There he goes again. Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is thumping his Bible at detractors of his decision to take advantage of Obamacare by expanding Medicaid, adding 600,000 (mostly) able-bodied, childless adults to the welfare rolls. Speaking at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Kasich said:
I mean, look at Medicaid expansion. You know how many people are yelling at me? I’ve gone to events where people yell at me. You know what? You know what I tell ’em? I mean, God bless ’em, I’m telling them a little bit better at this. I said, you know, there’s a book, it’s got a new part and an old part. They put it together. It’s a remarkable book. If you don’t have one, uh, I’ll buy you one. It talks about how we treat the poor. I mean, sometimes you just have to lead.
Kasich went on to say “It’s like fighting ISIS, okay?” Leaders don’t let the yelling and the screaming determine their decisions, he said.
Right. His fight against conservatives in Ohio is just like fighting ISIS.
I’m just going to be blunt here — the man is a serial scripture twister who picks and chooses Bible verses to promote his liberal political agenda. Kasich seethes with condescension at conservatives — Christian conservatives — who disagree with him while claiming the biblical high ground, but he has no idea what he’s talking about. (Or worse, he does know better and he’s intentionally misusing God’s word to further his agenda.) Kasich has on other occasions defended Medicaid expansion by warning that his opponents would be in trouble in the afterlife:
I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith. Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor. Better have a good answer.
I don’t know which “bible” this guy is reading (and offering to send to his detractors) but there’s nothing in the Christian Bible that defines charity as the forcible confiscation of money from one individual for redistribution to another. Christians are told to give generously, but it’s to be voluntary: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). While Christians are individually commanded to be charitable and help the poor (Romans 15:25-26, 2 Corinthians 8-9, Galatians 2:10, 1 John 3:17), the Bible–even the “new part”–says nothing about this being a responsibility of the civil government. Neither are there any commands for Christians to to try to wield the levers of government power in order to collect money to care for the poor.
As an aside, it should be noted that Kasich’s “compassion” does not extend to the unborn. He has stubbornly refused to defund Planned Parenthood and has refused to lift a finger in support of the Heartbeat Bill that would protect unborn children whose heartbeats can be detected with ultrasound. (I’ve got a few Bible verses on that if Gov. Kasich is interested.)
Kristina Ribali from the Foundation for Government Accountability told PJ Media, “The Bible says the poor will always be among us. But if you really care about the poor, you promote policies that help them escape from the government welfare trap. You promote policies that restore the working class and help people move up the economic ladder.” She said that Medicaid’s perverse incentives trap people in poverty, reducing earnings and incentives to work. “That’s not compassion.”
She’s right. Here’s what Kasich’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion has done to Ohio:
Ohio’s dependence on Medicaid is the worst in the Midwest, according to Watchdog.org:
Ohio had 2.33 million people on its Medicaid rolls in December 2013, the month before Kasich’s Obamacare expansion took effect. Within 18 months, 3 million Ohioans were on Medicaid. In July, enrollment in Kasich’s Obamacare expansion was 609,030 — 66 percent greater than Kasich expected. Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost federal taxpayers $4 billion in its first 18 months, instead of the $2.5 billion projected.
And it gets worse:
Medicaid expansion will cost taxpayers $9.3 billion during the 2016-17 fiscal years, according to an Ohio Legislative Service Commission forecast. LSC expects enrollment to average 622,516 this year and 692,500 next year.
Leon Wolf responded to this soundbite at RedState today:
This kind of thing is why I would easily vote for Trump (and probably some Democrats) over Kasich. It isn’t just that he’s liberal’ it’s that he gives credence to liberal tropes by adopting them publicly while pretending to be inside our tent. Kasich as the nominee would be more damaging to the conservative brand than any nominee in my lifetime. I can’t wait until the day that our field is rid of his poisonous influence.
A lot of my fellow Ohioans who have lived under Kasich’s rule here would agree. And many (myself included) would take it a step further and say that Kasich is the Republican version of Obama — he’s a narcissist and bully who has no compunction about achieving his political goals by any means possible. Strong-arm tactics, backroom deals, trampling the state constitution, abusing the Bible to score political points with the left — it seems that nothing if off limits for Kasich. I’ve been willing to vote for the “lesser of two evils” in past elections, but Ohio’s governor is a bridge too far for me. I’ll stay home before I vote for John Kasich this time around.
UPDATE: I should add that I wouldn’t be opposed to Gov. Kasich (at his personal expense) sending Bibles to all of his political opponents. Our nation could certainly benefit from the biblical wisdom contained within.