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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.
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