There is a reason state are paying dearly
To the editor:
How utterly inconvenient that it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt, patron saint of the modern day Democrat Party, that first called into question the wisdom of public sector collective bargaining.
More inconvenient yet, in the 1950s noted president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, concurred with the prohibition of public sector collective bargaining. By the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter, joined by a Democrat controlled U S Congress, stripped federal employees of their right to collectively bargain.
Despite all of this, a handful of large industrial states, such as Ohio, have over the years adopted public sector collective bargaining. These states are now paying dearly for it. There is a reason, moreover, that Ohio faces an $8 billion deficitand that most of the state's counties, municipalities and school districts are in financial trouble: they are strapped with collectively bargained labor agreements that are unsustainably generous. Doubt this? Well where in the private sector can employees be entitled to a gold plated health care plan - with a zero employee deductible and a paltry 7 percent employee contribution to premium?
Who in the private sector enjoys, in addition to five weeks paid vacation and 12 national paid holidays, 15 days a year in paid sick time that can be accumulated year after year into a huge unfunded bonus at retirement? And speaking of retirement, who wouldn't want a fully vested retirement package that can pay as much as 66 percent of your best three years at a retirement age of 50or if you work 40 years, 100 percent of your best three yearswith post retirement health care for life - all for a zero annual employee contribution to the pension? And just who is to pay for all of this? You got it: you, the taxpayer. Yet in two consecutive elections in Salem, voters have rejected a 50 percent increase in their municipal income taxes by a margin of 70 percent. Voters also rejected the city's attempt to repeal the 1 percent income tax credit, again by a margin of 70 percent. Come to think of it, there was a statewide election last year that swept every single Democrat in state government out of office. The electoral mandate was not for more taxes or more government spending. It was for less of both. Ultimately, our elected leaders, from Governor all the way down to municipal mayor, will not solve our fiscal problems by tinkering around the edges or securing one time, temporary concessions. Reforming public sector collective bargaining, not eliminating it, is central to this mission. Even with the reforms proposed by Governor John Kasich, Ohio's 350,000 public sector employees will still enjoy a wage and benefit package, bolstered by civil service protections already enacted into law, which will be fair, equitable and rewardingand more affordable for the taxpayers.
David W. Johnson,
All workers should share in the sacrifices
To the editor:
I've been thinking a lot about the situation with the public employees in Wisconsin, Indiana and here in Ohio and what the talking heads on the right keep saying about the unions needing to make sacrifices for the benefit of their states economic problems. I keep coming to the same conclusion concerning all the rhetoric I keep hearing. If they have to make sacrifices why doesn't everyone else have to make some type of sacrifice? I know you're probably saying all workers in the private sector have made sacrifices and you would be right. I can tell you for a fact almost every private sector employee out there pays more each year for their health insurance then they did the year before and the new so called Obama care bill will do nothing to stop that trend. No I'm talking about the people who caused all the economic problems that the Right wing news and for the most part the Left wing news don't talk about. I'm talking about our richest citizens and since the Supreme Court gave them the same rights of citizens to all the U.S. corporations. Where's their sacrifice, after all they got to keep their tax cuts and buy their favorite politician, and both the corporations and the rich have made no effort to bring jobs back to the country they claim they love so much, since it was them that moved the jobs away in the first place. Yea they love this country as long as taxes keep going down and they can pass any increase in the cost of operating a business onto the workers.
JFK said "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." All I see these guys saying is the country should give me more tax breaks or I'll take my money and your jobs to some Socialist dictatorship because those people understand how to work without asking for things like a save work environment or a living wage or paid time off or a 40 hour work week. When are they going to do something for this country? My God, we don't even ask them or their heirs to fight in the wars that are started to protect their interest and make them richer. Now I've heard the argument, "if we raise taxes it will stop the rich from creating jobs and stall the economy." First off, when are they going to start creating these jobs the tax cuts have been in place since G. W. Bush's first administration and all that's happened is things keep getting worst for the middle class and in reality they have been receiving tax cuts since Reagan and the middle class has been getting smaller ever since then. But for some reason we keep putting these corporate cronies in office to pass laws and making trade deals that take more of our jobs and are way of life and freedoms away. While the rich and corporations keep getting more of our tax payer money to bail themselves out and solve their problems and all the time their rights and prosperity continues to grow by leaps and bounds. So why is it when working people take home less, because more of their income is taken out of their pay check each week, it's a good thing? It doesn't matter weather you take home less because you pay more taxes or you pay more for your health care and retirement benefits you still have less money to spend on food, gas, rent, a car or any other products or necessities of life, that when purchased help create jobs. If the rich had to pay 10 percent or even 20 percent more in taxes they'd still be rich, and they can still buy anything they want. I believe the difference between paying more taxes, and taking home less, and having to pay more for your health care, and retirement benefits, and taking home less in wages is, one makes the rich richer and the other goes back into the economy and reduces our debt, one goes into some CEO's pocket and one is used to help our fellow citizens, one is used to help Corporations relocate in some other country and make a select few richer, one is used to create jobs by building new roads and bridges to upgrade our failing infrastructure and maybe help produce a new energy source so we can let the middle east fight amongst themselves and make sure no American soldiers dies over there again for any reason outside of defending this nations citizens. The sad truth is we have no one to blame but ourselves for all these problems after all we elect a president who said he would sign NAFTA into a law (our choices were G. H. Bush and Clinton both like NAFTA, only Perot said no to NAFTA) and we elected state officials who worked for the very Wall Street companies like Lehman Brothers that helped caused the banking collapse the American tax payer had to pay for while they got multi million dollar bonuses and 100 million dollar golden parachutes for leaving the mess to someone else (CEO's for AIG and Lehman took off with almost $500 mill when they left after they wrecked the economy). Maybe you didn't vote at all, and your just as much to blame. It's my theory that the American worker and the middle class are just like drug addicts or alcoholics, until they hit rock bottom they won't realize what they've lost. It seems to me, we would rather fight amongst ourselves and complain that someone is paid too much, or has too good a benefit package while all the time Politicians and Corporations take more and more from all of us. Well you'd better wake up fast and stop blaming State workers and Unions for the economic problems their the last line of defense between us having a middle class and us becoming the working poor. The unions and the state workers didn't wreck the economy and they didn't give tax cuts to people that didn't need them.
Tax money that would have helped this country, in it's most urgent hour of need along with helping to pay for two wars and they didn't relocate all the good paying, industrial job to Mexico and China. Remember when an addict hits bottom sometimes they never recover.
(Proud member of the United Steelworkers Local 2211
for 37 years)
Tired of politicians playing same old games
To the editor:
Tired! I'm sure I am not the only one who is tired of our politicians playing the same old games we've grown so sick of; Like the recent article about Senator Wilson challenging" Gov. Kasich, to come and stand beside him on the river, seen pictured by the (closed down facility) Sterling China! As if Gov. Kasich had anything at all to do with the closing of that plant. Could it be that Sterling China could not afford the high taxes, and regulations the Democrats of the last 8-10 years put on them? Having once worked at that plant I can tell you John Kasich had nothing to do with it. Those of us who understand exactly what's wrong with this government are pretty fed up with these childish antics (from both sides). You people in government better come to understand what your number one priority is. That is, doing what you put your hand on that Bible and swore you would do,"Protect and defend this Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic." Protecting the liberty and freedoms that were handed down to us, is your most important job, not giving out the next handout! Beyond those enumerated powers ... you have none!
Reader addresses county commissioners
To the editor:
Dear Mr. Jim Hoppel and Commissioners:
With great concern I address you about Senate Bill 5 and the taking away of Collective Bargaining Rights that would result with it's passage. Please request a no vote on this bill.
As it stands, SB5 is a blatant attack on the middle class working families of the state of Ohio to have the fair and safe working conditions our parents and grandparents fought so hard to achieve. It takes away our ability to support our families and offer our children the opportunities they deserve to have available to them in this great nation of ours. We wish to retain the rights that others are, at this very moment, giving their lives to achieve around the world. Collective bargaining gives all of us the option of open dialog which allows the attainment of common ground. It gives both sides a means of fair and open communication to establish agreements that avoid conflicts which disrupt peoples' ability to perform their duties.
Senate Bill 5 needs close and careful examination so that it may be revised in a way that resolves the conflicts which are resulting from it's current content. Please, let's take a little more time to fully consider all of the implications, positive and negative, that this bill will have. We request a no vote on this bill until it can be revised to reflect the rights and needs of both sides of the issue.
MARK E. FLEMING,
in good standing Millwright-Piledriver Local 1871
United Brotherhood of
and Joiners of America
party affiliation: Independent