WASHINGTON — The Concord Coalition announced today that it is honoring two governors known for their success in meeting difficult fiscal challenges — John R. Kasich of Ohio and Gina M. Raimondo of Rhode Island — with the 2017 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award.
“Governors Gina Raimondo and John Kasich have demonstrated not just the willingness to confront tough budgetary problems but considerable enthusiasm for doing so,” said Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director. “This enthusiasm is based in the knowledge that setting priorities and making difficult decisions now can pay great dividends in the future, encouraging stronger economic growth and enabling their states to make key investments for the future.”
Kasich, a Republican, served in Congress for 18 years and, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, played a key role in efforts to balance the federal budget for the first time in many years. He was sworn in as Ohio’s 69th governor in early 2011. As governor he closed an $8 billion budget shortfall, cut waste and red tape, and encouraging strong economic growth and job creation.
In seeking the Republican presidential nomination last year, Kasich stood out for his understanding of the federal budget. He was not afraid to articulate the difficult financial, economic and demographic challenges facing the country in the years ahead. Since then, the governor has continued to speak out on the critical need for fiscal reform and bipartisan cooperation to achieve it. He has written four best-selling books, the most recent being Two Paths: America United or Divided.
Raimondo, a Democrat, led landmark pension reform as Rhode Island’s treasurer, a project that she saw as essential to strengthening the system, boosting the state economy and protecting other important public priorities such as education and infrastructure.
While pension reform was inevitably controversial, Raimondo went on to become Rhode Island’s 75th governor — and first female governor — in early 2015. She has focused on encouraging economic growth, investing in education, repairing infrastructure and fostering innovation throughout state government. A Fortune article later that year noted that Rhode Island’s recent successes were being “held up as a model for other cash-strapped governments.”
“We at The Concord Coalition are delighted to recognize the achievements of this year’s Patriot Award recipients,” Bixby said. “Governor Kasich has for many years championed fiscal responsibility time and again, and he continues to provide frank explanations to the American public of why such responsibility is critical. Governor Raimondo had the courage to tackle a difficult job — pension reform — that many other elected officials around the country have studiously avoided, and she has repeatedly shown how to responsibly set priorities with an eye toward the future.”
“Our honorees,” Bixby added, “share several important qualities: political courage, an understanding of budgetary trade-offs, a thoughtful focus on economic growth, and a determination to protect the interests of young people and the next generation. We hope that other elected officials around the country will follow their example.”
The annual Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to fiscal responsibility and the protection of younger generations from irresponsible budget policies. Over the years the award has been given to individuals of varied backgrounds and political affiliations.
Media Contact: Steve Winn, [email protected], (703) 254-7828
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC