To the Editor:
Now that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has presented his budget recommendations and has made his State of the State address, I must point out two very inconsistent positions.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Kasich made the following statement:
"My personal faith in the lessons I learned from the Good Book, they like, run my life. I mean, I'm serious, they're very important to me. Not just on Sunday, but just about every day. I gotta tell you, I can't look at the disabled, I can't look at the poor, I can't look at the mentally ill, and I can't look at the addicted and think we ought to ignore them."
Yet, the governor's budget for Ohio Works First cash assistance slashes $191 million in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) budget. These are dollars that go to the poorest of Ohio's poor families. In addition, his Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has pulled this safety net out from under more than 90,000 poor people, including 50,000 children during the time he has been in office. Many of these people suffer from mental heath and additional issues that contribute to their circumstances.
When actions speak louder, I don't understand how the governor can truly mean these words:
"For those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored."
Gov. Kasich's ODJFS has taken harsh actions that have shoved 90,000 more of "those who are the least among us" into those shadows of life, taking harsh actions that have destroyed families and separated children from their parents. Based upon these actions taken against poor people, they would be better off if Gov. Kasich did ignore them.
Gov. Kasich and his ODJFS need to start seeing these people for what they are, the most vulnerable in our state. They need our help. There are no disposable human beings.