Ohio's Budget is a Moral Document

In the coming days, we’ll be learning more about Governor Kasich’s proposed Ohio budget. And during that time, we’ll be asked to reflect on what the budget says about our priorities as a state.

Where do we spend our money?

A wise man once told me that you can learn a lot about people based on how they spend their money. If you spend a lot of money dining out, it might indicate you’re a foodie… or just lazy in the kitchen. Either way, spending money on dining out is an indication of what you value – you either value a “food experience” or convenience.

Examples abound. If you spend $200/month on sky diving, you value an adrenaline rush. If you’re giving regularly to your church, you value your church and its funded ministries. If you’ve set up a college fund for your child, you value education…

As details of Ohio’s proposed budget unfold, what will the budget say about us as a state? What do we value?

Many in the faith community believe that the budget is a moral document – more than just an Excel spreadsheet with arbitrary numbers filling its grids… even more than a balanced checkbook. It’s one thing to be in the black. But it’s another thing to be in the black while also taking care of our residents. The way we allocate resources… it says something about us.

If we accept the notion that the budget is a moral document, we need to prioritize Ohioans who are struggling the most with hunger and poverty. In fact, many are signing on to officially endorse this notion.

As more details of the proposed budget continue to roll out, give it a hard look. Are we truly addressing the root causes of poverty and, in turn, food insecurity? Are we adequately addressing the interconnected issues of employment, housing, and healthcare? If we’re making these items priorities, are we making them enough of a priority?

As Ohio residents, we have a voice. And with that voice, we have the opportunity to weigh in on how we allocate our resources.

Ohio’s budget is a moral document. So what does that document say about us? What do we value?

About the Author: Chris Benninger is the founder of YOUR STORY ON FILM LLC, a local company tasked with the mission of helping people tell their stories through visual media. Whether shooting a documentary or designing a website, Chris believes that visual storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to reach one’s intended audience. Chris resides in Chippewa Lake, OH, and has the pleasure of being outnumbered by the two women in his life – his wife, Amy, and dog, Ava.