What a sound they had....
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Here's the "go-to" site to get the truth on Ohio Issue 2. I've reprinted the Myth/Truth chart here:
MYTH: State Issue 2 is an attack on Ohio's middle class.
TRUTH: Issue 2 empowers the middle class - and every Ohio taxpayer - with reasonable reforms to the growing cost of government pay and benefits, which now consume as much as 80 percent of local budgets. As The Columbus Dispatch wrote in an editorial: "There is no question that Senate Bill 5 is about the middle class. But it is not an attack, it is an attempt to restore to Ohio's middle class the control of the government it pays for and elects." State Issue 2 makes some very fair and common sense requests of government employees to help our local communities get their growing labor costs under control.
MYTH: State Issue 2 would "cut salaries and benefits."
TRUTH: Issue 2 would not cut salaries or benefits for any government employee. Employees would simply be asked to pay a modest share of their benefits, just like employees in the private sector do. For health care coverage, they would pay at least 15% of their overall plan. (Many local government employees currently pay less than 9% of their health care premium, while the average private sector worker pays upwards of 30%.) In addition, employees would be required to pay their personal share of a retirement plan (only 10%), rather than asking taxpayers to pay that share. That's not too much to ask at a time when many private sector workers get no retirement benefit at all. Finally, Issue 2 requires that benefits apply equally to all public employees, so no one gets special treatment.
MYTH: State Issue 2 will raise government employee health care costs.
TRUTH: Issue 2 only affects government employees who pay less than 15 percent of their taxpayer-funded health care premium. The new law requires all government employees to pay at least 15 percent. That's hardly unfair when private sector workers are being asked to pay an average of 31 percent. This reform won't impact state employees at all because they already pay 15 percent of their health care.
MYTH: State Issue 2 will eliminate government employee pensions.
TRUTH: Government employees will still get a very generous pension benefit – an annual payment that averages their three highest annual salaries. That's a pretty nice deal, when many private sector workers get no retirement benefit at all. State Issue 2 only ends a practice where some government union contracts require taxpayers to pick up the tab for BOTH the employer AND employee shares of a required pension contribution. In this economy, it's simply not right to ask struggling taxpayers to foot the bill so government employees can get a free retirement. Issue 2 simply says government employees should pay their required share (10 percent) and taxpayers will contribute the employer share (14 percent).
MYTH: State Issue 2 will cut teacher salaries.
TRUTH: That's one of the scare tactics government unions are using to turn people against these reforms. Nothing in Issue 2 determines salary levels. It only ends the practice of handing out automatic pay raises, or "step" increases, and longevity pay - or bonuses just for holding the job for a certain period of time. Issue 2 also asks that performance be added as a factor in teacher compensation, a goal President Barack Obama set out in his national education policy in 2009.
MYTH: State Issue 2 will cost jobs.
TRUTH: Just the opposite is true. Ohio's state and local tax burden ranks among the top third in the nation. As a result, companies large and small have left our state in pursuit of better tax incentives elsewhere, taking hundreds of thousands of jobs with them. If Ohio hopes to compete for new job growth, we have to make our state a more affordable place to live, work and do business. That starts with getting the cost of government under control so we can direct more of our limited resources into economic development, community revitalization and better schools.
MYTH: State Issue 2 will destroy union bargaining power by prohibiting strikes.
TRUTH: Ohio's public safety employees are already prohibited from striking. Issue 2 simply expands that restriction to all state and local government employees. Strikes are rarely used to settle a dispute, and, more importantly, they carry the potential to put schools, safety and services at risk if workers are allowed to walk off the job. Most federal government employees have long been prohibited from striking, a policy upheld by presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.
MYTH: State Issue 2 will result in more labor disputes by eliminating binding arbitration.
TRUTH: Binding arbitration - or the fear of it - forces local governments to agree to labor contracts they cannot afford, and it should be eliminated. Local governments across Ohio have been forced into budget deficits and even tax increases by unelected, unaccountable arbitrators, who have no obligation to the taxpayers. These decisions are sometimes made without regard for current budget or economic conditions. In most every dispute situation, Issue 2 replaces outside arbitrators with elected government leaders, who are directly accountable to the voters for managing tax dollars. If taxpayers don't like a particular contract agreement, they can fire the politicians who agreed to it. They'll also have a greater, more transparent role in helping to resolve contract disputes by reviewing proposals from both sides and participating in a public hearing. And, if the elected officials choose the most expensive contract offer, taxpayers can take it to the ballot as a referendum. It's time to put the people who pay the bills back in charge of how the money gets spent.
MYTH: State Issue 2 eliminates collective bargaining rights for government workers.
TRUTH: Actually, the law hasn't changed. The new law states the same as the old law: "Public employees have the right to… bargain collectively with their public employers to determine wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment." The only difference is that Issue 2 helps to better define what those "terms and conditions" are. Since the old law was passed nearly 30 years ago, government employee unions have successfully expanded the definition to include a laundry list of costly perks and fringe benefits that taxpayers can no longer afford. Senate Bill 5 simply restores the balance between the needs of our government employees and the ability of taxpayers to effectively manage their schools and services.
So now you know why we need to vote "YES" on Issue 2, if you didn't already.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Some people will do anything for money. There are hookers, pimps, Nigerian scam artists, Solyndra, etc. Then there are people who've figured out how to get women to abort babies via testing. Here are two good paragraphs:
What’s more is that, for all the talk of prenatal testing being only the sharing of information and not requiring abortion, test developers nonetheless count on most mothers terminating. They have to in order to justify the unnecessary costs of their testing. Over 99 percent of pregnant women are not carrying a child with Down syndrome. While a negative prenatal test may provide welcomed reassurance, from a dollars-and-cents perspective, it is an unnecessary expense. Developers of prenatal testing, however, have justified these unnecessary expenses by demonstrating through cost-effectiveness studies that such costs can be offset to the private insurer or the public healthcare system, provided that enough children prenatally identified with Down syndrome are terminated. In this way, prenatal testing is promoted as “saving” the health care system the added medical costs associated with Down syndrome. For all their public defenses, test developers nevertheless rely on a high percentage of abortions to justify the cost of their testing.
But the regime of prenatal testing for Down syndrome is exposed for the sham that it is when the double standard within prenatal testing is considered. In 2007, the same year that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended that all women be offered testing for Down syndrome, ACOG’s ethics committee issued an opinion finding that prenatal testing for sex selection was unethical. The same arguments for prenatal testing for Down syndrome can be made for prenatal testing for sex selection. Sharing the information about the sex of the child is simply respecting a woman’s right to choose by giving her information she can use to determine whether to continue her pregnancy. But, in the same year that ACOG said all women should be offered testing for Down syndrome, it also said it is unethical to use prenatal testing for sex selection because it enforces sexist opinions that one sex is more desirable or valuable to society or a family than another. The ACOG committees that worked on the contrasting statements failed to appreciate the doublespeak, since prenatal testing for Down syndrome reinforces discriminatory attitudes against those considered to have disabilities. Upon seeing a baby girl, strangers do not ask “why didn’t her parents undergo prenatal testing,” but that question is asked of parents when that little girl happens to have Down syndrome.
...but read the whole thing. Really shows the anatomy of an abortion industry boondoggle. I just heard about this on Hugh Hewitt's show, but it's half a year old.