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Kasich's "Tax Cut" Still Grows Ohio Government

edbell | 20 February, 2013 11:08

Guest Commentary: by Seth Morgan

Much is being made about Governor Kasich’s “tax cut.” This is a major policy step that will impact the state for years to come.

The Governor deserves credit for recognizing that income taxes need to be reduced and that tax reform in Ohio is necessary.  Further, during these difficult economic times, with plenty of calls for increased government funding from all corners of the state, we should thank the Governor for being willing to make tax reform part of his budget.  Certainly this is more than can be said for his predecessor Ted Strickland, who in the face of budget problems left Ohio with an $8 billion budget hole while raising taxes.

The Governor’s plan to reduce taxation on pass through entities, which most small business owners use to organize their businesses, also helps to begin righting a long standing wrong.  Currently, these business owners are facing double taxation – they pay the “commercial activity tax” which operates like a sales tax on business receipts and then turn around and pay personal taxes on the income produced by the company they own.  Good for the Governor for addressing this issue in his tax reform proposal.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s plan, while cutting income taxes, is basically “revenue neutral.” This means that if we look at state tax dollars and compare the FY 2014 proposed budget to the FY 2013 estimated actual, those tax revenues collected by the state are actually an increase of $196 million.  Out of a $63 billion dollar budget, we’ll call that revenue neutral (not to minimize the enormity of $196 million, but remember these are projected amounts.)

How can the Governor promise to cut 20% of the income tax rate over three years but still increase to at least neutrality the state revenue?  He does this mostly by increasing sales tax revenue.  While he has proposed that the rate drop by half of one percent he has broadened the sales tax base significantly.  Matter of fact, the state is projecting a 22% increase in sales tax dollars to the state coffers alone in FY 2014.  If we simply compare the projected taxes earned in 2013 through income and sales tax to those budgeted in 2014, state revenue increases by roughly $315 million.

We must also factor in that the increase in the sales tax base not only raises the state sales tax revenue but that of your local county as well.  Remember the sales tax you pay at your local discount store is made up of two factors – state and local.  The Governor’s budget caps the growth of revenue the County can appreciate but nonetheless you will still see an increase in the taxes being collected by your local County.

Broadening a sales tax base but lowering the rate is in principal a good thing.  Hopefully, this effort to reformat the way Ohio raises revenue continues and we will see further decreases in sales and income tax rates.

The reduction in income taxes is the most laudable part of the budget proposal. Ohio’s income tax rate has long been too high which has an adverse impact on job creation.

Unfortunately, we haven’t really reduced the revenue of the state.  Tax cuts by their very nature, in the short term, require cuts to government spending.  The best approach would have been for Governor Kasich to propose lower income taxes, as he did, broadening the sales tax base, which he did, but lowering the sales tax rate or income tax rate even more.  And certainly he should not be raising taxes on oil and gas production.  We all know that “if you want more of something, you tax it less.”

But we don’t just think tax decreases are good for economic reasons.  By merely re-distributing who we collect the taxes from, we miss one of the biggest benefits of tax cuts – namely the opportunity to reduce the size, and thereby the power of the government itself.

You see even with the “tax cut,” Ohio’s budget grows.  In the general revenue fund, the budget grows by 10.6% in the first year.  Even when we remove the unprecedented amounts of federal money that the Governor’s miserable Medicaid expansion drives into Ohio’s budget, the budget still grows.

Tax cuts are good but unless they are accompanied by comparable cuts in spending, you are just slicing the pie a different way.  In this case, the slicing of the pie might look a little better than it did before – but that’s not what we wanted.  We wanted a smaller government pie and a bigger Ohio individual, family, and business pie.  The Ohio House of Representatives should use this tax “cut” proposal as an opportunity to actually shrink the drain on Ohio families by taxation – and through cutting government, actually increase the opportunities afforded to us all.

Nobody but the government wins when government grows – and bottom line of this tax “cut” is that government still grows.  We should do better than this.

Seth A. Morgan, CPA, serves as the State Policy Director for Americans for Prosperity – Ohio.  Morgan is an entrepreneur, sought after speaker, radio talk show host, and former State Representative and City Council Member.  While in the Ohio House of Representatives, Morgan served on the Finance & Appropriations Committee which had the duty of studying and dealing with Ohio’s budget.

Ohio Pays the Price for EPA's War on Coal

edbell | 07 August, 2012 15:09

President Obama and his comrade in ideology, EPA Director Lisa Jackson, are witnessing the fruits of their war on coal.  Real people are experiencing real unemployment in Ohio and many other states as coal-fired electric generation plants close. 57 plants have closed or are slated to close in the next couple years, tossing thousands of people to the curb, even worse, they will join millions of other despondent Americans who are dependent on unemployment compensation and later, state and federal aid.  If only Uncle Sam, or should I say, Barack can make these folks permanent government dependents the economy will soar.  As we've been told by Congressman Steny Hoyer, food stamps are a great way to stimulate the U.S. economy.  

Every Buckeye should find the MACT Utility Regulations responsible for these closings appalling. Ohio has everything we need to be prosperous–right under our feet.  Washington is determined to prevent Ohioans from accessing our energy, and by extension, prosperity. The federal government is halting exploration, development and extraction of natural gas using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and placing extreme restrictions on the use of coal in our power plants.  OhioAmerican energy announced the closure of their Jefferson County, Ohio coal mining operation on July 31.  According to Mike Carey, chairman of the Ohio Coal Association. "...once people start having to spend more for electricity - which they will - there's nobody to blame except for the administration."  As the Mandel for U.S Senate campaign explains, for every coal mining job lost, eight other jobs are affected. Senator Sherrod Brown's environmental zealotry can best be described as a "Third-World-USA" policy.  He either doesn't know, or does not believe prosperity is the best way to ensure a clean environment. 

86% of Ohio's electricity is generated by coal-fired plants.  Should electricity ratepayers be concerned about their electric rates? Yes, says Andy Ott with PJM Interconnection, the company that operates electric grids in 13 states, including Ohio.  We shall will pay dearly for power generated by natural gas.  According to an in-depth article from Fox News, "The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt."  Somehow, I think even the most ardent environmentalists will find this a devastating blow to their business or family budgets.

The last three months have been a non-stop spin machine, seeking deceptive ways to soften or omit the harsh reality of energy prices that shall "necessarily skyrocket."  Will these famous words be on display in the Obama Presidential Library?  I think not.

President Obama to Take Credit for Ohio's Successes

edbell | 18 July, 2012 11:32

In 2010, 20 state legislatures and 17 Governor's offices saw a swing in leadership back to the GOP.  Once the citizens realized the President, Democratic Congress and state legislatures were unwilling to cut spending and institute pro-growth business policy they handed control to the GOP.  With vigilant taxpayers holding them accountable, the new GOP states began making changes.  Unemployment went down in every one of these states after budgets were addressed, even as the remainder of the country continues to struggle with 8+ percent unemployment.  The liberal dominated state legislatures continued to pursue Keynesian policies and deficit spending , while GOP states bit the bullet.  Ohio is a good case study.  Unemployment dropped from 9.0 to 7.3% from Jan. 2011 - May 2012; notable because Ohio is a rust belt state.  Kasich has taken considerable criticism for his austere cuts to local government and his union reforms lost at the ballot box in 2011, yet enough cuts and reforms have taken place that the economy in Ohio is improving.

The President discovered that Bain Capital and class envy are not selling as expected.  What to do?  His team plans to
take credit for the GOP initiated cuts and reforms and the subsequent improvement in those states.  Many of these states happen to be election swing states, meaning states like Ohio, that discarded President Obama's policies may, by virtue of their successes, play a role in helping to award Obama a second term.  The Governors of Ohio, Wisconsin and many other states will need to go public with the accomplishments of their Governors and legislatures.  The philosophy of limited government has shown success at the state level.  The President will certainly attempt to have it both ways, taking credit for the businesses that are starting to recover from his policies.  As we heard from the President, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen."  I suppose, if your business managed to survive the last 4 years, the President must be given full credit for your survival.  If voters understood whose policies are helping the state, Obama's gambit would fail, but people see improvement and give credit to the person with the best 30 second sound bites and that may be the President.  John Green from the University of Akron cautions, "“most voters don’t understand policy in detail, they tend to judge on results.”

Over the decades, we stopped expecting ctizens to learn how government functions or take responsibility for guarding their liberties; this makes for an easily swayed electorate and diminished freedom. The proof of this failure is evident in Ohio where Mr.
Obama leads Romney by up to 9 points (as of mid-July).  Perception is still trumping reality in Ohio and the entire nation has a vested interest in the outcome. 

Ohio Dances Across the Bridge to Prosperity

edbell | 07 June, 2012 14:02

Most Ohioans are now aware the Buckeye State may be the Saudi Arabia of natural gas due to advancements in horizontal drilling and shale fracking.  We are blessed to have massive deposits of shale in Eastern Ohio and twice-blessed that energy producers are eagerly leasing property and exploring with gusto.  At the same time, the forces of government (State and federal), are doing their level best to discourage the activity and eliminate the profit incentive (crucial to free markets) for the companies that put capital at risk.  Matt Mayer reveals the flaws in Governor Kasich's plan to charge a 4% severance tax on energy from these new sources and reduce taxes on payrolls dollar-for-dollar.  Appealing to crass populism isn't right regardless of which party plays the card.  The Governor is shifting revenue collection from wage earners to the employer/energy producers.  Of course, this will sell like Sunday morning hotcakes at IHOP.  Taxpayers get a break during the crucial 2012 campaign season–break out the bubbly!  But the problem in Ohio is, and has for quite some time been, the unchecked growth in spending.  Kasich and the legislators ran with tails tucked between their legs after public sector unions beat them like a rented mule on Issue 2 in November.  The Governor also watched his friend Scott Walker fight for his political life for the "high–crime" of making unions and teachers pay a reasonable portion of their pension and health care contributions.  But Scott Walker won big on June 6, precisely because people are disgusted with providing better compensation and benefits to state employees than they receive from private sector employers.  This is the moment to stop going after new taxes on business and confront the cost of government head-on.  A higher severance tax on Ohio's energy finds may "eventually" have some merit, but not now, and not as a substitute for confronting unchecked growth in public sector union contracts.  

Yes, it is necessary to link these two topics.  "Revenue enhancement" cannot be discussed without seeing the motivation of the cheerleaders.  When a Republican Governor, AFSCME, the OEA and every progressive think tank are singing in unison on taxation, further research is demanded.
 
There is a window of opportunity for Ohio to simultaneously grow jobs and increase prosperity while facing down public sector unions.  Governor Kasich can turn around the state by making the right moves, right now.  We have a potential to turbocharge the economy and government must resist the inclination to solve our problems on the backs of these risk takers.  A thousand progressive Ohio voices are gung ho with the Governor's plan to increase the severance tax on products from shale fracking. What's lost in the argument is that the companies creating this wealth are already taxed five different ways: income, sales, severance, ad valorem (property) and commercial activity.  In 2010, the industry paid $32.7 million in taxes in Ohio and generated $988 million in gross state product.  This is small potatoes compared to anticipated new revenue per Kasich's tax plan. In terms of revenue, Ohio could net between $666 million and $1 billion over the next five years through the new oil and gas tax structure under consideration.

Ohio is on the cusp of unbridled economic activity. Governor Kasich and Ohio's legislators must encourage this energy-based renaissance and understand their job is to remove obstacles to companies that can bring prosperity, even when they are the obstacle.

As Local Governments Face Austerity

edbell | 21 May, 2012 10:02

Townships and other municipalities throughout Ohio are the fiscal "canary in the cage."  Budget cuts at the state level trickled down to municipalities, affecting every community in conjunction with the impending elimination of the Ohio Estate Tax.  Both of these occurrences are necessary and overdue, yet local officials in townships and villages are feeling the pain first and unlike state or federal government, everyone in the community knows these folks on a personal level, producing instant feedback and accountability.  Local government compensation is generally lower than state workers, although both are higher than the private sector which has cut 14.4% between 2000 and 2009. Over the same period, local government had only cut 3.9 %,  Instant austerity may cause this gap to narrow in 2012 and 2013.

A recent case study of sudden economic hardship is
Sycamore Township, a community in Hamilton County, Ohio (full disclosure: the place I call home).  This township operates on a general fund budget of $7.3 million dollars while police and fire operate on a separate budget of $6.27 million.  Elimination of Ohio's Estate Tax (averaging $3 million per year) and a 66% reduction in local government funds over the last four years will combine with lower property tax revenues to create the perfect fiscal storm for this community.  Repeat this scenario hundreds of times throughout the state for a snapshot of the coming tug-of-war between taxpayers, public sector unions and embattled officials.  Sycamore Township Trustees had a sheriff's deputy on hand as cuts to fire and safety staffing were announced at a heated public meeting.  27 full-time firefighters were cut to 13, and 70 part-time firefighters were let go. To the township's credit, they are not placing a levy on the ballot at this time, but many townships across the state will consider this option.

We're tempted to lament the harsh austerity imposed on local government, yet private sector taxpayers (who pay all the bills) are suffering a great deal more than public employees.  Economists will argue that cuts cannot replace growth as a means to funding local governments, but until Ohio offers policies that reignite or attract private sector businesses, staffing cuts are the only viable tool in the box.  Ohio public sector unions will cry foul early and often as every township and county reduce staffing of safety services and school districts cut teachers and education budgets.  The rubber has met the road.  Homeowners will not vote for more taxes on homes mortgaged near or beyond the appraised value and tax levies will find scant support from families struggling to provide food and shelter.  Ohioans may soon hear the plea for new local revenue via fees and/or taxes from their trustees, council members and commissioners.  The burden of proof will fall on each community to prove that they have been exemplary stewards of tax dollars and officials will find skeptical taxpayers and crowded meetings in every municipality.  If there's a positive to be found, citizens are suddenly taking an interest in the activities of their local government.

This chart
provided by the BLS shows that the Public Sector pay continues to outpace that of private sector taxpayers who carry the burden for both.  As of 2011, compensation for state and local employees is $1 Trillion.   There is little doubt that the real class division in American society is between government employees at every level and their private sector benefactors who struggle to support generous wages and benefits for those working in public sector unions in county, state and federal government.

The Flaws in Kasich's Tax Plan

edbell | 09 April, 2012 12:37

Guest Column
BY MATT MAYER


As a conservative, I love tax cuts. Lower taxes are conducive to long-term economic growth. Because of significant growth in the size of government, Ohio's state and local tax burden has been among the highest in America for too long. Our state's net job growth over the past 22 years ranks as the nation's 47th worst (we rank 20th since 2010, but things are getting worse).


Gov. John Kasich's new tax plan does not appear to increase taxes on Ohioans. He proposes to reduce state income taxes by a dollar for every dollar in new taxes paid by the energy industry. Setting aside his rebuke of out-of-state companies and shareholders -- the very entities he wants to invest more in the state -- not raising taxes is a good thing for Ohioans.

On closer examination, however, the governor's plan reveals fundamental flaws. The proposal continues to ignore the elephant in the room: government spending. The real problem in Ohio, and America, is that government spending has outpaced inflation and economic growth.


Shifting tax burdens from individuals to the companies they work for may change the source of the revenue brought into government. But it utterly fails to tackle the spending side of the ledger. Governor Kasich's tax plan confirms that he accepts the status quo size of state government. Otherwise, he would reduce government to pay for the income-tax cut. His first budget actually increased spending by the state's general revenue fund.


Between 1990 and 2013, Ohio's general revenue-fund expenditures will have exploded by 148 percent, or 44 percent after inflation. Had state government "only" grown by the rate of inflation plus population growth, those expenditures would be less than $22 billion a year, compared with the $28 billion in the 2012-2013 budget. That is a lot of unjustified government growth.

Conservative politicians typically have adopted a "starve the beast" mentality toward government: Reduce revenue via tax cuts, and the government will be forced to shrink. Unfortunately, history proves that politicians are adept at finding taxes and fees elsewhere to feed government. With no net tax cut, Mr. Kasich's plan ensures that taxes will remain high to cover government spending.


The governor's view that what he calls Ohio's "disproportionately low" tax on the energy industry presents him a windfall opportunity to increase taxes is odd for a conservative. For once, Ohio has a competitive tax advantage over other states, making it more attractive to energy-industry growth.  That growth will provide the windfall in jobs and taxes. Most governors who seek to increase their states' competitiveness in attracting an industry move to lower tax burdens, not increase them.


No matter the political spin, raising taxes on the energy industry will have a negative impact on Ohio's competitiveness and job creation. Business leaders in all industries are nervous about politicians with windfall mentalities. They know that "fairness" for one industry today could hit their industry tomorrow, as feeding government spending is what matters. Governor Kasich's tax plan includes no real reform; it nibbles at the margins of our problems. Shifting taxes doesn't lower Ohio's overall tax burden.


No matter which group's ranking you use, Ohio's state income tax is in the middle of the pack. Compared to most other states, Ohio isn't a high income-tax location. But these same rankings place Ohio's local tax burden among the highest in America. Because of his cuts in aid to local government, which did not fund a tax cut, local governments have raised taxes across Ohio. As a result, net taxes on Ohioans have gone up under Governor Kasich, making our state even less competitive.


Ohioans needs major tax reform that lowers the overall state and local tax burden and ratchets down government spending. Failure to do both will drive more entrepreneurs and jobs out of Ohio. If conservatives now define victory as zero net tax reduction and minimal spending cuts, then our movement is intellectually dead. We can do better than merely tread water.


Matt Mayer lives in Dublin, Ohio, and is author of Taxpayers Don't Stand a Chance, to be published in June by Provisum Publishing.

Power of Citizen Activism and Elimination of Ohio's Estate Tax

edbell | 10 March, 2012 07:31

Below is a reposting of a blog from Citizens opposed to Additional Spending and Taxation (COAST).  The amazing story of how this tax was eliminated in Ohio is a story that remains unknown to most Americans and needs to be told.  Activists in other states are well aware of the story and are using the methods described below as a template for eliminating estate taxes in other parts of the country.
COAST Newsletter reported in July of 2012 on the elimination of the Ohio Estate Tax as part of its reporting on the passage of Governor Kasich's budget. But what we did not properly do was to tell the story on how a ragtag band of volunteers, without the backing of any major financier, managed to re-write the Ohio tax code to eliminate a bad tax.

The campaign started with the vision of a single small business owner from Dayton, Ohio: Ron Alban. For decades, Ohioans had discussed eliminating the estate tax, the worst in the nation and one that was driving businesses and residents from the state.

Soon, Ron first signed up limited government advocate Jack Boyle from Cleveland and then COAST Board member Dan Regenold. They conceived of a state-wide ballot issue known as an "initiated legislation," that first forces the Ohio legislature to address the proposal, and if they won't act, to place the issue before the voters. Gena Bell, a influential Tea Party leader, joined the Coalition and brought the Tea Party and Liberty groups on board and was also responsible for gathering support within the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ultimately, they enlisted 1700 volunteers, and collected 85,000+ signatures state wide.

In parallel, they brought together a coalition of grass root and traditional groups to support repeal. Grass root groups included COAST, tea parties, Americans for Prosperity, and the Ohio Christian Alliance. Support from traditional groups included the Farm Bureau, Funeral Directors, the Manufacturer's Assoc., Ohio Chamber and many more. National groups such as Americans for Tax Reform and the National Taxpayer's Union were enlisted in the cause.

When Republicans took over the Governor's office and both houses of the State legislature in November of 2010, instantly prospects of resolution short of a public vote improved. Governor Kasich had publicly endorsed the repeal during his election campaign.

Then, it got interesting.

The City of Shaker Heights in the Cleveland area, Loveland, Oakwood in the Dayton area, and a few other cities hired high-priced lobbyists at taxpayer expense to fight the volunteer, self-funded effort. Attorneys from COAST and the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law threatened these municipalities with a suit if they didn't repeal the funding using a "taxpayer letter" signed by local volunteer, 77-year old Sylvia DeFranco. Instead, of repealing the funding, the cities of Shaker Heights, Loveland and Oakwood sued their own taxpayer -- Ms. DeFranco.

Outraged by the litigation attack on the taxpayer, Americans for Prosperity sent an action alert to its members, and generated more than 60,000 messages to the Ohio legislature, condemning the tactics of the allied municipalities (using tax monies) and demanding the estate tax repeal. The coalition of groups from Ohio and Washington sent strong messages in support of repeal to Columbus.

Concurrently, a group of 19 House members urged Speaker Batchelder to assure the repeal was included in the final budget bill.

In the end, the repeal was included in the biennial budget bill, and Ohio's Estate Tax is history.

A big taxpayer salute goes to Alban, Regenold and Boyle. You have shown us the possibilities of citizen activism.

Ohio's Patriots Can Overcome Class Envy Rhetoric with Facts

edbell | 25 January, 2012 07:36

Like it or not, we Buckeyes, including many folks who are woefully uninformed, will play a primary role in electing the next President.  So, Ohioans have a massive responsibility to spread the facts about fairness and equality.  The President's State of the Union Speech contained numerous references to fairness, while planting implications that successful Americans were not contributing their 'fair share'.  The rhetoric was compelling and devoid of the facts...convincing.   In his SOTU speech, the President said,  "we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. … We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. …Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than a million dollars a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.

James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute offers a few facts to discredit the false statements we can expect from the President's campaign over the next nine months:

1. The top 1% pay 36.7% of fed income taxes, earn 16.9% of adjusted gross income (as of 2009).

2. The top 0.1% pay 17.1% of taxes, earned 7.8% of adjusted gross income.

3. The average income tax rate for the top 1% is 24%. The bottom 50%? Just 1.85%.

4. The bottom 50% pay just 2.3% of income taxes.

5. Buffett chose to leave most of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, avoiding 55% estate tax.

6. Buffett actually pays 50% tax since capital gains and dividends taxes are a double tax on corporate income.

7. Taking half of yearly income from every person making between $1M and $10M would only decrease the nation’s debt by 1%

8. Taking every dollar from everyone making more than $10M per year would only reduce nation’s deficit by 12% and the debt by 2%

9. IRS will give out roughly $110 billion in “refundable” tax credits this year to households that pay no income taxes.

10. If taxable income in 35% bracket taxed at 49%, federal income tax revenues just $78B higher (Tax Policy Center)

11. To get deficit to 2% by 2020 using Obama’s budget baseline, it would take 91% top rate by taxing just the rich

The politics of envy is a powerful opponent and the truth rarely gets adequate media time.  Lies about the rich, fairness, and job creation will dominate the conversation in 2012, leaving informed Buckeyes to spend our time and treasure correcting the record.  Mr. Obama said: “We can go in two directions. One is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for…building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.

A wealth of information is available to rebut fictitious rhetoric as we engage the electorate.  Concerned Ohioans can arm themselves by visiting Heritage, FreedomWorks, The American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and the Cato Institute.  All of these organizations produce excellent research, insight, and facts to cut through the campaign fog. 

 


Give Me Evidence or Go Away

edbell | 02 December, 2011 13:59

By Mark Etterling

For years the media told us that global warming was happening, but in the end there was no real evidence and global warming turned out to be nothing but a hoax.  The media got it wrong.  During the last presidential campaign we heard pundit after pundit tell us without any real evidence that Obama is one of the most brilliant people to ever grace the earth, but we now know he’s anything but brilliant.  Once again the media got it wrong.  The media attempted to convince us that the Duke Lacrosse team absolutely had to be guilty of raping their accuser.  The evidence proved the media once again to be resoundingly wrong.  Now we are being presented by this same media with the idea that Herman Cain is some sort of deranged womanizer.  Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but I for one refuse to go along with the media yet again merely because they say it is so.  Give me real evidence or go away.
 
Nancy Pelosi showed the true inner workings of the left wing media machine when she stated that “It’s not the nature of the evidence, it’s the seriousness of the charge that matters”.  By that standard mere accusations constitute proof of guilt if the charge is severe enough and you have a media machine willing to push the concept.  Sorry, but I’m just not willing to allow a media that can’t seem to get anything right to lead me astray from basic common sense when so much is at stake if they once again get it wrong.  Especially when we already know that they are as much an ideological opponent as any politician from the left.  If the media wants to play the part of Tokyo Rose, that’s fine, but I refuse to become a brainwashed useful idiot to their political games.   Give me real evidence or go away.
 
I’m not here to defend Herman Cain anymore than I’m here to condemn him.  Even though I’m a big fan of his, I wrote these same words about Anthony Weiner during his tribulations and I can’t stand Weiner, so don’t bother trying to call me a hypocrite.  Unlike the left, we on the right base our ideologies in logic and reason, not emotional knee jerk reactions.  We require proof, not mere accusations to justify any condemnation that we render.  Therefore, our collective response to the whole Herman Cain issue should be to give us real evidence or go away.

Sustainability

marketterling | 23 November, 2011 12:17

There are 611 public school districts in Ohio.  There were 180 of these districts that had a levy on the ballot this past November.  Of those 180 levies, only 87 were successful.  Of the 87 that were successful, only 27 were for new funding, the rest were for renewals of existing funding.  So what do these numbers tell us?
 
One of the most significant taxes that any of us can pass that has a direct impact on our lives is a school levy.  If you have a child in school, than your child is directly affected through the services that are either created or removed by a levy succeeding or failing.  Even if you are an empty nester, your single largest investment (property value) is also directly affected.  So basically if voters were to ever be in favor of extra taxation, school levies would be the most obvious choice for standing the best chance of acceptance.
 
Based on the numbers above and the significance of the proposed levies, Ohio has resoundingly said “NO” to any new taxes.  Basically the voters have said that we all need to learn to do more with less (even our own children) and that as tax payers we are all tapped out.  If these voters are so adamant about not approving new taxes that will have such a direct impact on their own lives, why exactly does the left think that passing new federal taxes would be any more popular?
 
Ohio has reached a breaking point whereby voters understand that throwing more money at failing systems not only isn’t the answer, but is no longer even financially possible.  The only way that we can survive is to revamp our schools into models of efficiency that can succeed by functioning within the constraints of sustainable funding levels.  This same holds true at the state level as well as the federal level.  We must now focus on leaders who no longer make promises on what they are willing to give us, but instead on what they are willing to take away to make government both affordable and sustainable for the future

Occupy "Main Street" USA

edbell | 07 October, 2011 14:37

Nancy Pelosi and the lemmings of the left have their October talking points.  They are trying to equate the anarchist, union, leftists slumming among the hubs of Capitalism with the Tea Party movement.  A crowd of people camping out in public venues does not make a movement, nor does it confer credibility on their purpose.  What exactly is their purpose, anyway?  They have already received more favorable media coverage than all the tea party rallies of 2009.  In many cities, the aggrieved masses have formed and set up camp, yet some are unsure why they are there.  Their stated purpose is to protest what they call the “One percent"– the small group of wealthy Americans who control the majority of the nation’s wealth.  They claim to represent the 99 percent, or the rest of America - beyond that, the goal seems to be getting their share of the corporate bailouts. 

Questioning authority and healthy skepticism are admirable   If these, mostly young people are questioning the money that government took from taxpayers to bail out the large irresponsible banks or if the protestors are angry about being saddled with trillions of long-term debt, then we may share some common views.  We may even agree that billions of taxpayer bucks shouldn't be given to well-connected companies like Solyndra that may never turn a profit.  But it appears the villain is "Capitalism" as a viable economic system.  Strangely, most of these people consider themselves fans of President Obama which is ironic, because he is by far the most fortunate recipient of money from the Wall Street money changers.

The MSM would have us believe that The "Occupy Anytown" franchise is organically springing up in 250 major cities around the United States.  It's neither organic nor random.  Stephen Lerner has been planning his "Days of Rage" protests for many months and his alliances with SEIU leaders plays a prominent role in organizing other cities to join the festivities.   The only clear goal is to desensitize Americans to confiscation of personal property.  Those pesky private property rights stand in the way of the People's Utopian Republic.  Maybe we should distribute copies of Doctor Zhivago to the protestors.  

Irony runs rampant, as less than a week ago, Steve Jobs passed away.  This Capitalist member of the one percent acheived the American dream by providing the protestors with tools and toys that they value more than their Birkenstocks.  Nonetheless, these young people have been saddled with a crushing national debt and probably substantial college debt.  We should not condemn these protestors, but we should be sure they learn the enemy is not Capitalism.

Taxpayers are at least as angry as the occupods that major banks were bailed out while lives and assets were decimated in middle America.  If indeed, the main problem is crony-capitalism, shouldn't we prosecute the cronies and keep the capitalism?

Tea Party Debt Commission Field Hearing 10/6 @7:00

richardinman | 26 September, 2011 00:39

 

 

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Tea Party Debt Commision Field Hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday October 6 at Connections Church in Madeira. Eastern Hills Community Tea Party, a member group of OurTP.org will host this lively session along with EmpowerU Ohio.

This event will allow those attending to bring their ideas to the table and learn about the fiscal challenges facing the U.S. Congress
as they battle growing deficits 
and long term debt. Please plan to attend and let your ideas for trimming the debt be heard.

Related articles...

Ed Bell, Eastern Hills Community Tea Party & OurTP.org, appointed to Freedomworks Tea Party Debt Commission

 

Parental Sovereignty is an Afterthought

edbell | 13 September, 2011 14:39

Watching the eight remaining Republican    candidates debate in Tampa, I witnessed some disturbing threats to limited government.  Texas Governor Rick Perry, generally a fair advocate for state sovereignty, stumbled on individual  sovereignty and faced his Gardasil skeleton once  again.
    

When asked if his executive order requiring injections of pre-teen girls to prevent HPV was a mistake, he offered a partial mea culpa, stating that on review, he would have guided this initiative through the Texas legislature.  Millions of parents, especially those in the tea party-infused audience gasped at his Texas side-step.  He put on the white hat of compassionate conservative and said the mistake was borne of a fervent desire to protect children from cancer.  Mr. Perry should know by now, it doesn't matter whether the legislators, judges or Governor make the call, the law is intrusive and liberty-loving people want nothing to do with it.  Our children, it can be argued, have been the weapon of choice used by both parties to create the nanny state that threatens to eliminate parental rights, while creating a new generation of adults who embrace security (and mandates) over liberty.
       
Sovereignty begins with the responsible individual and the nature of government is to replace all individual liberty with layers of coercion (for our safety and security).  Governor Perry could have struck a blow for the individual by saying, in hindsight, an opt-in option would have been the better choice.  Parents who believe their children might be at risk could discuss this with their family doctor and make a private decision about the injection (what a concept!).
       
During the September 12 Republican debate, Congresswoman Bachmann served up the term parental sovereignty, as she blasted Rick Perry for his admitted error in judgement on HPV injections.  This cancer can only be contracted from sexual activity, so Mr. Perry sent a quasi accusation about the promiscuity of America's daughters.  Governor Rick should think twice before telling mom and dad, Texas assumes every little girl may be a tramp.  It's never wise to get between parents and their daughters.

Ohio Photo ID Bill Put to Rest, Fair Elections Can Wait

edbell | 03 September, 2011 09:40

Americans are losing faith in Congress, currency, banks, and our schools, so, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that Americans suspect fraud in our elections.  Unlike many chronic problems, showing a photo ID at the polling place would go a long way toward restoring trust in our election results.  House Bill 159, which would have required a voter to present a government issued photo ID has been declared dead in the Ohio Senate.  The bill is opposed not only by the Democrats in the Senate, but also by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is patronizing progressives while positioning himself to run for Governor.  In related news, on Friday September 2, Mr. Husted also agreed to send absentee ballots out to every Ohioan for the 2012 election.    

We have accepted a false premise that some minority voters are not given easy access to voting.  Partisan advocates playing the well-worn race card, claim minorities are being disenfranchised from this fundamental American right. It's just not true.  Citizens make a choice to not get registered or go to the polls. Many also choose not to learn one blessed thing about the issues or candidates.  Georgia, Mississippi and several other states have a Photo ID requirement to vote and minority voters increased more than most states that have no such requirement.

A Rasmussen Poll shows 75 percent of Americans want a Photo ID requirement, yet our legislators have again shirked their responsibility to stand firm on this critical issue. The progressive left has won the battle of media propaganda by pulling every liberal group into the fold, including the Ohio Education Association OEA.

In Ohio, we are a state divided.  Half the state still ascribes to a liberal philosophy and the national progressive movement is not about to let Ohioans turn from the socialist agenda without a no-holds barred battle.   We must hold Mr. Husted and our RINO legislators to account for the forfeit on this issue.

Ignorance Ignites a Generation and Sends England Back to the Middle Ages

edbell | 11 August, 2011 17:38

As we read about the damage caused by riots, looting and vandalism in cities throughout England; it's apparent that civility and morality are words many of the young criminals featured in the news stories have never learned.  These youth have been fed a steady diet of class envy and socialism, they now feel justified in beating and robbing the well-heeled, in addition to stealing anything that a broken door or window will permit.  Still other miscreants seem to enjoy torching cars and property as an expression of their misdirected anger.  Does anyone wish to guess who's directed their anger at business owners and the rich?

The Prime Minister seems perplexed by the eruptions and has asked the U.S. for assistance. 
I thought we were trying to emulate their system of government.  The young people have lived a life of complete liberty, but with zero responsibility.  liberty without responsibility is chaos (the pictures tell the story).  Breaking news: August 11.The UK is considering a shutdown of Twitter and Blackberry messaging to disrupt the organizational ability of rioters.  Freedom is immediately sacrificed for the sake of safety, leaving the law-abiding with neither freedom nor safety. (Hat tip to Ben Franklin)

This lost generation is leading the way into Ronald Reagan's "thousand years of darkness."  They have grown up in a world that has asked nothing of them and they have given nothing.  Unlike the poor and destitute of Dicken's era England, the safety net provides just enough to keep millions of people poorly sheltered and fed.  But the people remain idle and ignorant; without purpose or moral direction. We are witnessing the perfect expression of a successful socialist utopia in full flower.  England's generous welfare leviathan is groaning under the weight of excess demand and the short-sighted left has directed the anger of the aimless youth toward the rich and the Conservatives.

We can look at Europe, and England in particular as the preview of U.S. coming attractions.  Every country in Western Europe has tried some version of the same template.   England has earned the honor of leading Europe into the abyss.  Our own left-leaning leaders see this and say, they may have failed in Europe, but we are a brighter breed of socialist and will make this concept work for Americans.
   
Max Hastings of UK's MailOnline presents a scathing account of the current lost generation responsible for the wanton violence of the last several days.  His article is not only a detailed probing of the young socialist mind, but also a well documented indictment of the liberal dogma that has laid the foundation for England's troubles. 

A child raised with no instruction or discipline and locked in a room for many years will emerge no different than a feral, impulsive animal.  The stories from England show a generation not far removed from this analogy.  The Brits should think about what type of  society they've created and it should be a splash of icewater on our leaders .  On the mean streets of London is it 2011 or 1411?
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