By Frank LaRose
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved going to the county fair. The rides, the food, the animals. It’s like a magical world for a young child.
But one thing always frustrated me: the carnival games. The carnival barkers would reel you in with promises that “next time you’ll win” or “today’s your lucky day” but always with the same result. Without fail, you’d be conned out of your money.
For decades now, Ohioans have been conned in the same fashion. Not by a traveling carny yelling “step right up,” but by a slick politician with a clever costume of populism masking his radical liberal voting record.
I call it Sherrod’s charade. He claims to be a warrior for the little guy, while consistently working against hard-working small town Ohioans the second he steps foot in Washington.
It’s ironic that Senator Brown would choose to brag in a recent column about “standing up for small town Ohio” at a time when those of us from small towns in Ohio are feeling the crippling effects of his poor choices in Washington more than ever.
For more than two years now, inflation has outpaced wages under President Biden and Sherrod Brown. In fact, earnings have fallen each month since Biden-Brown passed their $1.9 trillion “stimulus.” Sixty-one percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Ohioans are undeniably worse off and it’s hurting working class families the most.
Overall prices in the Midwest have shot up 16.5% since Biden took office. Midwest household energy prices are up 18.3%; food and beverage prices are up 20.5%; and gas is up 54% despite the reckless and politically-motivated Biden-Brown decision to drain our strategic petroleum reserve.
All of the reckless decisions by Biden and Brown are doing quantifiable harm to Ohio’s families. While wages are stagnant the average family’s bills have gone up more than $700 a month. It’s no surprise that so many families are barely scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck in the Biden/Brown economy.
Throwing borrowed money at the problem seems to be the only tool in their toolbox, and it’s only making things worse as new August data shows unemployment creeping back up.
Senator Brown’s key vote in the tragically misnamed Inflation Reduction Act will continue doing long-term harm to the wellbeing of the workers he claims to champion. Mortgage rates, gas prices and grocery bills remain high with seemingly no end in sight for families already stretching their budgets. Yet the Senator’s votes direct billions to big S&P 500 companies, but not a penny to the small businesses in the small towns that create the overwhelming majority of new jobs in America.
Even more hypocritical is Brown’s all-out regulatory war on the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas jobs provide income for more than 350,000 Ohioans and reliable power for everyone else. Unfortunately President Biden and Sherrod Brown have placed these workers in their sights, pushing aggressive anti-fossil fuel development rules that threaten to put them out of work.
Instead of looking out for Ohio interests, Sherrod Brown would rather push a California style agenda.
His subservience to Green New Deal policies have also placed another group of workers he claims to champion in the crosshairs: union workers in the automotive industry. The rapid and alarmist shift to electric vehicles threatens UAW jobs without warning or concern.
Setting aside the unmitigated national security implications of increasing our reliance on China for the production of the electric vehicles, this dramatic mandate by the Biden Administration would have calamitous effects on the entire American auto industry. No wonder so many union members are abandoning the Democratic Party. It’s hard to fight for dignity of work from the unemployment line.
As a nation, we need to abandon thoughtless energy and environmental policies and focus on the serious solutions that actually work. We need to focus on working families not just with empty political rhetoric but serious solutions to ensure Americans don’t have to stay up at night wondering how they are going to afford next week’s grocery bill or when the next layoff will occur.
The state’s oil and gas production should be expanded to help increase the supplies that can reduce energy inflation and return America to energy security. When energy is cheaper, the cost of everything that is transported and powered decreases. Ohio has a core solution right under our feet.
Small town Ohioans are not a prop to pull out each time an election year rolls around in defense of a radical agenda. They are real, hardworking Americans who want the government to stop putting up roadblocks in their path to living out their American dreams. We need a Senator who understands the difference.
I do agree with Senator Brown on one thing though: Ohio deserves better. Step one is retiring con men like Sherrod Brown.
The writer is the secretary of the state of Ohio and US Senate candidate.