The Carpetblogger is amazed at the “trend” that a bunch of Republican lawmakers from across Ohio all today issued separate press releases from different regions of Ohio today to discuss the economy. Keeling wrote four posts about these releases, each one, more amazed at the coincidence that these lawmakers were saying the same thing at the same time.
It’s almost like these lawmakers didn’t actually release these press releases at all, but they were all issued in a coordinated fashion by the some central organization like… the Ohio Republican House Caucus, which I only suggest is the case because they all just happen to already be on the Caucus’ blog.
What’s noticeably absent from all four releases, or Keeling’s amazed reporting of them, is, well, any mention of what the actual bills the GOP is complaining aren’t being considered actually do. Read each one of Keeling’s post and see if you see any mention or reference that substantively tells you what policies the GOP thinks will cure Ohio’s economy.
Lisa Renee at Glass City Jungle published, without comment, one of these GOP Caucus releases today. And what do those legislators think is the most pressing thing Ohio’s economy needs today? A constitutional amendment to prevent Ohioans from benefiting from health care reform.
To alleviate the tax burden that the health care bill placed on the backs of the very people it was designed to help, Rep. Sears and Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) introduced House Joint Resolution 3, the Ohio Health Care Freedom Act. This is a measure that will propose an amendment to Ohio?s constitution that would prohibit any Ohio law or rule from forcing any person, employer or health care provider to participate in a health care system.
Additionally, Rep. Sears and Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk) introduced House Bill 489. When enacted, this legislation would affirm that it is the state?s policy that no Ohioan can be required to purchase an individual health insurance policy, nor can Ohioans be penalized for exercising their choice to opt out.
Yeah, Ohio would have 4% employment today if only Ohio’s constitution frustrated a federal bill whose provisions aren’t even in legal force yet. Makes perfect sense.
However, as crucial as HJR 3 and HB 489 seem, both measures have been stifled by the House Democrats. Since its introduction in August 2009, HJR 3 has only received sponsor testimony in the House Insurance Committee and has been inactive for more than five months. Similarly, HB 489 has not even been assigned to a committee since its introduction in early April.
Those Democratic bastards!
The rest of the releases only make reference to the Caucus’ “Future for Ohio” package. The package includes:
- Making Ohio graduates exempt from income taxes for six years so long as they reside and work in Ohio. (With no plan on how the State could pay for it.)
- Making an Ohio resident who has reached journeyman status, or its equivalent, in a trade exempt from Ohio income taxes for six years (with no plan on how the State could pay for it.)
- Repealing Ohio’s estate tax (which would decimate funding for city and local governments, with no plan on how the State could pay for it.)
- Permit employers and employees to “voluntarily” agree to treat overtime as flex time instead.
- Require the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services to submit to the leadership of the General Assembly a copy of the report that it submits annually to the U.S. Department of Labor. (In other words, a statutory requirement that the agency give the leadership a report that they themselves could already get as a public record, and nobody expects them to actually read even if its delivered to them unsolicited.)
- Require the Ohio Department of Development to conduct “exit interviews” of companies moving out of State to find out …. why they moved out of State.
Seriously, you can read the .pdf I attached above. This is the Ohio House GOP’s brilliant plan to fix Ohio’s economy. More unpaid for, reckless tax cuts coupled with exit interviews and internal government mandates that are costly and unnecessary and won’t do a thing to save or help create jobs.
I’m not suggesting that they all horrible ideas. I’m not opposed to flex time or limited, targeted tax credits that encourage job creation. But some of these ideas are just so stupid they don’t deserve to having hearings, like making wide classes of Ohioans exempt from taxation. Give a tuition or student loan deduction or tax credit, but middle-class middled aged Ohioans shouldn’t have to bear the entire tax burden for the State of Ohio.
What’s remarkable about them is that some of these bills are companion bills in the State Senate. And they have not gone far there despite the overwhelming large majorities the Republicans have in the Senate, either. What does that tell ya?
Reading the Ohio House GOP’s actual proposals, it’s no wonder why they failed to mention them in their own press releases today.