Friday, October 30, 2009

On the Issues in Ohio November 2009 – including casinos!

Issue 1: Veteran Compensation Fund

Issue 1 would authorize the state of Ohio to borrow and spend $200 million to "provide compensation to Ohio veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts, and to pay for the administration of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts Compensation Bond Retirement Fund and the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts Compensation Fund." Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan would receive a $100 cash bonus for each month they served, not to exceed a total of $1,000 per veteran.
This is simple redistribution of wealth. Compounding this issue is that the state is bankrupt. And we are going to borrow more money? This inevitably results in higher taxes and a further corrosion of the Ohio economy in the long run.

I do support veterans. No price tag can ever be placed on their sacrifice. But it is important to remember that they do what they do in the name of freedom and liberty, not bureaucracy and red tape.

Andy votes NO!

Issue 2: Livestock Care Standards Board
The amendment proposes creating an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board for the purpose of establishing standards governing the care of livestock and poultry.

Again, why would we create a new bureaucracy of state workers to provide quality assurance for an industry that has not had any substantial quality issues for over 200 years. Where does the money come from to pay for this? I’ll tell you were it’s not coming from: it’s not coming from the people who have already left Ohio’s confiscatory tax structure for more economically free states. That leaves the rest of us to foot the bill on this one.

There is already a system in place to keep Ohio farmers at the top of the food production industry. It’s called the free market. If Farmer Brown’s flock or herd is of poor quality, then the supermarket will purchase food from Farmer Jones. And that system doesn’t cost you anything in higher taxes… if anything it means the best quality food at the lowest prices because both farmers Brown and Jones are competing for the sale to the supermarket.

Andy votes NO!

Issue 3: Casinos (hold tight, this is a big one boys and girls)

Issue 3, if approved, will amend the Ohio Constitution to allow casinos in
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.
A majority vote is required for initiative to be approved. A "yes" vote means voters approve of amending the Ohio Constitution to permit one casino each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.

My first objection to this is of a personal nature, and one of reverence to our system of government. I do not personally believe that amending the state constitution for something as trivial as to allow casino gambling is a valid enough reason to do so. The constitution of the state should only be amended for urgent or big issue items.

The arguments for are the arguments against:

While the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is in support of the casino initiative claiming there will be more jobs in the Buckeye State, their ulterior motive is that there will be a substantial crime increase surrounding the casinos. While profits from the casinos will go to the local government the FOP can request additional funding for police forces. Is creating more crime so that we can afford to further fund our police forces really the best way to provide security for our citizens? In fact that’s probably the worst way to do it. It is probably more proper to just stop funding the PR campaigns like “green” initiatives and “Commit To Be Fit” that in effect take money away from vital programs like police and fire departments and why cities are raising taxes.

Another argument for the casinos is that it keeps money in Ohio. Well, Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia all have casinos that Ohioans supposedly visit. By that logic nobody from those states will ever come to Ohio to gamble. Are there really enough Ohioans fleeing the state to support four casinos in Ohio? I’d like to see the market research numbers on that!

If that is the case then this state needs some serious gambling addiction counseling!

Remember those out-of-state casinos are profitable mostly because they have regional monopolies. Adding casinos in Ohio doesn’t necessarily mean that the same formula for success will happen here, but more likely you’ll just have a lot of less-successful places where gambling is allowed.

But the taxes will provide cities and counties with much needed revenue,right? Sure the casino tax rate will be the fourth highest in the country. THAT’S THE PROBLEM IN OHIO! Ohio is the forth highest taxed state in the country and thus jobs and people are fleeing Ohio for lower taxed states. If you tax the hell out of the casino it could potentially operate at a loss. If the Casino fails then we have more empty buildings in Ohio and none of the jobs that were promised.

There’s a lot of money going into a multimedia ad campaign selling Ohioans on this casino… but what if it doesn’t deliver what it promises? It’s possible. It happened in Pittsburgh which has an economy not unlike that of Cleveland or Cincinnati.

Remember: never trust a pushy salesman. They never really have your interest in mind.

Andy votes NO!

And if I were a member of ACORN I’d vote no six or eight times!