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    Ohio’s Bankrupt Status Quo

    Recently-released campaign finance reports show that public sector unions in Ohio and across the country have spared no expense in their assault against SB5 (Ballot Issue 2), Governor Kasich’s collective bargaining and pension reform law. Unfortunately, the tens of millions of dollars pouring into this November’s election pale in comparison to the spiraling deficits and massive tax hikes facing Ohioans if Issue 2 fails.

    For instance, according to the Ohio Department of Education’s 2015 budget projections, school districts across the state are facing deficits adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars per county based on current cost and revenue trends. That fact alone should get voters’ attention. But when further broken down to the individual level, the numbers show that Ohio residents literally can’t afford not to vote YES on Issue 2.

    Observe:

    In Franklin County, the total 2015 deficit is projected to be $671,636,225.00, which comes out to $537.87 for every man, woman and child in the county. This will cost the average family $1,688.90.

    And that’s just for one year.

    In Cuyahoga County things are even worse. The deficit there will be at least $967,288,652.00, which comes out to $799.00 per person and $2509.07 per family.

    The list goes on.

    Hamilton County residents will have to plug a gap of $669.00 per person and $2100.04 per family.

    All told, 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties are expected to be running an education deficit by 2015. Only voting YES on Issue 2 can reverse this disastrous trend. However, if Issue 2 fails, these terrifying figures will translate into much higher taxes on Ohioans and will act as a further drag on employment.

    And for what? To fund unrealistic and uncompetitive benefit plans for public employees who contribute less than 10 percent of their cost, while the balance is foisted onto struggling taxpayers in the private sector. This is unconscionable.

    But Issue 2 is not just a question of basic fairness or even fiscal viability. The larger question is who works for whom in our system of government.

    When times are hard, shouldn't taxpayers have a right to expect public servants (in Ohio and elsewhere) to share the sacrifices being made by the citizens who pay them?

    Let’s hope Ohio voters say YES.

    H/T Jason Hart at thathero.com

    Click Here and Pledge to Vote YES on Issue 2

    6 comments
    Missy380
    11/01/2011

    This is not looking promising. At least not up here in Lorain County. Folks are so blind, they just run around yelling "police and fire"! Hopefully the rest of the state is havin better luck with this than we are. Even the teaparties haven't been getting involved. Everyone is afraid to put signs up. Don't want the fire dept not to help them out if their house is burning to the ground or have their cars messed with by union thugs.

    Eric Schacht
    11/02/2011

    I hear you in Columbus (Franklin County) it appears to not be going so hot. I have a few thoughts in general though. First off, freedom was never an easy fight (at least I don't think our forefathers thought so), but it is definitely a worthwhile fight. I definitely hope no one sees loss of property or vandalism for expressing their opinion. Continue speaking out with friends and family about why this Issue 2 is important and as we discuss I think the YES voters will learn more about supporting our public workers and maybe our public workers will learn more about what we are trying to achieve.

    If the issue goes down we can be guarantee this is not over. We will get to elect representatives again, which will continue the opportunity to have voices heard and the status quo changed.

    catrett31
    10/31/2011

    You act like public employees are slaves please remember this just because they are employed by the state does not mean they don’t return that money to the same pot that pays them. We own houses, pay water taxes and school taxes and any other tax. And as for any private companies it’s no different I pay them to do a job then they pay you to do that job for me. Don’t you see it’s all the same deal your money helps pay me mine helps pay you. My wife helps pay both of us. The only people that don’t fit this bill are so rich it will be their great grandchildren that spend our money.

    Dan Reincheld
    10/28/2011

    What Ohio Public Employee Union members don't seem to realize is, if SB 5 is repealed, massive layoffs of police, firefighters, and other state and local employees are a sure thing.
    Who is always the first threatened with job loss when governments run out of money and are asking for more? Police and firefighters. Perhaps if their union told them the truth, more would take down the "Vote NO on Issue 2" sing in their yards and realize their very jobs are at risk.

    BTW, in my area (Pickaway County), the vote no signs outnumber the vote yes signs by about 10 to 1. Contact your local FreedomWorks office and get some signs up. I did.

    Eric Schacht
    11/02/2011

    Bendeliduka,
    I definitely appreciate you stating this comment!!!
    Here is why...First off, we don't always know what a working, successful model looks like, which means we now know two things. 1. You are pleased with the Vermont model and 2. It seems to be working.

    Next, I think we need to get one thing straight, which is very important to Issue 2 and probably the primary reason why it will get voted down. The unions are having the right fight the left and that is entirely not the message we are attempting or even the issue. WE ARE FIGHTING THE UNION TAKE OVER OF OUR PUBLIC SERVICES!!!!

    I definitely support teachers, firemen, and policemen, but when the union is lobbying congress nationally and locally everyday and funding political campaigns with the hard earned dollars of our workers I DON'T AGREE!!

    Now you present a very, very valid case about the pension funds! There have been a LOT of corrupt policies surrounding the pensions both publicly and privately. I agree if it got screwed up lets place the rightful blame on the politicians that were managing the system at the time and vote in people that WILL manage it correctly. If they fail vote them out. I disagree that the tax payers should bear the losses sustained by the pension funds. Primarily, because privately almost everyone's 401ks and retirement has seen a major hit, so I am not blaming the public employees for anything, but I am not paying for them to not share in this miserable economy.

    How about we get rid of some of the union cost (dues going to political contributions), make salaries a merit based reward system, and pay our public workers a fair wage based on success, effort, and what we can afford. (That is a YES on Issue 2).

    When it is all said and done I am not asking the teachers, firemen, and policemen to accept less pay and less benefits. I am asking them to step up to the plate and turn this economy around with us! Guess what it is going to be a long road and some hard work!! If teachers teach kids better or they teach more kids with less cost I will happily reward them with my tax dollars or even private donations to the institutions they work at (I might even volunteer to help??). If my policemen work harder to catch criminals and crack down on crime I think they will be worth a larger salary and great benefits. If my firemen figure out or invent the next life saving solution to burning buildings or car crashes again I will be happy to reward them. However, the guy coasting through for a free ride is not going to sneak through any longer while I work to make ends meet!

    bendeliduka
    10/30/2011

    ya... so blame the employees...

    Public sector employees are typically payed less than private sector employees in exchange for stable jobs. The retirement system is setup so that employees contribute every paycheck for the duration of their employment and the employer contributes to keep the fund financially sound...

    The reason for these massive "deficits" is the State has not been doing its part and properly funding the retirement system. The state was relying on the investments of the employees contributions to make up the states share, and "balancing the state budget" by under funding the retirement system.

    In Vermont, we don't have this problem. We meet with the State Treasurer, who is responsible for overseeing the State Employees Retirement system, and the State Teachers Retirement system and insure things are kept properly funded and not invested in risky things that cause massive losses.

    How much did Ohio loose to Enron? In California lost $250M, Florida lost $350M, Ohio lost $114M and in 2002 Ohio assured the states pension funds that the loss would not effect pension payments!!!

    What bout this guy Kasick, who made Millions at Lehman Brothers while at the same time the Ohio Pension Funds lost $480M in Lehman investments!!!!!! fortunately Ohio managed to dodge nearly $800M in other risky investments...

    These power brokers should NOT be risking your tax money...
    Put the BLAME on the people that screwed you, not the employees that work for you... reduce the staff at your police departments and fire departments... your insurance rates will ski rocket.... your property values will nose dive... screw your teachers... they will go someplace else... you property values will dive further...

    Again... Vermont does not have this problem.... sigh...