Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Deaf, mute, & blind: Ohio GOP attacks Strickland for offering assistance to families drowning in the GOP's massive tuition increases

Within the same day that Congressman Strickland released his plan to offer assistance to Ohio families, the GOP is quick to attack of Strickland's $344 million price tag.

According to the Ohio GOP, Strickland's plan to have the state contribute to Ohio families higher education savings plans is "an elaborate scheme to take state tax dollars from Ohio parents and then give them back as a "contribution" to help pay for college tuition."

"This is a classic liberal ploy," said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett. "The taxpayers give money to the state, and the Democrats give it back as a government hand-out. They've been doing it ever since the creation of welfare."

Mr. Bennett is a man of his convictions, and I'm sure he would be quick to criticize a Republican if they were taxing citizens and then returning that money as a government welfare hand-out, right?

But in the defense of Mr. Bennett, financial aid is different, right? It's not like Bush has used the tax code to tax families and then return those tax dollars as a handout to help families pay for higher education, right? Wrong.

Perhaps in Mr. Bennett had spent less time fundraising with Noe, he'd actually learn that thanks to his party, Ohio families need Strickland's help because they're getting double-taxed by the GOP already. First, they pay state taxes, and then, they have to pay college tuition to send their kids to "state" schools.

Thanks to the leadership of the Ohio GOP, Ohio families have seen massive tax increases disguistuitiontuiton at Ohio state schools. Over the years, the advantage of attending an in-state school versus a private school has essentially disappeared as state schools in Ohio have been increasing tuition in the double-digits percent range every year, with no end or relief (until Strickland's plan) in sight.

As a result of GOP's massive tuition increases, Ohio has seen a tremendous "brain drain" as young Ohioans leave the state to attend college and find careers elsewhere causing the state to slide behind the rest of the nation in having a competitive college-educated workforce required for well-paying jobs in the 21st century.

And what is the competing vision that the GOP offers? Given that neither of the GOP candidates has even mention higher education tuition relief, it can only be described as blindness.

So when it comes to higher education relief for working families in Ohio, the GOP has no vision and no voice. Again, time after time, the GOP appears to be the one with no real vision to govern and can offer nothing more than potshots of negativity. They have no vision, and they have no excuses for their poor leadership in governing Ohio.

Chairman Bennett, we've given your party more than enough time to show real leadership in the State. It's time for a change!

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