Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said today in his first major policy speech of the campaign that, as president, he would gut the U.S. transportation and education departments and would balance the budget within eight years.
Kasich, the governor of Ohio, said downsizing the two federal agencies and returning much of their power and funding to individual states would send money and control away from Washington and back to the states, a centerpiece of his economic plan.
He panned the federal gas tax in particular, saying he would return almost all of it to state coffers. He said he would limit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s role nearly entirely to providing research support to states.
"You keep your money and you fix your roads the way you want to," Kasich said in Nashua, New Hampshire, today.
In the immoral words of Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in "Back To The Future", where we're going, we don't need roads. The Interstate Highway System? Not our problem, your problem.
Over 100 programs run by the Department of Education, meanwhile, would be packaged into four state grants, transferring control over education to the state and local levels, according to his plan.
A centerpiece of the roadmap Kasich laid out would involve balancing the federal budget within eight years of his assuming the presidency and his pushing for a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget annually. As a congressman, Kasich was a chief architect of balancing the federal budget in the 1990s, the last time it was balanced.
Oh, so now it was Kasich who balanced the budget during the Clinton years. Sure. And then Kasich became George W. Bush's budget director during the "deficits don't matter" era of big government and war spending by credit card and ended up crashing the economy in the process. That worked out well, didn't it? Too bad we didn't spend that money on schools or roads instead of wars.
To rein in what he called unnecessary federal rules, he would enact a yearlong moratorium on new regulations “so we can catch our breath,” he said. "No more rules and regulations from Washington for one year."
His plan also calls for cutting the top tax rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 28 percent and lowering the number of tax brackets from seven to three. For businesses, the top rate would drop from 35 percent to 25 percent.
The Kasich Plan is simple: to take what most Republicans want to do with tax cuts for the rich and cuts to Medicaid with block grants and make massive austerity cuts everywhere. If anything Kasich's austerity plan is by far the worst of the GOP.
But he's the moderate, remember?