Is John Kasich a Fiscal Conservative? No, Says This Conservative Group

The Club for Growth has just released a white paper grading Ohio Governor John Kasich’s economic record, and their findings raise a lot of questions for the presidential hopeful on taxes and spending.

On taxes, the paper notes that budgets under Kasich’s tenure “have been proposed and passed with net decreases in overall taxation,” but warns that “he has also proposed numerous new taxes and tax increases,” such as increasing a severance tax on oil and gas extraction and a tax increase on his home state banks’ net worth as a replacement for other taxes.

The club’s diagnosis is a bit more straightforward on spending. Under Kasich, state spending in Ohio “has increased significantly since Governor Kasich’s first budget.” The white paper cites research from the Cato Institute saying that “state spending under Kasich increased by 12% from 2012 to 2015.”

“Governor Kasich says that spending increases in Ohio have only been modest,” the paper reads. “However, the CATO Institute argues the governor is using federal funds for Medicaid, education, and transportation to ‘hide how much Ohio’s state spending has grown during his tenure.'”

In the end, the white paper concludes that Kasich has a “mixed record on matters of economic liberty” which “might have been even worse had a Republican legislature not stopped some of his tax proposals.”  Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a candidate who relies heavily on his reputation as a fiscal hawk to counteract his unpopular opinions on base issues like Common Core and religious liberty. Continue Reading

Club for Growth Dumps $1 Million in First Anti-Trump Ad (VIDEO)

The Club for Growth’s Super PAC is dumping $1 million against Trump in Iowa, the first major ad buy.  The theme?  He’s a politician like the rest of them:

This is the best they can do?  He’s not a politician like the rest of them.  The ad seems fake to me.

But Trump does not typically respond well to criticism.  He goes nuclear.  So we will see if the ads have an impact.

My own guess is video footage of Trump smearing Carson and promising to appoint “horrible people” to high office might work better.

Meanwhile Jeb Bush’s Super PAC is spending $6 million in ads in Iowa through the end of this year (and over $20 million in early primary states. The first ad touts his record:

My own guess is that running on your record is a terrible, counterproductive waste of money this year.

But nobody pays me the big bucks.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Club For Growth Attacks Mike Huckabee

The Club for Growth sees Mike Huckabee as such a threat they are launching the 2016 season’s first negative attack ad, airing this week in Sioux City, Iowa, and Greenberg, S.C.:

The ad attacks Huckabee for raising taxes while he was governor of Arkansas.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action.  Continue Reading