What’s So Scary About Policy in Ohio?: Halloween 2006 News from Policy Matters

- October 31, 2006
   

Book Talk – Deceptive and divisive campaign ads have been scary, but author David Callahan believes that Americans have more in common and are far less divided than some politicians would have us believe. Join us for a post-election talk on values we all share, November 13th at Cleveland State University’s Levin College forum on 1717 Euclid, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Callahan’s The Moral Center has gotten rave reviews in the New York and L.A. Times, which said “Read this book for [Callahan’s] eye-opening portrait of the way we live now, his sobering analysis of how we got here and his prescient warning of where we may be headed if we don’t get back our bearings.” Professor Cam Stivers, Reverend Mylion Waite, and our own Amy Hanauer will also participate in a discussion, along with you. 

Tax-plan unmasked – Forty-five percent of Ohioans would end up paying higher taxes while only 30 percent would see taxes lowered, based on an updated analysis of the details available on Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell’s plan for a flat 3.25 percent income tax. Meanwhile, the richest Ohioans would each eventually reap thousands of dollars on average in annual tax savings, and the state would lose more than $800 million a year in revenue. State funding would be slashed leading to cuts in programs, increases in local taxes, and other eerie consequences.

Haunted Schoolhouse – Ohio charter schools operated by White Hat Management received $100 million in state funding last fiscal year. Although state law requires companies that operate charters to provide a detailed accounting of spending and services, the full picture remains cloudy one year later.  State rules, as currently enforced, do not demand the full breakout of expenses that the public has a right to see, and other public schools already provide. Our report makes recommendations to ensure that for-profit operators aren’t playing tricks on Ohio taxpayers.

Minimum Wage – There are just days left before you all vote on the referendum to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $6.85. The proposal would give raises to 719,000 low-paid Ohio workers, states with higher minimums have had more job growth, and attempts to scare supporters are all smoke and mirrors.

No treats for jobless Ohioans – Ohio employment continues to trend downward, according to September numbers from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. The number of Ohio jobs dropped by 10,000 since the recent peak in May. Ohio employment remains a frightening 137,000 jobs, or 2.5 percent, below the job base of March 2001, when the last recession officially started. Ohio is one of just eight states that have lost jobs since the recession began.

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Halloween Quiz –
1. About what do more than 650 economists agree? Click here to find out.
2. How many Ohio workers are certified as having lost their jobs due to our monstrous trade deficit? Check your next e-news to find out…..
3. How could Ohio gain jobs, reduce foreign oil use, and clean up our environment? Click here.

That’s all!
The Policy Matters Ohio Team 

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