By Matt Dolan | The Enquirer
Opinion: Voters want serious people to solve the nation’s serious problems.
The start of a new year is usually a time for optimism. Yet, the midterm elections revealed that the hopes of far too many Ohioans are dimmed by feelings of apprehension and the sense that America is headed in the wrong direction.
In truth, we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic. We have challenges, to be sure, but when we make the right choices, we can enjoy a level of prosperity and freedom unparalleled in our nation’s history. Of course, when we make the wrong choices, if we continue to kick the can down the road on confronting today’s challenges, piling up debt, squandering resources, when we project weakness to our adversaries, our apprehensions will prove prophetic.
In November, voters sent a hard-to-miss message that they want serious people to solve the serious problems we face. Despite the negligence, failures and unpopularity of the Biden administration, voters across the country were reluctant to support House and Senate candidates who appear to be consumed with the past. Americans want fewer bomb throwers who posture rather than solve problems. They prefer experienced leaders who reject fictional grievances and are ready to do the hard work of advancing substantive policies to make our future better than the past.
I am committed to moving forward with principled, results-oriented leadership. As Republicans, we need to get back to the fundamentals of limited government, low taxes, free markets, individual responsibility and a strong national defense. We’ll advance none of our values if we fail to win back the White House and Senate in 2024.
At the same time, it’s impossible to overcome threats to our security and prosperity when entrenched politicians in the nation’s capital fail to recognize them as such. The most egregious example of a dangerous blind spot is Washington’s slow and grudging response to the humanitarian and national security crisis exploding on our southern border.
In a December interview, Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “I don’t hear a lot about immigration from voters except from people on the far-right.” Customs and Border Protection data from November showed 233,740 migrants were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest November total in history and a 332% increase from the November apprehensions during the Trump administration. More than 13,000 of the apprehended migrants were unaccompanied children. Worse still, the Biden administration’s negligence has resulted in record amounts of fentanyl flooding across the southern border and into Ohio and other states, creating a tidal wave of crime, drug overdoses and misery inside families and local communities.
Rising prices are another major cause of apprehension for Ohio families and businesses. According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, 73% Ohio small-business owners were forced to raise prices in the past three months due to inflation and supply chain disruptions. The same businesses expect more price increases in the months ahead. While we need more robust investments for national defense priorities and urgent security crises such as Putin’s Ukraine invasion, hundreds of billions of dollars in non-defense, non-veteran discretionary spending was off the charts.
Under Republican leadership, Ohio has taken a different approach to our challenges by meeting them head on. As head of the finance committee, I authored and fought to pass what the Ohio Republican Party called “the most conservative budget in in Ohio legislative history.” It achieved some of the lowest tax rates in memory, reforms that are working to attract leading manufacturers, international investment and more jobs to Ohio. As important, the budget was balanced. Ohio’s spending does not exceed our revenues.
In the Legislature, I also worked with my colleagues to reduce onerous regulations, protect our natural resources, promote energy development of all kinds, improve access to mental health and provide new opportunities for all Ohio kids to get a quality education. This is the kind of practical, problem solving approach to the people’s business that is too often lacking in Washington, D.C. Together with Joe Biden, Sherrod Brown has kicked America’s problems down the road for a generation. Their time is up.
I ran for the federal office last year because it was clear we need leadership in Washington guided by truth, the Constitution and a results-oriented vision for confronting our nation’s biggest challenges. I still believe that. And I promise Ohioans, that is what I intend to provide if they grant me privilege of serving them as Ohio’s next U.S. Senator.
Ohio Sen. Matt Dolan represents the state’s 24th district, which covers most of Cuyahoga County, and is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.