Thursday, December 07, 2006

Random thoughts

Olentangy School District
Olentangy superintendent sees the need for an operating levy in calendar year 2007 while the district's own documents show no such need. He forgets to mention that a November levy has the same effect on the taxpayers and the district as a May levy. Both raise tax collections starting in 2008 and provide the same revenue stream. So, if you don't need a levy in May, you still don't need one in November. Also, the claim that waiting until 2008 will adversely effect district operations is specious. A levy in 2008 along with a loan against future tax revenue will easily satisfy the current, and high, level of operational expenditures. And, if the superintendent finally proposes and enacts the cost reductions he claims to have found, no loan will be needed in 2008 as no levy will be needed until 2009.

In addition, let's not forget the reductions noted in the elusive State Standard Analysis, a report that was prepared for the district at the administration's recommendation, and funded by tax dollars. Though his report was delivered to the district nine months ago, it has never seen the glare of sunshine. A report so revealing that it hasn't been shared with the public, or the even with the board in a public meeting. If the public was able to read the report, they may reach the conclusion that a levy is not needed until 2009.[1]

The New Minimum Wage Amendment
Michael Les Benedict has a letter in this morning's Columbus Dispatch where he supports the new minimum wage in Ohio and claims that the onus for showing that the amendment is harmful falls on us freemarketers. You see, he admits jobs will be lost but makes it our challenge to find out how many jobs are actually lost. Because, as he puts it: The economic question is whether the minimum wage was set so high that a significant number of jobs will be lost. Significant is a value-laded term in this context. I would assume that even one job lost is significant to the recipient of the pink slip. Not so fast, Benedict will decided if the lost job is significant in his eyes. While the newly unemployed are hitting the government lines, they can warm themselves in the fact that it is in their best interest to be unemployed. Go ask Benedict. Quite an omniscient man, this Benedict.

The Statewide Smoking Ban
According to the Columbus Dispatch, we now find that truckers who drive company trucks are violating the new law when they smoke inside the cab. State health department spokesman, Kristopher Weiss, states that it is unlikely that anyone would report a smoking truck driver. Is he crazy? Ten years ago most of us would have thought a statewide amoking ban was unlikely. I'm certain that the do-gooders who sought the smoking ban will have no problem finking on the smoking trucker. Those of this ilk just had Crisco banned in New York City restaurants. These folks will not sleep until they control all behaviors. Sorry, truckers. Their eyes will be on you.

[1] Of course, I do possess a copy of the report, and with a public records request, so can you.

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