Cognitive dissonance

We just returned from gloomy and damp Ohio; it’s not the missus’ fault that she’s from a state where the sun seems to need a twice-yearly government permit to shine.

Ohio voters this past week also showed themselves to be gloomy and damp: they voted, by a large majority, to repeal Gov. John Kasich’s attempt to bring fiscal sanity to Ohio. Being in Ohio in the election’s aftermath, one might be forgiven for thinking that some combination of Torquemada and Adolf Hitler had been defeated at the polls.

The problem? Public employee unions had gotten fat and groggy on inflated wages and pensions. Naturally, big labor campaigned hard, and poured millions of out-of-state money into the fight. Worst of all, the unions trotted out unionized police, firemen, and teachers who would, apparently, be tortured, drawn, and quartered, and their heads put on pikes in the state capital if Gov. Kasich’s heinous plans remained in law.

Such is it always. The joke used to be, when the U.S. Park Service was threatened with budget cuts, it would announce that the Washington Monument, arguably its most iconic and popular attraction, would be the first to be closed.

Among union members, its for certain that most folks like police, firemen, and teachers a whole lot better than surly DMV employees and other government slugs. So, don’t vote to repeal Kasich’s law, and you and your children will be raped, killed, your homes razed, your crops burned, your land salted because there would be no police or firemen to protect you.

So, where’s the cognitive dissonance come in? It’s simple: Ohio is in trouble, and Ohio voters don’t make the connection between excessive costs of unionized public employees and the state’s budget deficits. Which, sooner or later, must be paid.

Via The Daily Caller, a Republican consultant had this to say, which echoes what I’d also heard while in Ohio:

The short-term effect is that a lot of cities and governments in Ohio are going to find it hard to keep up with the escalating cost of health care and retirement…They are going to have to either lay-off people, raise taxes, or file for bankruptcy.

Long-term, this is going to make it hard for Ohio to remain competitive with other states … as businesses are going to look to places where it’s cheaper to do business where unions aren’t as strong.

While Ohio’s probable losses of businesses to right-to-work states like Virginia may be good for us here in Virginia, they’re obviously quite bad for Ohio.

Sooner or later, the piper must be paid. The current situation in Ohio and other states with huge union salary, benefits, and pension legacies can not hold. Who will suffer when layoffs begin? The citizens of Ohio.

Way to go, Buckeyes. Oh, and Ohio State lost, on Saturday, to Purdue. A sign of things to come?


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