The latest polling average on RealClearPolitics puts Kasich’s support at 2.3 percent among primary voters.

The latest polling average on RealClearPolitics puts Kasich’s support at 2.3 percent among primary voters. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Presidential Hopeful Kasich Would Downsize Transportation and Education Departments

Ohio Republican governor in Post op-ed calls Washington "obsolete."

John Kasich, the popular Republican governor of the swing state of Ohio whose presidential campaign remains mired in single-digit polling numbers, took aim at the Transportation and Education departments in an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post.

“Americans don’t need a costly federal highway bureaucracy,” he wrote in an essay arguing that Washington is obsolete. “I will return the federal gas taxes to the states, leaving only a sliver with the federal government for truly national needs. Then, I will downsize the Transportation Department and reassign it a smaller role, supporting states with research and safety standards. Federal spending would go down, resources available for highways and transit could go up, and states could work faster.”

Kasich vowed similar treatment of the Education Department. “Washington isn’t America’s principal or its teacher,” he wrote. “Education is a local issue, and decisions should be made by parents, our communities and our local educators. We need high standards, but they are not Washington’s business. I will bundle the department’s funds and send them back to the states with fewer strings attached. The department will be a research center and a local school booster, not a micromanager.”

The thrust of Kasich’s piece is that the “anemic growth” of today’s economy is traceable not to the federal government doing too little but its doing too much. This was never envisioned in the Founding Fathers’ notion of federalism with states as the key players in programs such as job training and Medicaid, he argued.

The former House Budget Committee chairman reiterated the common Republican plans for tax cuts, spending cuts, curbs on regulation and entitlement reform.

“There may have been a time when our nation’s size and complexity required a strong, centralized government, but today’s technology gives states access to the same ideas and capabilities as Washington — and they can execute faster and more efficiently,” Kasich wrote.

The latest polling average on RealClearPolitics puts Kasich’s support at 2.3 percent among primary voters.

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