Friday, March 11, 2011

Buchy and Faber answer questions at Senate Bill 5 forum

Rep. Jim Buchy and Sen. Keith Faber spent about 90 minutes answering questions at Greenville's Memorial Hall Friday evening. The topic was Senate Bill 5. A modest crowd of about 150 showed up for the event. Activists on each side of the debate were handing out materials before the event. Buchy's volunteers handed out an information sheet about Senate Bill 5, while local union officials passed out brightly-colored placards opposing the bill.

The two legislators took turns answering questions submitted from the audience. The vast majority of the questions challenged Senate Bill 5 in some way. The legislators answered the questions deliberately, with Faber frequently defending the bill (he has already voted for it) and complaining that there has been a lot of misinformation about what is in the bill. Buchy seemed to favor the bill as well, but thought there would be amendments in the Ohio House.

The audience was not necessarily quiet, sometimes chirping out responses to the legislators' comments. But overall it was a very respectful meeting. There were no "Columbus-style" protests.

Three points from the Buchy information sheet: 1) SB 5 does not take away collective bargaining in Ohio, 2) It ensures transparency. It provides the public with information at each step in the collective bargaining process, and 3) Teachers with continuing contracts may keep these contracts.

Three points from the "Educators Against Senate Bill 5" sheet: 1) Allowing the union to represent teachers frees teachers to do what they do best: teach, focusing on their students and their classrooms, 2) Killing collective bargaining will let politicians dictate teacher salaries and silence the voice of teachers, the strongest advocates for stronger school, better teaching and adequate resources in the classroom, 3) Remember: in a tough economy, with Ohio facing a major budget deficit, we must focus on the essentials. Nothing is more essential than giving our children a quality education that prepares them for good jobs.

40 comments:

  1. Anyone that thinks a municipality is going to bargain in good faith is crazy, very few do now and if this is enacted they will have no reason to.
    This is from a recent PERS newsletter and very interesting.

    "Salary/benefits study
    One of our first blogs was about a study that we commissioned from a leading benefits consulting firm to find out how OPERS’ benefits stack up to private-sector companies.

    The Aon Hewitt Benefit Index indicated that Ohio PERS ranks eighth overall in a direct comparison with 15 Ohio-based, private-sector companies with more than 500 employees. In pension benefits, we rank 10th. In health care provided to retirees, we rank third.

    The study clearly indicates that the benefits we administer are not out of line with those that Ohio-based private-sector companies provide."

    As you can see PERS employees are hardly getting rich at the expense of the taxpayers.

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  2. More crapola and fear tactics were spouted by the senators at the Memorial Gall. I repeat, there is a REVENUE crisis, not a SPENDING crisis. The state simply has to take in more money without cutting rights and jobs and eduction.

    There is plenty of money out there. There always has been. We have to get beyond believing in the shell game illusions that our leaders want us to believe in.

    You cannot spend a billion dollars a day on wars and destruction and not wrack up great debt. You CAN invest a billion dollars a day in GROWING the national economy and be fully repaid with profits.

    That is the nature of CAPITALISM. These days investment costs can reach into the trillions of dollars, and therefore needs to be a private/public partnership.

    Just rolling back the tax rates to those we had in the time os Dwight Eisenhower would solve most of our financial problems as a nation. We went through the 60s cold wars and space drive to reach the moon
    and afforded it quite well with that tax structure. We built infrastructure like the interstate highway system without breaking the system. Like any responsible adult, the government needs to manage money properly.
    But the trouble we find ourselves in is not a crisis created by spending money. We need to spend even more to get us into proper growth.

    The current debate about balancing the budget is an illusion created by illusionists. Like any responsible adult, the government needs to manage money properly.

    But the trouble we find ourselves in is not a crisis created by spending money. We need to spend even more to get us into proper growth

    Not enough money is being taken in by the governments to offset the spending. Certainly, clearing away spending waste and frauds will help, but our lack of taxes on the richest is what causes the imbalance.

    The richest corporations pay no income tax at all. We have a great many athletes, movie stars, entertainers, brokers, and CEOs making millions of dollars every year that do not pay their fair share of taxes dollars.

    After all, it is the money left after the paying necessities that counts the most. Most Americans live week to week without savings and quite a few live without very much discretionary income at all.

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  3. *yawn* more liberal crap being spouted.

    Instead of focusing on the top 1% that pay the majority of all income taxes, why not focus on the lower 45% that pay none and yet use the most government services?

    Class warfare isn't working, people see it for what it is. This country has the highest corporate tax level in the world, and you think raising that will help our economy grow? Where did you go to school at? I am guessing a public school....

    Stop trying to make the successful people in this country support the laziest. They pay their share, your share and plenty of other peoples shares. Better yet, lets raise YOUR taxes first since you are so willing to take innocent peoples money.

    What you're spouting is called socialism and it has NEVER worked in any country that it has been tried.

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  4. Also, this clown in office has a monthly deficit now larger than Bush's largest YEARLY deficit and you say it's not a spending problem?

    Please, What rock did you just crawl out from under again?

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  5. "What you're spouting is called socialism and it has NEVER worked in any country that it has been tried."

    That is what Kasich and Co. want for the public sector; socialism.
    They want to set wages, working conditions and benefits, so much for a "free market" or capitalist economy in Ohio, but it's paraded before the public as something else Comrade

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  6. Please show me where collective bargaining is a right? It's a perk, not a right, workers do not have a right to collective bargaining just because they say so. Despite what the AFL-CIO and the rest of the union thugs scream.

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  7. @BE - You are simply incorrect. You do not even know the definition of socialism. Socialism is the government owning the factories and the tools. It has nothing to do with taxes.

    Our highest corporate tax is 35%, not the highest in the world at all, and when the loopholes are added in, the top corporations do not pay a damn dollar in taxes. It is not "successful" l people I am talking about. It is the richest 1% -- 400 people own more than 50% of EVERYTHING in America. If you cannot see that this is out of balance, you are blind.

    The top 1% DO NOT PAY THE MAJORITY OF TAXES. They should, but they do not. The average working stiff making minimum wage is taxed about 25%. The upper crust have a maximum of 35%. That percentage that is left is precious to the working still and less than pocket change for the upper 1%.

    When Eisenhower was president the tax rate was 71%. The only time we ever built properly built our infrastructure was when the highest level of taxes was very high. To get out of thr grerat deprression, taxes were 90% and the rich still accumulated wealth from the 10% left.

    Of course, if you are in that top 1%, I can understand your selfishness, but I seriously doubt that anyone on Darke County is in that class. In fact, I KNOW they are not in that class.

    The argument of successful people carrying the lazy poor on their backs has been spouted for years by those who resent their own lot in life and also hate the fact that they have to work for a living. The poor are charitable people. The lower middle class struggles too hard and resents it. The truly rich and successful are happy that their money is used to help mankind.

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  8. You are WRONG. The top 5% in this country pay 45% of all income taxes while the lower 45% do not even pay income tax. That is unbalanced. And, you are also wrong once again, the US is next to Japan for having the highest corporate income tax.

    Even if you took every dime of the top 5% in this country it would not make up for the massive debt this president has collected, since the Democrats took office in 97'. they have added over 5 trillion to the national debt, and since the current administration took office, they have spent more than every president combined up to Bush, and are now running a monthly deficit larger than any previous presidents yearly deficit.

    THIS IS A SPENDING PROBLEM!

    Do you honestly believe that if we started taxing the top 5% in this country to 70% that they would even continue to operate in this country, much as least continue to expand their operations here? Hell no they wouldn't, they would move their companies to Mexico or overseas and if I was in their position I would too!

    When compared to other OECD countries:

    24 U.S. states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than top-ranked Japan.

    32 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than third-ranked Germany.

    46 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fourth-ranked Canada.

    All 50 states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than fifth-ranked France.


    If you want to turn this recession into a full blown 1930's depression, go ahead and raise the top tax rates.

    History is against you however, as it is FACT that every time the tax rates were raised, income into the treasury fell, and every time taxes were cut, income to the treasury rose. This isn't up for debate, it is a FACT and normal psychology, when people know they are being taxed less, they are more willing to spend, which in turn means more taxes paid. A good example is the Bush tax cuts, when they went into effect, income to the treasury rose over 300 billion. This isn't new either. Kennedy cut taxes, so did Reagan and many presidents before them, and each time the economy grew and so did the money coming into the treasury.

    You obviously have a chip on your shoulder about the wealthy, your jealousy and hatred for them is rather blatant, and your ideas would only further continue to drive this nation into the ground. We already have an administration that is anti-big business and anti-wealthy, and look how the economy is reacting. Companies are not hiring, and the wealthy are not spending their money. According to you, that isn't their money so you feel the government has the right to it? I am sure glad I do not have to live in a country where the wealthy are persecuted to support the lazy and those too stupid to succeed on their own.

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  9. @BE, you really do not have a clue what is going on here do you? You constantly speak of manufacturing, jobs going overseas, corporate tax rates, and the lower 45% paying no taxes but living off the government.

    This law has nothing to do with any of these things. It has to do with the public sector losing the right to negotiate. Have you ever seen a fire fighter make something that was shipped to China to be made there because of the union? No! Have you ever seen a police officer living off the government? I have not.

    To tell you what it was like when I first started in public safety 20 years ago my chief brought me into his office and told me that me and my family qualified for welfare because I was underpaid. Twenty years and a union later I can now support my family and spend money in this economy without relying on the government. If you take that right away where do you think things will go? Get off the manufacturing going to China and corporate tax crap BE. This law has nothing to do with it. How you can tie a public employees’ wages into manufacturing in China instead of Ohio is beyond me. Public employees' pay rates and benefits are not the primary reason we have tax problems.

    In addition, you have yet to answer my questions of who determines the politicians pay raises. Do they have to pay 20% of their insurance? Moreover, do they contribute to and pay into the same retirement as I do? I think not.

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  10. Grumpy, can you not read or is it you simply don't comprehend? I was responding to Finton crying about how the rich supposedly don't pay their share.

    Once again, collective bargaining is not a right, it's a perk, and one that is helping to bankrupt states and communities.

    I agree they should pay their own share of health insurance and retirement. No public employee should pay a dime less than a private sector worker, especially since it's the tax payers who are paying it and paying their own as well.

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  11. I have since heard the crowd was only 120.

    Here's an observation ... We have had a few demonstrations in Columbus, but those demonstrations were 1,000 or 2,000 people at most. On the day I was there, a lot of people were brought in on busses, obviously organized protesters. There are 10 million people in Ohio.

    Buchy and Faber set up this meeting on a Friday night at 5pm so that most people should be free. In a county of 50,000 people, only 120 show up (a fair number of them in favor of SB5).

    I'm thinking the number of people opposed to this bill is really prettty small.

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  12. @BE, yes I can read and I do comprehend. I do realize you were responding to Finton, but looking over past posts on this topic you constantly focus on "corporate." This is not what this bill is about. If you quit refering to overseas and corporate in your post in opposition to this bill I would never have mentioned it in this segment.

    Thank you for your input on the elected officials. My question then goes to, why are we not complaining about the perks they get? They get some of the best perks on the planet, MUCH better than the workers, but they, the elected officials, put the focus on the employees not themselves.

    BE, DJ, do either one of you or any other person who is in favore of this bill truely realize what a public safety worker does and puts up with for a living? Maybe they should get a little extra for what they go through.

    As for the numbers, please remember that a lot of public employees work 24/7/365 not the private sector 9-5. I have also heard that a recent poll showed that 60% of the state is opposed to this law. I guess opinions are purely based on what side of the political line you rest.

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  13. I watch the news every day and I've never heard complaints from public safety workers from the federal gov't or the 25 states that don't allow collective bargaining in the first place.

    If the citizens value their safety, they will generously compensate (and protect) the public safety workers. This already happens in the federal gov't and half the states.

    After Senate Bill 5, we will have lots of extra money to work with too: public employees won't be forced to pay union dues, and we can eliminate the millions of taxpayer dollars that union bosses and lawyers skim off the top.

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  14. Not too mention stop the unions forcing their members to pay dues that 80% of the time go to the Democrat party if they choose not to.

    The Democrat party will be forced to raise funds the same was as the republicans do, and will no longer count on the cash cow that is public unions.

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  15. " we will have lots of extra money to work with too"
    Hogwash, I would like to see that proven, but it will not be.
    If you think any savings will be returned to the taxpayers you are sadly mistaken, the same ones in Columbus will spend every dime on something else, mark my words.

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  16. Maybe Nomad, but at least the majority of the money won't be going to one political party. That alone is worth it.

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  17. So far as the Constitution is concerned, the first amendment says:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Collective bargaining is protected under freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the right to petition (which is also bargaining) for a redress of grievances. Attempts to limit that right is unconstitutional.

    "Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts." Molly Ivins

    That was years ago. Union busting has created a situation where only 10% are union members. Taking away the power to bargain COLLECTIVELY is clearly step toward depriving Democrats of funding and nothing more. It has nothing to do with finances. Republicans can count on the corporations who by law are commanded to keep it all the profits for themselves and their stockholders for donations.

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  18. So far as BE's 'facts' are concerned, I can present tax charts that show his information is incorrect, but there is no spot for that on a simple comment page.

    I do not hate the wealthy or have a chip on my shoulder. Throughout the history or democracy, the good people with great wealth have regularly subsidized the people that has less than they do. Most of them did it quite willingly and this still happens today with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, and many many others.

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  19. This is all about party politics to you isn't it BE? If the unions supported the conservatives, would you be complaining? I do not care what party gets the support so long as I as an employee gets a fair chance to support myself and family.

    The federal workers are taken care of very well with good benefits. The federal employees do not need a union. I cannot speak of the 25 other states.

    What I can speak of is locally where I remember something along the lines of the city of Greenville threatening to lay off 11 fire fighters if they did not take the cities offer. When they did this to save their jobs the city all of a sudden found around a million dollars. This is the kind of game that local government plays with their employees and the unions.

    I know my wife has an associate’s degree just as I do and works in the PRIVATE sector. She makes $6.00 more an hour after one year than I do after 20 in my current job.

    BE, can I ask how long you have worked in your current job, what field that is in, what your education is, and a ball park on your hourly/yearly wages? I would like to know if as a public employee I am truly making more than you and if I am truly screwing you as a taxpayer.

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  20. Kenneth, Write whatever article you want, charts included, and email it to me. I doubt I'll agree with any of it, but I'll post in on the site.

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  21. One thing I would like to point out that few think about. When large wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, the surplus goes not go to creating jobs or corporate expansions. It goes instead into investments that drive prices up and creates false bubbles that break and cause recessions and depressions. This happens about every 15 years in the American economy it has been this way for two centuries. It is even worse today with massive bets on futures and new hedges called derivatives.

    I believe that these investments need to be regulated as they are a part of the common good. I am all for public/private enterprises that invest heavily in directions that ate obviously needed to grow the economy and sustain the welfare of the people and the planet.

    Of course, the devil is in the details, as always.

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  22. How lucky Darke County is to have a good journal like this and an editor who longs to be fair. I do not agree with him often, but if we all learn anything at all, it is worth all our time and effort.

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  23. And yet they call you biased Dj.

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  24. So Kenneth, you believe it is ok to steal someone else's money (and let's face it, only taxing the rich more even though they pay most of it already is just wealth distribution) and give it to others in the name of so called 'fairness'?

    Do you agree with what that fat-ass Michael Moore said about the wealth of the wealthy being a public resource?

    Do you not think that the governments spending is out of control?

    Grumpy, I am not giving out personal information on here, sorry.

    It IS about party politics when tax payer money is being used to prop up a minority party despite the union members affiliation. If I was a union member, I would be furious my money was going to liberals.

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  25. I am only furious that the conservatives are trying to take away my pay and benefits. I was not asking for personal information juts generalities. Nothing I asked for would have identified you, it just would have proven that as a public worker I am not making what you probably are in the private sector and proving your argument, that public makes more than private does false.

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  26. Since the current administration, the number of federal employees in the DOD alone making over a 100k a year has gone from less than ten to over two hundred. In Wisconsin, the average teacher makes 100k a year when benefits are included, that is twice the typical private sector job in that state.

    I don't want to see peoples pay cut, but I do want to see them having to pay just as much for their retirement and health coverage as everyone else.

    I agree that firefighters etc deserve to make a good wage.

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  27. SB 5's limitations on sick leave, vacation, and the abolishment of pension pickups (which were enjoyed mostly by administration, not teachers) are all reasonable. The requirement of employees to fund 15% of healthcare is also (it can be argued that it should be 20%). However, the proponents' statement that the bill preserves collective bargaining, after abolishing the right to strike, is insulting because all leverage of the bargaining unit is eliminated. While merit pay and increases are very good in theory, the bill returns all obligations of integrity to administration;the past proven absence of which was responsible for collective bargaining's existence in the public sector long before 1983. We all will see, this coming Tuesday, the extent of funding deprivation to be further dealt with at the local level.

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  28. BE, I think I need to be a teacher in Wisconsin not a public safety worker in Ohio. lol. Have a good night and nice debating with you.

    Mr. Surber, you are correct, if the people using the tax money had a little more integrity, than maybe there would be little need for unions in the first place.

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  29. Kenneth said...."Collective bargaining is protected under freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the right to petition (which is also bargaining) for a redress of grievances. Attempts to limit that right is unconstitutional." Please explain how collective bargaining is protected when it has already been outlawed by many states in regards to public employees. I can't imagine these states would not have been challenged in court if indeed as you say they areviolating the constitution. You are simply wrong on that.

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  30. @curt71 The constitution speaks for itself. The Supreme Court can be in error on its interpretation and has been more than a few times.

    There is an inherent danger to the public from a strike by firemen or policemen. Common sense has to prevail and mediation needs to be agreed to in such cases. States have no rights to limit collective bargaining (which is a redress of grievances under the constitution). I would assume that agreement to the decision of a mediator was the common sense solution.

    I am sure the new attempts to eliminate collective bargaining will end up in court on a constitutional basis.

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  31. The Supreme Court has the final say on it, and they have spoken in many states. You can dispute it, but it doesn't change the law or the facts. You can interpret the constitution how you want, the Lefty liberals have in their attempts to claim health care as a right also, but it doesn't make it so.

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  32. You constantly make assumptions that are incorrect. You assume the very rich pay most of the taxes. Why not question that? A person making $10 an hour makes about $21K per year and has about $5200 a year withheld in taxes. They are left with $15,800 per year for all their living expenses, including food, transportation, housing and medical insurance, not including possible rebate from income taxes.

    Someone making $500K a year has a tax liability of about $17,500. They are left with 482,500 or more than a thousand a week.

    Someone making 3 million a year pays about a million in taxes and is left with about $40,000 per week.

    Who can most afford to pay a high tax bill?

    Further, the person making $3 million a year does not want to pay a million in taxes, so they offset the money into investments. Let’s say they buy $20K a week in oil futures. The combined money of 10,000 people like themselves spending $20K a week on oil futures is over a billion dollars a year. This inflates oil prices and drives up the price for everyone. Yes, they can afford it. They profit from it when the prices rise as well. But the other 6 billion in the world cannot afford it.

    You say they should be free to do this. I say they should not.

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  33. The Supreme Court has not rules on this issue at all.

    You constantly make assumptions that are incorrect. You assume the very rich pay most of the taxes. Why not question that? A person making $10 an hour makes about $21K per year and has about $5200 a year withheld in taxes. They are left with $15,800 per year for all their living expenses, including food, transportation, housing and medical insurance, not including possible rebate from income taxes.

    Someone making $500K a year has a tax liability of about $17,500. They are left with 482,500 or more than a thousand a week.

    Someone making 3 million a year pays about a million in taxes and is left with about $40,000 per week.

    Who can most afford to pay a high tax bill?

    Further, the person making $3 million a year does not want to pay a million in taxes, so they offset the money into investments. Let’s say they buy $20K a week in oil futures. The combined money of 10,000 people like themselves spending $20K a week on oil futures is over a billion dollars a year. This inflates oil prices and drives up the price for everyone. Yes, they can afford it. They profit from it when the prices rise as well. But the other 6 billion in the world cannot afford it.

    You say they should be free to do this. I say they should not.

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  34. Innocent bystanderMarch 15, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Mr. Finton, you are correct. It's easy to understand how the wealthy support Republican ideologies. It is surely hard to understand why they are supported so avidly by those who are not.

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  35. You're hilarious. The Governments own figures show the top 5% pay 45% of all income taxes collected.

    Dispute it all you want, doesn't change the fact.

    You're a socialist, you want the rich to lose their wealth to support those too lazy to go earn their own. You believe the wealthy don't pay their share. I say those making 25k a year, with 5 kids and getting 10k tax returns aren't paying theirs and should pay THEIR fair share, and that includes not getting absurd returns just because they spit out more and more kids.

    The lower 45% of this country pays no income tax, once again, argue all you want, but it is true. Why not make them pay THEIR fair share? If it's about fairness, then everyone should pay.

    If the country followed your path, the wealthy would flee from this country and the economy would be even more sunk.

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  36. I see where you get your information. Rush Limbaugh has a link on the web stating that the top 50% of the wage earners pay 96.03% of the taxes. Of course, Limbaugh is wrong. He is a known for his twisted view of reality. This information on his chart is from 2001 (10 years ago) and consists of charts he drew with no supporting data.

    Two real sources are:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_pays_the_most_income_tax_in_the_United_States
    http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php?aid=35

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  37. The corporate rich have already taken their money and fled the country. The rich keep off shore accounts and hide their wealth. The global corporations opened headquarters and factories overseas and moved lock stock and barrel. That is why we have such a revenue problem. The work left America thanks to Bush and Cheney and Clinton. Many foreign countries have lower environmental standards and do not care if their poorly paid work force and population pays the price in the long term.

    Our government has stood by and let this happen and even given some tax breaks to do so. We need to tariff imports, level the playing field, and get back into American made goods and technology.

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  38. It is very hard to understand the callous jealousy that causes some conservatives to believe that as much as 45% of the people are lazy and do not earn their own way. I suppose is arises from deep-seated frustrations drawn from their own self centered existences. Most of these people also pretend to be Christians, even though Jesus was very much on the side of the poor and went so far as to say that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle that for a rich man to gain access to the kingdom of heaven.

    Hypocrisy like that expressed in some opinions here is always hard to understand. I will certainly grant that some people are lazy. I will even grant that governments sometimes makes it too easy for people not to rely on their own efforts. Yet, this is not the common situation. Temporary imbalance is always righted in time.

    In an era when so many jobs have been lost and moved overseas and people have moved to cities and locations where they can no longer make a living by from their labors, we as a country need to err on the side of compassion, not greed and false ideology.

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  39. Compassion by using the government to steal other peoples money. Liberals are always generous, so long as it is someone else's money.

    This is the land of OPPORTUNITY, not the land of guaranteed success. Life is unfair, and no amount of class warfare is going to change that.

    If you tax the rich further, you are only going to ensure what tiny spark of comeback this economy has had will be extinguished and further prolong this recession.

    THe best thing the government could do is get the hell out of the way, cut taxes, or better yet, impose the fair tax, and give corporations an actual reason to come back to this country.

    There is a reason some of the top CEO's in this country have all spoken out against this administration and it's heavy anti-business policies and agendas.

    If you feel like taking your money and giving it to others, by all means feel free, just don't think you have any right to tell me I should pay more in the name of compassion.

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  40. I call it absurd when someone making $8 a hour with four kids brings home a tax refund of almost 9k a year, when it is more than they paid in taxes the entire year.

    That is truly absurd, yet, that's ok, but someone who works their way up in life, and achieves success is to be punished and forced to pay that persons share as well.

    Your fairness to me doesn't sound fair at all.

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