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Merger plan makes sense

May 12, 2012
Salem News

One of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's top priorities is to make state government more efficient. That saves taxpayers money - and delivers better services to them.

A move in that direction will be made soon, it was announced last week. State agencies handling mental health and substance abuse will be merged.

Already there has been criticism of the proposal. One worry is that it will reduce services to help drug and gambling addicts.

But the plan is entirely logical. Addictions of any kind involve mental illness, in a way. Providing a coordinated approach should, if anything, identify and help treat addicts better.

And, as an official of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio pointed out, reducing the cost of administration and overhead will make more funds available for treatment.

Kasich's plan is a good one. It should be implemented as soon as possible to provide the coordinated approach missing for too long.


Younger voters, including millions of college students, were a major factor in electing President Barack Obama in 2008. He is hoping they will rescue him again this year.

Obama has an issue - student loan rates - to use in wooing college students as he did in three campus visits last week.

Student loan interest rates are set to double, going from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, under a law enacted by a Democrat-controlled Congress a few years ago. Obama has been criticizing the change, though it would increase average loan repayments by only about $8 a month.

Just one thing he isn't telling students: The interest rate hike wouldn't affect most of them. Their loan interest rates are already locked in.

It is just one more example of Obama's talent for misleading Americans.



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