The protests on Fountain Square the day Governor Kasich released his budget were amazingly short-sighted considering many of the participants were educators. “We need to tax the rich, and save the middle-class,” were the chants. Really? I mean, really???????? These people really believe that there are other options that are less painful than the budget cuts Kasich placed on the table. They really believe that the wage levels are somehow separate from collapsing community budgets.
Much of the debate at the Lakota School Board meeting on Monday March 14th, 2011 centered on the loss of junior high sports. Many angry parents came out to protest the elimination of sports programs. I listen to the arguments and can only scratch my head why this is such a contentious issue. First, how did sports become so embedded in public education to begin with? Second, why would you eliminate programs that parents want when it is evident that the wage levels are directly contributing to the overhead cost increases? A 30% reduction in the top wages would generate over $20 million and would solve a lot of problems that could be spent on “the kids.” But the teachers and administrators are the same type of people protesting on Fountain Square Monday. They aren’t about to make any sacrifices. They’ll let the kids suffer in a minute because their priorities are all wrong. They’re not bad people, but their workplace culture is wrong. They only know to increase taxes to deal with the budget deficit caused by the very good compensation they receive from the taxpayer. When I hear these people complaining about concessions they’ve made up to this point, or sacrifices, it is quickly obvious that they don’t have a clue what’s going on in the private sector. And what goes on in the private sector is market driven. It’s not some rich conspiracy against the poor. The public sector is driven by a socialist utopia that is not possible. And that is not an inflammatory statement. It’s completely true!
Few of these public workers understand that Medicaid is almost a third of the state budget and only 4% of the people occupy 70% of the cost. That’s a major problem and one of the largest contributors of the budget deficit Ohio is experiencing. It’s certainly not that the rich aren’t paying enough taxes, or that industry is getting tax breaks. The people who say such things are incredibly selfish and not very wise on world affairs. They only look at their little piece of the world and could care less if everyone else suffer, which is what’s happening in Lakota and every other school district.
I’ve been very vocal about the whole wage issue because I don’t think many of those teachers are worth more than 70K a year. I would never think to pay any teacher that amount of money. The education they obtain for themselves is on their dime, not mine. If the state tells them they must have a Masters Degree to teach, they know that getting into the profession. But with that debate aside, they prove with these foolish protests and lack of understanding of statewide matters that they are not equipped to teach our children anything. I wouldn’t send my kid to a school that teaches such small-minded socialism, and that’s what taxing the rich and giving to the poor is.
The protestors were already prepared to protest Kasich no matter what he said in his budget. He could have said he was giving everyone a thousand dollars in the state of Ohio, and they would have still complained about what an evil guy he is.
I look at the things Kasich wants to do and it all sounds good to me. The protestors clearly just don’t want change because they benefit tremendously by keeping everything broken. They are ultimately a very selfish lot that lack the intellectual capacity to educate anyone in my opinion. To know that there were teachers from Lakota at this rally disgusts me. They represent the community very poorly.
Here is what they are protesting from Kasich’s budget plan.
• More oversight over Medicaid, although spending on the federal program will continue to grow by $1 billion annually. Medicaid comprises 30 percent of Ohio’s $60 billion budget in fiscal year 2013, including all federal matching dollars.
• Better coordination of mental health services.
• To offer the state’s health-care coverage to local governments to save money and ask union workers to pay more toward premiums.
• To sell liquor distribution rights to raise money for job-development programs,
• To honor pay increases contained in the third year of a union contract that ends next February. The extra pay offsets lost personal days and unpaid furloughs by state workers – concessions to balance Gov. Ted Strickland’s last budget.
• To double vouchers for school choice, eliminating a waiting list for parents who want to transfer their children from public to privately operated charter schools.
• Bonuses for teachers – $50 for each student who shows marked improvement.
• A closer look at adding slot machines to Ohio’s horse tracks or legalizing casinos operated by Native American tribes.
• Study the concept of semi-private “charter” universities to give now-public colleges more flexibility. That would eliminate the requirement that they hire multiple prime contractors and pay prevailing wage on construction projects, to keep tuition down. It also caps annual tuition growth at 3.5 percent.
Those are just a few of the highlights. The bottom line is that unions just want to keep everything as it is. They don’t want change because they like the way everything is. But they hardly represent the majority. Only 13.7% of the Ohio population belongs to a union. And it’s those 13.7% that are creating the policies that break the budgets of school districts so that kids in junior high won’t be able to play sports, or ride a bus. In the scheme of things the cost of busing, sports programs, and electives are a small part of the budget, its labor costs that are the enormous factor. And it was excessive labor costs that crippled the auto industry, ran the steel industry out of Pittsburg and seriously hampered innovation in companies that are under union control.
Recently I needed a part from a large manufacturer in Dallas, Texas, and the person on the other end of the phone said they could see the part through the window from where they were sitting. But they couldn’t send it to me. Why? Because the department on the other side of the window was controlled by the union and the guy in charge of moving that part was out on sick leave, and he was the only one able under the contract to move the part. So because of union rules the person I was speaking to could not simply open a door and pick up the part to ship back to me. It cost thousands of dollars in delivery penalties and seriously set back our manufacturing process. I was so mad at that process that I put my fist through my phone in frustration.
The same mentality is at play with these public sector unions. They are out of touch and protecting the serious imposition they have imposed on us all. And they could care less of some kids suffer because of their inflated opinions of themselves.
The proof is in what they say and do. Not in their very controlled bullet points designed to manipulate a busy voting population.
And that is the crime that should have serious penalties. And for those that participated in that rally, if you really care about “the kids” and the community you work in, take a pay cut, and don’t even think about asking those communities for more tax increases.