Why don’t we chalk this up under the “I told you so” column.
In the most recent election in Ohio, conservatives told voters that if Issue 2 didn’t pass, local governments will be helpless in negotiating with labor unions who demand ever increasing pay and Cadillac health care and retirement plans. Cities and schools will be forced to either raise taxes or cut services, conservatives warned. On the other hand, liberals told voters that if they don’t vote “No” on Issue 2, the middle class will be “robbed”, students will suffer and there will be irreparable damage to minorities.
Issue 2 doesn’t pass and public sector unions announce that they have saved the middle class.
Fast forward to present day.
School districts across Ohio are facing large deficits. Take the Westerville City School District for example. After voters shot down a request to have their property and income taxes raised by hundreds of dollars, school officials realized that since salary and benefits make up more than 80% of school costs, they could close the looming deficit by simply asking teachers and other public employees to start contributing to their health and retirement plans just like every other private-sector employee. After all, they couldn’t dream of hurting the students and our future in any way by taking away the school buses, art and music programs, sporting and other extra-curricular activities. School officials also discovered a remarkable chemical formula that caused feathers to sprout from people’s finger tips, promising to reduce reliance on fossil fuels as commuters flit to and thro in an environmental-friendly way.
In case you missed it, I was being sarcastic. School officials are actually completely ignoring the fact that between 2010 and 2018, salaries for district employees are projected to increase 77% . . . by the way, how much is your salary going to increase? Since freezing teacher pay and benefits will be just too “damaging” for the students and the middle class, the Westerville City School district will be cutting and/or eliminating transportation, sports, clubs, art and music programs and other after-school activities for all its students. Oh, and it also plans on laying off more than 200 employees. So much for looking after the middle class and our student’s futures.
Don’t worry though. They are promising to bring back these goodies if only voters agree to have their taxes raised in March. Or to put it another way, they’re “making an offer you can’t refuse”.
Wait . . . isn’t this exactly what conservatives and other supporters of Issue 2 said would happen?
Funny how this works out. Home owners are threatened with hundreds of more $$$ in taxes. Students lose valuable classes, activities and transportation. Hundreds of low level employees and new teachers get fired. All thanks to the teacher unions, school officials and other public employees who need their yearly pay increase and don’t want to contribute to their benefits. It seems the Democrats and the unions prove once again that they don’t actually care about the real middle class or even the kids in school.
Tell me why again so many people believe that the liberals are supposedly the “compassionate” ones?