Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 24
Giving state funding to colleges based on their performance makes more sense than doling out money mainly based on the number of students they enroll. That's the governor's newest idea, and college leaders have been asked to come up with such a formula this fall.
Early this year, Gov. John Kasich asked Ohio's 37 public universities and colleges to agree on one statewide "wish list" for how to spend $350 million in state funding for campus construction and other improvements. The colleges worked together and carried out his request.
Seeing a "real spirit of teamwork" on that task, now the governor has asked colleges to figure out a better way to divide up $2.4 billion in state operating money for higher education.
He convened another group, headed once again by Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, to create a funding formula that gives the public universities a financial incentive to improve. Kasich gave them plenty of leeway, but said he would prefer success to be defined as better retention of students from one year to the next, a higher graduation rate and good careers for graduates....
If the finished plan lives up to that promise, it would be a major improvement over the current system.
The Marietta Times, Sept. 22
On the heels of the Federal Reserve announcement of a new round of pump priming for the economy came news that it may not be needed. Let's hope the Fed is careful to avoid creating rather than solving a problem.
The Fed announced it will buy $40 billion in mortgage bonds every month, indefinitely, to make home buying "more affordable."
But on (Sept. 19), the government announced increases in sales of both new homes and previously occupied ones.
The Fed's action may encourage big lenders to take more risks in handing out mortgage loans. Of course, that indeed would give more Americans opportunities to buy homes and perhaps to purchase more expensive ones than they otherwise would have considered.
Sound familiar? It should. For years, big mortgage lenders led by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac handed out tens of billions of dollars in loans to home buyers who could not repay the money. Some members of Congress encouraged loose standards for borrowers. That caused the so-called "subprime mortgage" meltdown in the housing market.
If the Fed persists in its new program, it simply must avoid creating a new mortgage crisis rather than helping the economy.
The (Toledo) Blade, Sept. 24
The scheme by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to track the movement of guns from their sale in the United States into the hands of Mexican drug dealers was just as misguided and mismanaged as it seemed. The best report the nation is likely to see about the scandal confirms this view.
The first attempt at prying open the secrets of the scandal came through a partisan investigation in Congress led by Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. Attorney General Eric Holder resisted handing over all the documents requested. Republicans took the unprecedented step of finding him in civil and criminal contempt of Congress.
Political grandstanding aside, the program called Operation Fast and Furious was a fiasco. The major result of the "gun walking" program was that the ATF lost track of about 2,000 high-powered weapons sold in Phoenix-area gun stores.
Although Fast and Furious did lead to charges against 20 gun traffickers, it didn't stop the flood of guns across the border — and it contributed to the arming of the worst types of criminals....
Last week, the long-awaited report by the Justice Department inspector general came out in great detail....
This report is a strong, cautionary tale about what can happen when, in its words, "a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment, and management failures" put public safety at risk.
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Sept. 24
It sometimes is difficult for we Americans to recognize that it takes just a few rotten apples to make the entire barrel seem unsavory. Such may be the case in Libya.
There, four U.S. diplomats were killed when a mob stormed the American Embassy in Benghazi last week. Among them was Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Accounts of the attack, backed by videotapes, are coming to light. They indicate many Libyans did not support the rioters. Some tried to aid the Americans.
One videotape shows a group of Libyans who entered the embassy compound after the attack. They found Stevens and attempted to save his life. "God is great," shouted some in the crowd when one man said he detected a pulse in Stevens.
Sadly, though the Libyans rushed Stevens to a hospital, it was too late.
If indeed the vast majority of Libyans oppose the extremism that characterizes Islamic terrorists, the U.S. should provide financial and material aid to the government. Clearly, Americans have some friends in Libya. For our own good, it would be worthwhile to help them battle the terrorists.