Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Toledo) Blade, July 8
President Obama's campaign swing through northwest Ohio late last week was likely the first of many visits that he and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will make to this region before Election Day. ...
Local voters want to hear the candidates talk about issues ranging from the future of Obamacare to the strength of the economic recovery to the health of Lake Erie. But nothing is more likely to engage them than the question of which candidate will do more to help create jobs, especially manufacturing jobs, in the region. ...
Obama told northwest Ohioans — again — that much of the region's economic comeback is attributable to his advocacy of the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler after the automakers declared bankruptcy in 2009. ... Romney, who grew up in Michigan, continues to criticize the bailout. ...
Romney insists that his business experience demonstrates his ability to expand economic growth, investment, and creation of manufacturing jobs in this country. He vows to be tougher on China than Obama. ...
When they return to northwest Ohio, it would help if both candidates went beyond exchanging slogans and attaching demeaning labels to each other, and offered comprehensive proposals for job creation. Even so, the differences between the president and Romney on the issue are becoming clearer.
Warren Tribune Chronicle, July 8
In April 2008, some pilots flying the Air Force's vaunted F-22 Raptor began reporting trouble breathing while in the air. More than four years later, the Pentagon still hasn't solved the problem, apparently a serious one involving equipment. ...
A few pilots actually have refused to fly the F-22, because of the oxygen system failure.
The F-22, at more than $400 million each when fully equipped, is among the most advanced weapons in the U.S. arsenal. It is a stealth craft, made to invade enemy airspace without being detected. Given the shift in tactics used by the armed forces, it is critical the Air Force be able to deploy F-22s whenever and wherever they are needed.
Yet earlier this year, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered no F-22 be sent on a mission outside a "proximate distance" from a base — in case pilots suffer oxygen deprivation. ...
Some members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican, want answers about the F-22. They should insist on assurances pilots are not being jeopardized — and national defense is not being hampered. Then, they should demand to know why it took so long for the Air Force to address what clearly is a serious problem.
Kent-Ravenna Record Courier, July 6
Indications by the Kasich Administration that it will not set up an Ohio Health Insurance Exchange, leaving the door open for the federal government to handle that task, shows the uncertainty that continues to surround the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, pejoratively labeled by its opponents as Obamacare.
Small wonder. The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, has said he will veto Obamacare his first day in office and this election is so close, according to pollsters, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may have a short life come January.
Even if Romney wins in November, however, the likelihood is that he and his Republican colleagues in Congress will have to come up with a credible replacement for Obamacare. The United States is the only modern industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal access to its health care system. ...
In the meantime, the insurance exchange system in Ohio will be handled by the federal government. An organized marketplace to facilitate competitive bidding of health insurance, the health insurance exchange will be a positive step in curbing health care costs, one that is likely to continue regardless of whether Romney unseats President Obama.
The Columbus Dispatch, July 5
Gov. John Kasich, a man who does not shy away from challenge, is saying that he intends to work with the legislature to come up with a better way to fund the state's schools, likely in time for next year's new state budget. Meanwhile, members of the General Assembly are doing the homework needed to craft reform. ...
Parents who think their district is doing great might be shocked to find out that, compared with national achievement-test scores, in many cases student performance is substandard or graduation rates are weak.
So the challenge lawmakers face this summer is twofold: to listen, and to build consensus for a shift in how the state funds education, and how it stretches those dollars to make sure all students learn.
The discussion also should include the recognition that where the money is spent, and not the amount of money itself, might be the problem: Some of the state's best-funded schools have the worst-performing students. ...
Among the thornier issues to be worked out is what it should actually cost to educate a student and how much local control should be preserved. ...
Ohio fundamentally changed how it approaches school funding. But it didn't fix schools.