Columbus Police Department’s practice of refusing to release records in homicide and other high-profile cases to private investigators, the media, and the public.
The court found the city has been relying on prior court rulings, including one from 2000 which said police aren’t obligated to release files without proof that no further appeals are possible. The practice, which is not limited to just Columbus, could mean records remained secret until defendants died, or were freed from prison.
Last week’s decision came in response to a 2014 complaint brought by the Ohio Innocence Project which wanted to review the police case file of Adam Saleh. Saleh is serving a 38-year prison term for a 2005 murder he claims he didn’t commit…
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Dec. 29
Gov. John Kasich has sided with taxpayers and in the cause of Ohio jobs and the state’s future by vetoing two objectionable bills, and parts of a third, that the General Assembly passed during its frenzied postelection (“lame duck”) session.
The Republican governor’s veto of House Bill 554 is especially welcome.
The bill, which a dozen of the legislature’s GOP members also opposed, would effectively have extended Ohio’s wrongheaded freeze on the state’s timetable for alternative-energy and energy-efficiency standards. (The timetable was set in a bipartisan 2008 law.) The freeze already has cost Ohio two years of progress in developing and adopting new energy technologies and gaining related investment, jobs and entrepreneurship— two years a state seeking innovation couldn’t afford to lose. HB 554 would have taken Ohio further backward. Kasich’s veto moves Ohio forward.
Kasich also vetoed Senate Bill 329, a needless and potentially costly proposal that would have abolished Ohio Cabinet departments unless the General Assembly periodically decided to keep them.
State legislators already have the power to abolish, merge or reorganize all state agencies, including Cabinet departments— notably, when writing Ohio’s budget…
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