VIDEO: Ohio Gov Kasich Touts Balanced Budget Amendment

Aaron Flint posted on January 22, 2015 12:14 :: 1665 Views

A visit to Montana touting an amendment to balance the federal budget quickly turned into a debate over Medicaid expansion.

I spoke with Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), the man who actually last balanced the federal budget on Capitol Hill in the 1990’s, live on the air during our broadcast from The Great Northern Hotel in Helena. 

Kasich, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, was in Helena touting a proposed balanced budget amendment that would force Congress to balance the budget. 

KASICH: “This is not a numbers game…this is about the implications of putting yourself year after year after year in debt.  And thats something I think people in Montana or across the country can grasp.  And if we don’t have an amendment that forces the congress to do what they should be doing, they’re never gonna do it, because they just want to spend money.”

On a potential run for the White House in 2016:

KASICH: “Kinda hard to say.  My options are open, but that’s all I can say about this point.”

I was only able to catch up with Gov. Kasich briefly Wednesday morning, but I was also able to ask him if the new Republican-controlled Congress has a game plan, much like the Contract With America from the 1990’s.  He says watching DC politics is “like watching a soap opera.”

Click below to listen to the full audio with Gov. Kasich on our statewide radio show, Voices of Montana:

Click to Listen


(Note- references used during interview with Kasich came from this piece posted at

It was later in the morning, during a meeting with Republican legislators, that the fireworks started going off…

The Great Falls Tribune: Ohio Gov Backs Medicaid Expansion

However, the discussion quickly turned into a spirited party debate about Medicaid expansion when Sen. Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, challenged Kasich on the Ohio governor’s support for Medicaid expansion in his home state.

“I would be singing your praises and trying to convince you to run for president if you said no to Medicaid expansion,” Sales said.

Sales, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former House speaker, said the Ohio governor’s support for a balanced budget amendment was “hypocritical” in light of Kasich’s support of Medicaid expansion.

VIDEO courtesy of the GFT’s John Adams: 

From the Left…

The Washington Post also took notice with this- Morning Plum: Republican governor makes powerful case for Obamacare

Strong arguments! But the question is, If Kasich is making this case for accepting federal money to expand health care to poor people, then how would he justify not accepting federal money to cover lower-income working people? That’s the question many Republican state lawmakers may soon face, if SCOTUS upholds the challenge to the ACA and strikes subsidies in three dozen states on the federal exchange. These lawmakers would then be faced with the question of whether to set up state exchanges — which would keep subsidies flowing to their own constituents — or bow to inevitable conservative pressure to do nothing and let the disruptions unfold.

And, from the Right… Ohio governor slams Obamacare opponents in Montana

Although Kasich asserts his Obamacare expansion is funded entirely with Ohio money, the expansion is projected to cost federal taxpayers more than $50 billion in its first decade.

Kasich became visibly annoyed when his Obamacare expansion position was challenged again at a press conference during his Wednesday visit to Helena.

After stopping in South Dakota on Tuesday and in Montana on Wednesday, Kasich’s Balanced Budget Forever trip is also taking him to Obamacare expansion holdouts Idaho, Wyoming and Utah this week.

Montana Media Trackers: Kasich Discussed Dangers of Debt then Calls on Montana to Expand Medicaid

Media Trackers reported last month that an analysis of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s 2015-2017 budget proposal from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Division (LFD) found that Bullock’s proposal relies on federal dollars for 42 percent ($4.155 billion) of its spending total ($9.802 billion) in the primary appropriations bill, HB 2.

Factoring in the proposed expansion, total Medicaid costs in Montana are expected to rise from $1.431 billion in 2015 to $1.669 billion by 2017, with $1.08 billion of that number coming from federal dollars.

Here’s what else is interesting… 

The liberal “Montana Budget and Policy Center” appears to be teaming up with The John Birch Society to attack the idea of holding an Article V Convention that would call for a balanced budget amendment, at least according to the talking points linked to by the anonymous, liberal MTCowgirl blog-  Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Convention: A Threat to Montana’s Economy 

(By the way, I may be mistaken- but isn’t Cowgirl’s favorite legislator, Rep. Ellie Hill from Missoula, also hoping to have an Article V Convention in order to overturn Citizen’s United? Also of interest, a former staffer to former Dem Sen. Max Baucus, Heather O’Loughlin, was spotted lobbying the legislature on behalf of The Montana Budget and Policy Center.) H/T to The Montana Policy Institute’s Brent Mead on the Citizens United tidbit.  

All this, as conservative backers of an Article V Convention meet in Helena next week…


For those who aren’t tracking, The John Birch Society has been speaking out against an Article V Convention in Montana.

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