In the union universe where We Are Ohio represents mainstream voters, there are two types of people: those who support limitless power for government union bosses, and evil fat-cats eager to throw Ohio schoolchildren off a cliff. Advocates of smaller government are shunned as racist yokels while the useless hipsters of Occupy Wall Street are heroes for standing up to the man.
Governor Kasich, elected last fall to get Ohio back on track after years of mismanagement, is the perfect recipient for union blame when it comes to local budget problems. He even worked for Lehman Brothers! The breathless protest signs write themselves.
However, reality in Ohio (as everywhere else) is cruel to the Progressive mindset. Check out the cost per citizen of these school districts’ projected 2015 deficits… based on forecasts submitted October 2010:
Cuyahoga Heights Local School District
Canal Winchester Local School District
Mogadore Local School District
Ottawa Hills Local School District
Pickerington Local School District
Spencerville Local School District
Olentangy Local School District
Lordstown Local School District
Licking Heights Local School District
Shortfalls projected in October 2010 weren’t limited to this list; out of just over 600 districts, 59 warned of deficits amounting to $1,000 or more for every resident. 260 districts estimated 2015 deficits amounting to $500 or more per resident. Ohioans, see the forecasts for your county here.
Also contrary to union talking points, local tax hikes were a regular feature of the status quo ante. This fall there are 1,081 local tax issues across the state. Last year there were 1,131. In 2006, there were 1,115. If We Are Ohio could be troubled to acknowledge public record, they would surely insist unions have nothing to do with tax increases. Pesky detail: increasing the cost of government is the stated purpose of government unions.
To draw attention away from their decades-long influence on skyrocketing government expenses, Ohio unions smear sensible reform (to which Democrats submitted zero amendments) as an “attack” on middle class workers (who unions do not represent). Before you vote on Issue 2, get the facts – and keep in mind that union bosses make a killing by setting public employees against the public.
Without Senate Bill 5, your elected school board wouldn’t have many options for dealing with budget problems: taxes would have to go up, teachers would be laid off, and services would be cut. With the reforms in Issue 2, taxpayers will regain a little leverage over union bosses who are happy to force layoffs while posturing about “solidarity.”
On Tuesday, November 8, vote Yes on Issue 2!
For more Ohio Issue 2 coverage, follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart