By Greg Sowinski
When state government set up shop earlier this year with Lima as its makeshift capitol for a day leaders quickly learned the hardworking people of the city were representative of the residents of the state as a whole.
For that reason, Ohio's governor, along with the leaders of the General Assembly, chose Lima again to sign a resolution Monday urging federal government officials to balance their budget. It will be sent to President Barack Obama and Congress, as well as governors of the other 49 states.
Invoking the children as the future of the country and the people who will be burdened by the enormous debt that stands at $17.21 trillion and growing rapidly, Gov. John Kasich said something needs to be done.
"It's common sense you just can't keep spending more than what you take in," Kasich said.
Kasich and other state government leaders said they have no faith in Congress or the president to get something done. The best option is for at least 34 states to sign on forcing Congress to convene a limited constitutional convention to draft a balanced budget amendment.
Ohio became the 20th state to sign onto the initiative Monday during a resolution signing ceremony at Rhodes State College in Lima.
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, a Republican from the local 12th District, said the national debt will pass $25 trillion in less than a decade if something is not done.
"This is a very important message for us to deliver on behalf of all Ohioans and all Americans," Faber said.
Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder, a Republican from Medina, said countries with much smaller debts than the United States have had riots and revolutions over economic problems with the national debts in those countries.
"It's just hard for me to imagine and for me to see what it meant for our future," Batchelder said. "We are on the brink of disaster in terms of this nation's future. It is up to us. It is up to us as individuals and it is up to us as public servants to draw a line in the sand."
Ohio and 48 other states have come up with laws requiring a balanced budget and it's time the federal government did as well, Kasich said as a national debt counter ticked above his head.
Those in the federal government will push back and say it can't be done but Ohio has showed it can be done, Kasich said.
"It forced us to abide by the law. It forced us to make the decisions we had to make to balance the budget," the governor said.
The governor said Congress, who caters to special interest groups, along with others in the federal government, must be held responsible and get their act in order.
"This sends a message to all the special interest groups it's not a free party. They are going to have to work this out," Kasich said.
Kasich said the resolution or the notion of balancing the federal budget is not partisan but something everyone should strongly support.
After the meeting, Kasich said he would not predict how long it could take to get 34 states onboard. He said he will do his part by signing the resolution to get Ohio onboard and he will personally contact 49 other governors to encourage them to support it.
"This is not something you do in a day," he said.
In less than the hour it took to hold the meeting, the debt clock behind the state leaders showed the nation's debt grew by $134 million.
State Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, also spoke during the meeting saying most people have no concept how much $17 trillion is. He said there will be an economic collapse in the country if something is not done.
"We have to do this," Huffman said.