I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for asking this: but why the hell is Issue 1 on the ballot?

As I understand it, Issue 1 requires that the state BORROW $200 million dollars so it can give recent war veterans somewhere between $50 and $100 a month for the next ten months as a kind of ‘thank you for doing your job’ bonus.

Let me be clear here: I have every level of respect for our veterans. But I can think of a lot better ways to spend $200 millions dollars than just writing a $50 check to every guy and gal who happened to put on a uniform in the past 8 years. Focused spending on those who need the most help makes a hell of a lot more sense.

But the bigger issue here is that this $200 million in spending isn’t intended to solve any specific problem. There is no need that has been identified as not being met by current state services. No specific goal or purpose for the borrowing. This is just $200 million that Ohio’s taxpayers will be paying back for the next few decades.

$200 million that will be borrowed by the state while we already face a nearly one-billion dollar budget deficit.

Everyone should be asking the question: should we really be borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars for what amounts to nothing more than a feel-good “I support the troops” ribbon forced on to the bumper of every Ohioan as we stare down double-digit unemployement figures and huge budget deficits?

Moreover, each and every self-proclaimed fiscal conservative out there should be against this ballot initiative because it puts the state deeper into debt for no good reason.

But so far I’ve heard nothing from the Right (or the left, for that matter) on this issue. Which isn’t too surprising. No one wants to come across as being ‘against the troops’ – even if it means abondoning their basic fiscal discipline and smaller government principles.

 

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