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Middle-class tax rate becomes an issue in Ohio's Senate race

 Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons announces his bid to run for one of Ohio's U.S. Senate seats in 2022.
Mike Gibbons
Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons announces his bid to run for one of Ohio's U.S. Senate seats in 2022.

Are the middle class paying their fair share of income tax in this country? In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss a soundbite from Senate candidate Mike Gibbons that might not play well with some voters.

The Ohio primary, part I

There are less than three weeks until voters decide primary races for statewide offices and members of Congress and all eyes are really on two races.

In the Democratic race for governor, former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley and former Cincinnati mayor John Cranly are running hard, but they frankly are being too nice.

Both are running positive ads with no quotes by their opponent out of context and no grainy black and white pictures of each other.

The real “fun” is in the Republican race for US Senate. The latest poll—released by JD Vance’s campaign—shows Vance basically tied with Josh Mandel and Mike Gibbons.

Gibbons may have given his opponents some ammunition when he appeared on a podcast published by Crain’s Cleveland Business last year.

While discussing how much each economic class pays the federal government in income tax he said, “...the middle class is not really paying any kind of a fair share, depending on how you want to define it.”

Gibbons is mostly right on the numbers. If you look at dollars raised through income tax, the rich are paying more than the middle class or low-income Americans because the rich make more money. But without proper context, this statement might not be good politics.

Snollygoster of the week

Democratic candidate for Governor John Cranley called for all Ohio Schools to offer summer school for every Ohio school kid. Cranley said it would be voluntary for parents who want to make their kids go to summer school.

According to Cranley, students need the extra weeks in the classroom because they have lost so much during the pandemic. It would be expensive, but Cranley said the state could use some of the $7 billion the state has received in federal pandemic assistance for education.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.