John Kasich’s latest commercial trying to convince Ohioans to support Issue 2 is the second in a row to cite a debunked report and continues to blatantly LIE when it claims that “Government employees make 43% more in wages and benefits than the rest of us.”

First of all, we accept that Kasich and Building a Better Ohio will lie, but their inaccuracy in doing so is maddening.  Before we explain the lies that comprise it, the fallacious report actually claims that public employees make 31.2% more than what that employee might receive in the private sector:

We have shown above that Ohio public employees receive compensation approximately 31.2 percent higher than they would be likely to receive in alternate private?sector employment.

(Biggs & Richwine, AEI)

To reach the inflated 43% number that Better Ohio keeps trotting out in the commercials, they include a “job security” factor that, to our knowledge, does not show up on any paycheck in the state of Ohio, private OR public:

If the wage and benefit premium totals 31.2 percent, including a job security premium of 9.3 percent increases total compensation to 43.4 percent above market rates.

(Biggs & Richwine, AEI)

If you find that additional 12% in your pay, please feel free to mail it in to us.  Or at least use it to buy a PlunderTee.

The aforementioned report was issued on September 14, a full 8.5 months after the introduction of Senate Bill 5, after being commissioned by the Ohio Business Roundtable, a group that describes itself as:

The Ohio Business Roundtable (BRT) is a partnership of the chief executives of the state’s major businesses who represent all sectors of the economy and are committed to working with public leaders to build a better Ohio….the CEOs, representing companies in all fields, can present a cross-section of thinking on critical statewide issues.  The BRT is highly selective in the issues it addresses – either directly or through its several affiliates.

Their report was in direct, though delayed, response to a report released by a Rutgers University professor, Jeffrey Keefe, 8 months earlier (February 10).  Keefe’s study, researched and published prior to the statewide battle over Senate Bill 5/Issue 2, found that:

…full-time Ohio state and local public employees earn 3.3 percent less in wages and salaries than similar private sector workers and 3.5 percent less in total compensation.

Further, since his research was directly attacked and his methodology called in to question, Keefe extensively reviewed Biggs & Richwine’s study and was actually unable to replicate many of their numerical calculations.  And since they did not release all of their methodology, we can’t either.  We do, however, want to share with you the Dr. Keefe’s latest findings so that Ohioans can become better educated, over the obvious objections of Building a Better Ohio (note that in their latest ad, they oppose “betterness”).

On October 5, Keefe released his response, “Ohio public employees are not overcompensated: Rebutting a diversion from Senate Bill 5.”  He confirmed the methodology in the earlier research and thoroughly debunked the Business Roundtable report, concluding, as he had 9 months earlier, that “public employees are not overcompensated.  From Keefe’s report:

The analysis presented in this new EPI (Keefe’s) paper demonstrates that the criticisms that the earlier research failed to account for retiree health benefits, guaranteed pension benefits, and employment security is erroneous. The prior research has accounted for these issues, and represents a much more accurate assessment of public employee compensation costs, as summarized below.

  • EPI’s analysis accounts for retiree health benefits; Biggs and Richwine double counts them
  • EPI’s analysis calculates employee pension costs based on a realistic rate of return; Biggs and Richwine inflate the cost by using a “risk free” rate of return
  • Biggs and Richwine arbitrarily deflate private-sector Social Security costs
  • There is no evidence for Biggs and Richwine’s job stability premium for public-sector workers

We HIGHLY recommend that you read these reports on your own, especially Keefe’s rebuttal, to better equip yourself to respond to the 43% lie that is permeating the airwaves and gaining traction with undecided voters.

And remember to point out that they even lied about the results of their OWN fabricated data.  Seriously, 31% wouldn’t have been bad enough?

Any way you turn it, the use of 43% is untrue, fictional, inaccurate, deceptive, counterfactual, treacherous, a sham.

The research tells us it is

Vote NO on Issue 2!