Where he stands: John Kasich

John Richard Kasich (born May 13, 1952, in McKees Rocks, Pa.), a Republican, is governor of Ohio, elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Kasich served nine terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 2001. His tenure in the House included 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee and six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

He was a commentator on Fox News Channel, hosting Heartland with John Kasich from 2001 to 2007. He also was managing director of Lehman Brothers’ office in Columbus, Ohio.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio State University in 1974, he worked as a researcher for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. From 1975 to 1978, he served as an administrative assistant to then state Sen. Buz Lukens.



Education is local: Education should not be micro-managed by the federal government. The teaching curricula, choice of textbooks and lesson plans that educators use are the responsibility of local school districts. Laws enacted in Ohio by Gov. Kasich defend against federal intrusion and privacy abuses. As President, he would put these same approaches to work for every student.

No federal learning standards: As President, Kasich would call on states to develop, adopt and maintain their own rigorous standards.

Protecting privacy: Ohio has taken steps to protect student privacy and personal education information, and as President he would make sure all students have these protections.

Listening to parents: Review committees which include parents and local educators are examining Ohio’s standards for English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. As President, John Kasich would encourage education leaders to seek input from parents and communities to make sure their work aligns with the expectations and priorities of those they serve.

Third-grade reading guarantee: Promotion of third-graders who can’t read has come to an end in Ohio, and new intervention and support efforts in grades K-3 are identifying and assisting students who need additional help to progress.

Sanctity of human life

Fighting taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood: When Kasich became governor, the Ohio Department of Health stopped awarding new state dollars to Planned Parenthood.  Also, Kasich signed legislation kicking it to the back of the line for the federal government’s family planning grants the Health Department administers.

Encouraging adoption: By making adoption less bureaucratic and more affordable, Kasich has helped create a more accessible alternative to abortion. Kasich is committed to helping older children in foster care find forever families as well and launched an effort aimed to help these older, harder-to-place children find loving homes.

Protecting women’s health: As governor, Kasich provided for the first-ever state funding stream for rape crisis centers. Additionally, he helped create a $500,000 per-year parenting and pregnancy support program that provides counseling to pregnant women, meets practical needs of new mothers such as cribs and formula, and connects new mothers to additional help.

Vulnerable Americans

Making welfare work in America and Ohio: In Congress, Kasich worked as part of a leadership team to pass legislation that led to federal welfare reforms. Lifetime limits on cash benefits, work requirements and flexibility for states to design their own relief programs helped people begin moving from dependency to self-sufficiency. In Ohio, he eliminated disincentives to better jobs and wages by softening the benefit “cliffs” for child care recipients that cut off benefits when their incomes rise even marginally.

Making work pay for low-income families: As governor, Kasich cut taxes for low- and middle-income Ohioans, created Ohio’s first Earned Income Tax Credit and doubled its value the next year.

Lifting up those with mental illness and addiction: For individuals with mental illness, Ohio is increasing the availability of health care, expanding housing options and investing in services that save lives. In addition, Ohio has invested in early childhood mental health and crisis services for families. Ohio also is improving efforts to help those with drug addiction to overcome it and reclaim their lives, prevent problems before they start by educating young people on the dangers of drug abuse, and helping inmates overcome addiction.

The Second Amendment

Removing restrictions for law-abiding concealed carry licensees: Kasich enacted legislation protecting Ohio’s concealed carry laws, including protecting the privacy of permit holders and allowing for reciprocity licenses with other states.

Upholding Ohio’s outdoors traditions: Kasich enacted legislation that removes restrictions on licensing requirements for hunters and by creating policies to expand hunting rights in Ohio.

Fiscal responsibility

Balancing the federal budget: As chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, Kasich led the effort to balance the federal budget for the first time in a generation, cut taxes and start paying down the national debt.

Ending a record $8 billion budget shortfall in Ohio: Kasich helped Ohioans create hundreds of thousands of new private-sector jobs and reduce Ohio’s unemployment rate to its lowest point in more than a decade. At the same time, Kasich’s financial management has helped grow the state’s savings account from 89 cents to $2 billion.

Cutting taxes by $5 billion to spur job creation: Since taking office, Gov. Kasich has eliminated the death tax, cut the state income tax 16 percent, eliminated the income tax for many small businesses and provided tax relief to low- and middle-income workers. Ohio’s unemployment rate remains below the national average.

National security

Defeating ISIS: This requires a complex, collaborative strategy involving mutual defense action by NATO and regional allies, intensifying international intelligence cooperation, increasing support to the highly-effective Kurdish military, creating safe havens and no-fly zones, combating human trafficking in refugees, a NATO and regional coalition with ground troops, and more aggressively fighting the war of ideas to discredit ISIS.

Challenging regional aggression: The U.S. must reassert its strength to reverse losses in leadership and security.

  • Stand up to Russia:

The U.S. must work with our European allies to strengthen new NATO member states on the front lines with Russia, such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, by supplying them, repositioning U.S. forces onto their eastern borders supported by a new, strong integrated air defense system there, and jointly committing to higher defense spending targets. We also must help ensure a free Ukraine by training and arming Ukrainian forces with the weapons they have requested and which Congress has approved.

  • Counter China:

The U.S. must work with regional allies to significantly increase our military presence in the region and ensure freedom of navigation for the $5.3 trillion in annual trade that passes through the Western Pacific. We must help Japan defend its territorial waters with advanced seabed acoustic sensors, anti-ship missiles and other defensive equipment. We also must deploy our Pacific combat commander to Guam and station additional Air Force and Marine Corps units in the Western Pacific, where they can conduct regular joint regional amphibious landing exercises.

Renewing our military: Our security and the security of our allies requires a commitment to conventional and new cyber capabilities.

  • It starts with the economy:

Military strength requires economic strength, and Kasich has crafted a plan to revive the economy by cutting taxes, balancing the budget in eight years, and cutting regulations that kill jobs.

  • Rebuild the U.S. military:

We can ensure that resources reach the troops who need them most by streamlining Pentagon bureaucracy and transforming procurement processes to get new weapons systems into the field on time and on budget.

  • Strengthen cyber defenses:

We must work with our allies to identify sources of cyberattack and develop a coordinated response to anyone who attacks the resources of our government and the private sector.

Renewing our alliances: Our allies feel neglected and abused. We must rebuild these relationships. Among other actions, this includes supporting Ukraine in its challenges from Russia, standing by Egypt as it fights terrorist insurgencies from Sinai and Libya, supporting our Pacific allies in the face of Chinese belligerence and supporting Israeli efforts to defend itself and oppose Iranian-backed terrorism in the region.

Health care

  • Improving patient-centered primary care: The first step is having a primary care system that helps promote long-term good health instead of just reacting when someone gets sick. To help incentivize participation in this model, Ohio’s four largest commercial insurers — Anthem, Aetna, Medical Mutual and United Healthcare — as well as Ohio’s five Medicaid managed care plans are designing a system that shares savings with the providers whose work helps improve health and hold down costs.
  • Rewarding value instead of volume: High-cost episodes will continue to account for most health spending. Today we pay for all of the inputs in these episodes separately, but if these inputs were considered as a whole, then the providers involved would work as a team to control costs and maximize quality. In a joint replacement, for example, surgeons, anesthesiologists, hospitals, device manufacturers, rehabilitation therapists and drug makers all have separate roles and little incentive to worry about each other’s costs. Instead, what if the surgeon earned more for meeting high-quality standards while also better managing the entire procedure in order to produce lower costs?  Many providers are doing this today, but the savings accrue only to the health insurance plan, not the high-value provider who generates it. In March 2015, Ohio began working with the states four largest commercial insurers and five Medicaid plans to set this model in motion for certain high-cost episodes.

The economy

The largest tax cut in the nation: Kasich teamed with Ohio’s legislature to cut taxes by $5 billion since 2011.

Eliminating red tape: Kasich created the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) in 2011. Charged with being a one-stop shop for reviewing regulations, CSI so far has reviewed more than 5,500 state regulations with the goal of reducing hardships that government too often places on businesses.

An innovative approach to economic development: Kasich replaced Ohio’s state-run economic development system with a private-sector approach called JobsOhio, a nonprofit organization staffed by industry experts. JobsOhio is positioning the state as a go-to location for aerospace, advanced manufacturing, biohealth, financial services, logistics and information technology.

Saturday: Martin O’Malley


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