Posts Tagged ‘Buckeye Institute’

Freedom is Popular in Ohio

July 28th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The Buckeye Institute releases a fascinating survey:

COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released a statewide poll of 1,800 registered voters that shows Ohioans are at odds with their government leaders on the major issues of the day, especially on government compensation, regulations, and Ohio’s pro-union policies. Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies of Broomfield, Colorado, conducted the poll on July 19, 2010, via an autodial survey of registered voters from across Ohio. Because of the large sample, the survey has a margin of error of 2.31%.

Here are some top-line numbers:

· 50% think government leaders should first reduce government worker compensation to eliminate the $8 billion
budget state deficit;
· Only 16% think taxes should be increased to eliminate the Ohio deficit;
· 52% think Ohio’s state and local taxes are too high;
· 56% think Ohio’s regulatory environment makes it harder for businesses to create jobs and grow;
· 85% think workers should be free to choose whether to join a labor union to get a job; and
· 67% think we should stick with coal or add nuclear and natural gas energy.

Other than for government workers who think cutting compensation and cutting services are equally appealing, every other demographic group chose cutting government compensation as the top choice to cut the deficit. Except for one group, every demographic group thinks Ohio’s taxes are too high by a majority or plurality.

On Ohio’s regulatory environment, every demographic group by a majority or plurality feels our regulations make it harder for businesses to create jobs and grow. The most stunning result is that all demographic groups support a worker’s freedom to choose whether or not to join a union to get a job with all but five groups polling at over 80 percent. A whopping 93% of Republicans, 87.7% of Independents, and 77.2% of Democrats want workers to have the freedom to choose.

Buckeye Institute President Matt A. Mayer noted, “It is clear Ohioans believe that business as usual is not sustainable. As always, common sense Ohioans are ahead of the politicians. I hope our elected officials follow the people and don’t just say, but do the right thing to get Ohio growing and prosperous again.”

Ohio Pension Reform

July 27th, 2010 Matt View Comments

It is absolute insanity that Ohio’s public employees have defined benefit plans, where the payments are based on the last few years of work, when their salary is the highest. In the Lancaster Gazette, the President of the Buckeye Institute has some important advice that will certainly be ignored:

Pooled pension plans used to be common in the private sector, but they were abandoned in favor of defined contribution plans, such as a 401(k).

Some conservatives are saying public employee retirement should mirror the private sector.

“The private sector has long said ‘no’ to defined benefit plans,” said Matt Mayer, head of the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think tank.

The Buckeye Institute recently released a report calling for deep cuts to public employee pensions to save the state money. The institute calls for elimination of longevity pay, cost-of-living increases, a lower employer contribution, and a move to a 401(k)-like plan. The moves would save $2 billion in the next two-year state budget alone, the report concludes.

In Mayer’s opinion, the proposed changes by the retirement system don’t nearly go far enough, and he doesn’t see the political will to do more in the Legislature.

“Politicians always do this nibbling on the margins to not address the real problem,” Mayer said.

[State Rep. Lynn] Wachtmann [R-Napoleon] agrees with some of Mayer’s sentiments. He said final average salary should be based on a 30-year average, and that the state should move to a defined contribution plan.

Buckeye Institute Interviews Ohio House Republican Leader Bill Batchelder

July 12th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The Buckeye Institute interviewed Medina Republican Rep. Bill Batchelder, a brilliant legal scholar who has been a champion of conservative principles in Ohio before many TEA Party activists were born. It’s worth watching, even though he’s not wearing one of his famous searsucker suits:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Buckeye Institute President Matt Mayer vs. COTA & Stimulus Dollars

July 2nd, 2010 Matt View Comments

From NBC 4… check out Matt’s very fashionable soccer uniform!:

It is absolutely incredible that someone would argue that the point of COTA projects is the jobs involved in those specific, temporary projects. If the goal was simply increased employment numbers, why not give workers a pile of tablespoons and tell them all to dig ditches?

COTA is slow, most buses are quite empty throughout the day, can be dangerous, and is not a service that most busy professionals would consider as a replacement to their car. And for the disabled, the amount of money spent on the technology to make busses handicapped accessible is absurd when considering how few actually ride COTA.

I fail to see how increasing the capacity to bus indigents from one side of the city to another spurs real economic growth and prosperity.

Ohio Public Sector Workers Are Overcompensated

July 1st, 2010 Matt View Comments

Fantastic work from The Buckeye Institute… Want to know how to fill Ohio’s $8 billion dollar budget hole? Here is a great place to start!

With Ohio facing an estimated $8 billion budget deficit, the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released a report on the disparity in compensation packages between state government workers and their private sector peers. The report, “The Grand Bargain Is Dead: The Compensation of State Government Workers Far Exceeds Their Private- Sector Neighbors,” details the gold-plated nature of state government worker compensation and contains options for elected officials to consider that would reduce the costs of these lucrative compensation packages. If certain options were implemented, Ohio could save an estimated $2.1 billion in the next two years.

Using data from state government, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Dr. Matthew Marlin, the Chair of Economics and Quantitative Sciences at the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, and his team found that the yearly cost of the median state government worker when including pay, health care premiums, sick leave, and pension contributions is $66,051, which is $16,800 more than the private-sector peer. Marlin et al. further found that over a 30-year career, the state government worker costs roughly twice as much as his private- sector peer ($3,725,470 versus $1,893,096).

The Grand Bargain is Dead(1)

Buckeye Institute President Matt Mayer Published in Enemy Territory- The Toledo Blade!

March 14th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From Matt Mayer:

THE Ohio job market is in tatters. It has been weak for two decades. New unemployment data suggest an even more troubling outlook.

If Ohioans want a vibrant job market, we must start making tough choices to defang entrenched interests, notably labor unions and big government. The failure to act will only ensure that more Ohio businesses move to states where they can create jobs free of artificially expensive labor costs and inflexibility, and an overly burdensome government.

The Buckeye Institute’s new report, “State of the State: Two Decades of Weak Job Growth and Skyrocketing Government Costs Pose Daunting Challenges to Ohioans” states that when the U.S. economy boomed in the 1990s, Ohio’s job growth was just the 37th best in America. And when the economy went bust after the dotcom/technology crashes in 2000, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the housing/financial crash in 2008, Ohio lost more jobs than every other state except Michigan.

Between 1990 and last year, Ohio had the third-worst job market in the United States. Over two decades, the number of nonfarm, nongovernment jobs in our state increased by a mere 79,900 – fewer than 4,000 jobs a year in a state of more than 11.4 million people.

One reason for Ohio’s weak job market is its pro-union policies. The 28 states that force workers to join a union had average increases in jobs from 1990 until now of 16 percent, or less than 1 percent per year. The 22 states that protect a worker’s economic freedom had average increases in jobs of 36 percent, more than twice the rate of pro-union states.

Read the rest here.

A Big Victory for Bars and Freedom in Ohio

February 25th, 2010 Matt Comments off

I’ve written in the past about how attorney Maurice Thompson of the Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is a true patriot and the most important figure in the fight to shrink Ohio’s government that you’ve probably never heard of.

Thompson has been defending Columbus-based Zeno’s bar, which the state has sued repeatedly for violating the smoking ban by allowing those health nuts you often find in bars lighting up. Thompson filed suit challenging the constitutionality of applying the ban to bars that restricted to people at least 21 years old.

And the court just ruled against state health department:

Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David E. Cain in Columbus has ruled that the state health department overstepped its legal authority in enforcing the state’s smoking ban against Zeno’s, a Columbus bar.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which defended Zeno’s in the case, has scheduled a news conference today, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the ramifications of the decision.

In his ruling, stamped Monday, Feb. 22, Cain declined to rule on the constitutionality of the smoking ban but vacated citations issued against Zeno’s.

Preventing bar owners from allowing their patrons to smoke is a ridiculous notion. And since the fines don’t penalize individual smokers, I have even heard stories where bars can send people into other bars to smoke and help their competition rack up massive fines. It sounds like this sort of nonsense appears to have  just stopped.

The enforcement of the smoking ban has been wildly inconsistent, and redirects money that could be spent by the state elsewhere. So far, taxpayers have paid $2 million for the ban since 2007, and the state has reportedly spent $3.2 million to identify businesses that are looking for infractions and to process them through the court systems.

And while this ruling doesn’t overturn the entire smoking ban or explicitly decide the constitutional question, its a HUGE step in the right direction!

It is so exciting that it makes me want to take up smoking. I’ve been meaning to become more like Don Draper anyway after watching three seasons of Mad Men on DVD.

But seriously, I really want to see these types of pro-liberty lawsuits continue, so I hope you join me in making a tax-deductible donation to the Buckeye Institute and joining the 1851 Center’s Facebook page for updates. AG Cordray’s office has already announced they will appeal this case, and fighting the state is extremely expensive.

Update: Marc Kovac posted video of Thompson’s press conference here.

The REAL State of the State

February 19th, 2010 Matt View Comments

The Buckeye Institute is under new leadership, and today President Matt Mayer dropped a bomb on policy debates in Ohio. Here is their fantastic new report, “State of the State: Two Decades of Weak Job Growth and Skyrocketing Government Costs Pose Daunting Challenges for Ohioans.”

This isn’t fluffy talk about farmers and trains. This is hard data. Make sure to look up your county:

Matt Mayer on Ted Strickland’s 3C Slow Train

February 5th, 2010 Matt Comments off

A great interview from Bob Connors with Buckeye Institute President Matt Mayer on 610 AM WTVN in Columbus:

If we didn’t have leaders like Gov. Strickland who would rather focus on gimmicks and Federal pork than improving the state’s business and tax climate, perhaps Bob Connors wouldn’t have been scared out of the state. (Most listeners don’t know, but he frequently does his show from his home in Florida, a state with no income tax.)

Considering how cutting-edge a 39 mph train is, perhaps Strickland’s next innovative plan will involve telegraph lines, river boats, or perhaps a horse-drawn carriage taxi service?

Matt Mayer, President of the Buckeye Institute, Discusses the Tighty-Whitey Terrorist

January 8th, 2010 Matt Comments off

Ohio Stimulus Update

November 18th, 2009 Matt Comments off

According to Lynn Walsh of the Buckeye Institute, not only do stimulus jobs cost more in Congressional districts controlled by Democrats, but jobs have been “saved or created” in districts that don’t exist.. such as District 00 or District 99.

But the question remains: In those pretend districts during the 2008 election, how many voters were “saved or created” by ACORN and company?

Issue 1 Update: Excessive Overtime for Columbus City Employees

July 26th, 2009 Matt View Comments

Lynn Walsh of the Buckeye Institute on Dirk Thompson’s radio show (610 AM WTVN) provided Columbus residents with some fascinating research they should keep in mind before voting for Mayor Mike Coleman’s proposed income tax increase:

Click here to listen.

The verbose callers on AM radio are always great fun, and I’d trust them to run the city long before handing the keys over to the tax-raising womanizer who currently runs the show. (Yeah, I said womanizer… As in saying: Mike Coleman probably wanted a Federal appointment from President Obama, but his FBI background check would read like a poorly-written, cheesy romance novel.)

Maurice Thompson, Fighting for Liberty

July 14th, 2009 Matt Comments off

On July 19th, I wrote a review of an Ohio Freedom Alliance event with Maurice Thompson of The Buckeye Institute.  Although my review was quite positive, some black helicopter society members on their forum were quite displeased that I have have no patience for conspiracy nuts.

The Buckeye Institute posted video of his speech today, and here it is in its entirety about what is going on at the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law:

FYI- If you work in the downtown-Columbus area, they are hosting a free “Milton Friedman Legacy for Freedom” luncheon on July 31 with Dan Lips, Education Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

Privitize the Arts

July 12th, 2009 Matt Comments off

The Columbus Dispatch’s theater critic, Michael Grossberg, reports that orchestras, art museums, and theater productions are feeling the pinch:

Click to continue reading “Privitize the Arts”

10 Ways to Reform the State Budget

July 6th, 2009 Matt Comments off

Mark Kilmer of the Buckeye Institute has a quick list of excellent, common sense examples of ways to reform and cut the state budget. Are you taking notes, Senate Republicans?

Ohio Freedom Alliance Meeting- Maurice Thompson & Alicia Healy

June 19th, 2009 Matt View Comments

The most important man in the uphill fight to shrink Ohio’s government, and you probably have never heard of him.

Click to continue reading “Ohio Freedom Alliance Meeting- Maurice Thompson & Alicia Healy”

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