One of the state reasons given yesterday for SB 5 is that the State of Ohio and local governments need to eliminate collective bargaining to help with the budget. Hogwash. The “budget” is become an excuse as a phantom menace for just about every ideological radical idea the Republicans are shoving down Ohio’s throat. And like the “Phantom Menace”, it is entirely predictable, disappointing, and a sign of even worst crap yet to come.
In 2009, the Pew Center on the States did a report card of the fiscal health of the various States’ budgets (most recent I could find). Here’s what they found:
- Right-to-work State Arizona’s budget gap was roughly the size of 41.1% of its total budget. That’s the second biggest percentage to their budget gap Pew found in the nation!
- Right-to-work State Nevada, which had actually seen an increase in State revenues, was still looking at a budget deficit that is 37.8% of its budget;
- Right to work State Florida was looking at a deficit of 22.8%
- Ohio was looking at a 12% deficit, and only ten States got a higher grade on their fiscal health than Ohio did.
And incidentally, Texas should have been on the list because they had been understating their budget deficit which in reality is $27 billion. You know, over three times what conservatives project Ohio’s to be?
The fact of the matter is that you need to look no further than the Ohio Republican Party’s “tax reform” package passed in 2005, which passed a wide sweeping package of tax cuts over the years, none of which were paid for at the time except by the promise of “economic growth” that had yet to materialize.
So far, Ohio’s economic recovery is strong enough that we’re actually generating. Based on January’s data, Governor Kasich’s own Office of Budget and Management predicts that the State will take in nearly half a billion more in revenue than originally estimated.
OBM Director Keen indicated that the personal income tax brought in 13.6% more in than originally estimated, even though it was the first month with the final installment of the 2005 income tax cuts finally phased in. Sales tax collections are also on pace to come in at 4% above expectations.
And if there was any further example of how much the claim this bill will help government save money consider this from today’s Dispatch:
Senate Democrats pushed back, noting that Jones could not estimate cost savings and suggesting it would lead to lower-quality teachers. They also pointed out the concessions public workers have taken in recent years.
The bill’s sponsor cannot even give an estimate of what, if any, cost savings this bill will actually create.
This is Republicans waging a class war against the middle class. Remember, we don’t have room in their budget for you middle class and working class folks, but we’ve got room for all the corporate welfare RobsOhio will dole out in private and for the tax cuts for the investors (Kasich’s proposed capital gains tax cuts) and the trust fund babies (estate tax repeal.)
And on top of it all, not one media outlet, not ONE has pointed out this key fact in the reporting of SB 5:
Not the Dispatch, Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, Toledo Blade, Dayton Daily News, Associated Press, Cincinnati Enquirer, ONN, or any other television station has mentioned this rather key fact in the debate. This is simply not a bill Ohioans want to see passed.
Funny how we heard all about public opinion when it was the 3C or health care reform. And yet, never was public opinion on those issues as lopsided as it is here. How odd.
Anyone who says that this isn’t anything more than the Republicans using the instruments of governing to weaken or silence their political opponents is lying. Anyone who claims this is about balancing the budget is an idiot. It’s that simple.