Kasich: White House, Congress need to ‘get their act together’

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that Congress and the White House would be wise to follow the lead of states with improving economies in trying to boost the nation's growth and create jobs.

The Republican argued that his state is one of several that have experienced exploding job growth after balancing the budget and cutting taxes and regulations.

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"All we've done is create a better environment," Kasich said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"What's happened in the country is there is so much uncertainty," he added. "Are they going to raise taxes, how many more regulations are going to be piled on and that uncertainty really affects small business. It affects all job creators in America."

While he said he felt good about the nation's recovery, he added: "I wish they'd get their act together in Washington."

In a presidential election year, Democrats and Republicans are each trying to carve out their own visions for the nation's future — although both include a more robust recovery and job creation, they take different paths to accomplish those goals.

Although job growth slowed to 120,000 in March, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the economy is making progress.

"I think we're moving in the right direction," Durbin said, also on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. 

"We're on the right track, like the president — we want this to move more quickly and, of course, we want to see more jobs created," he said.


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As Congress remains embroiled in a budget battle that isn't likely to work itself out before the election, Kasich is urging Washington to examine mandatory spending programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and make changes. 

Kasich said the federal government needed to "follow the formula" set out by states that are boosting job creation. 

Since he took office in 2011, Ohio has moved up from nearly last to first in job creation — 48th to fourth, he said.

"It's not trickle-down economics, it's common sense," said Kasich. 

"The problem the president has is he's rudderless on the economy — he doesn't quite know what to do," he added.

"It takes time to turn a super-tanker, so you need to know where you need to go and that's what we've done out here, we've moved it in the right direction, and they should learn from this in Washington."

Kasich also called for tax reform that includes flatter rates and eliminates so-called loopholes.

"I believe you can reform these programs, modernize them into the 21st century, save money and provide more customer or taxpayer satisfaction," he said.


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"Unfortunately the parties are so much at war in Washington that they seem unable to agree on anything and that's tragic," he said.

Kasich was a lawmaker when the budget was balanced in 1997.

"We have a long way to go in Ohio but the results have been good, the results have been positive for families — you've got to learn the lessons of where it works and it's working here."

Durbin, however, expressed concern that GOP-backed policy changes, especially those included in House Budget Comittee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan, will affect the middle class and provide greater tax breaks to higher-earning taxpayers.

"We've seen working families fall further and further behind and Mitt Romney promises more of the same," Durbin said.

He said presidential contender Mitt Romney's approach is the same as under former President George W. Bush, which "brought on one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. We don't want to go back to those economic policies."

On the GOP’s protracted fight for the presidential nomination, Kasich, who has not endorsed a candidate in the race, says he will wait until voters select a nominee.

He said he expects Ohio, a battleground state Obama won in 2008, to be "tight as a tick" and that whoever can convince voters they can improve the economy "will be the winner."


RELATED: Only 120,000 jobs added in March, missing economic expectations