In the front showroom of Chesrown Chevrolet Buick GMC in Delaware Tuesday, the Ohio Republican Party, in conjunction with Trump Victory, hosted an economic roundtable as part of President Donald Trump’s nationwide “Open for Business” tour.
The discussion, moderated by Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, was attended by Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber, Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa, Chesrown General Manager Ryan Gill, Marty Savko of Savko and Sons of Columbus, Fishburn Services Inc. of Morrow County Vice President Daniel Schwartz, and Fishburn Services CFO Elijah Duncan.
Going around the table, starting with Faber, each member of the discussion panel talked about the current economy under Trump.
According to Faber, due to cuts in regulations, Ohio is in a “cash positive position with a $1 billion surplus.”
“The real changes happened when the Feds got out of the way,” he said. “Six million jobs have been created under Trump.”
Faber added in Ohio, jobs are up and there is a demand for a skilled workforce. He said that includes his office, which is looking for accountants to fill several open positions throughout the state.
“This is what we’re seeing all over Ohio,” he said.
As for the recent talk of a recession on the horizon, Faber disagreed. He said the best way to predict the economy is to look at the financial indicators of individual businesses, which are all up.
Gill said his first recession was in 2009, which was a humbling experience for him. However, in the past three years, he said his people are making more money than they have in the past.
“We have more work than we do technicians,” he said. “We need technicians.”
Gill added his new vehicle sales are up. He said that he currently has 500 vehicles on his U.S. Route 23 lot and another 800 on his U.S. Route 36 lot.
Kaitsa said Delaware County’s unemployment rate is holding around 3.6%, while the state of Ohio is around 4.6%. He added the county holds a pair of AAA ratings with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, and recently, the county’s Regional Sewer District received a AAA rating on its bonds. He said the county is the most educated and fastest-growing in the state, and it has been rated the healthiest county in Ohio by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Kaitsa added Delaware County has a robust economy with a $2 million surplus and a booming real estate market. He said the Delaware Area Career Center is working with area businesses to have students job-ready by the time they graduate.
“The Trump economy has put money in everyone’s pocket,” he said.
Timken said there is a record low for unemployment of African Americans and Latinos, and she disagreed with the notion that the country is bound for another recession. She suggested that the idea was driven by Democrats to keep Trump from being re-elected in 2020.
“It’s wishful thinking on behalf of the Democrats,” she said. “They are the bad actors trying to push this. Do you want socialism and taxes, or do you want a booming economy? The political choice is clear.”
Savko said his father started Savko and Sons in 1946. He said for himself, he has been with the company for the past 50 years. During this time, he has seen both good and bad economies.
“This economy is hitting on all cylinders,” he said. “The average person has never seen the opportunities like there are now.”
Savko said contractors are booked two to three years in advance.
“Craftsmen are working overtime at 60 hours per week,” he said. “All because of one person, Trump.”
Savko said the country hasn’t seen a booming economy like this since the time the troops came home from WWII.
“Families are coming off of government assistance,” he said. “My father always said, ‘The only thing this country owes you is an opportunity.’”
Savko added the economy is a circular system where the money made in one sector is spent in other sectors on goods and services.
“The (economy) benefits everyone,” he said.
Duncan said his company employs 140 people, and “we’re looking for new people for 20 new openings.” He said new businesses are calling almost daily to purchase property along Interstate 71 and state Route 95 in Morrow County.
“It’s a testimony to the Trump economy,” he said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.