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00:00:28Association, representing
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00:00:33to create the excellent
00:00:33public schools.
00:00:35Every child deserves
00:00:35more at
00:00:39Upheaval of the state teachers
00:00:39pension fund with a vote
00:00:42to oust a chair
00:00:42and put in a new one,
00:00:44and a lawsuit
00:00:44to remove two members
00:00:47and two different views
00:00:48on two big issues
00:00:48being discussed in Ohio.
00:00:50Raising the minimum wage
00:00:52and eliminating the state
00:00:52income tax.
00:00:54That's this
00:00:54week in the state of Ohio.
00:01:15Welcome to the state of Ohio.
00:01:16I'm Karen Kasler.
00:01:18Turmoil at the $90 billion
00:01:18teacher's state pension fund
00:01:21has gone from the meeting room
00:01:21to the courtroom and back.
00:01:25Just hours
00:01:25before the state teachers
00:01:27retirement system's
00:01:27monthly board meeting.
00:01:29Attorney General
00:01:29Dave Yost filed a lawsuit
00:01:29to remove two board members
00:01:32he says are trying to steer
00:01:32most of the funds money
00:01:35to a private investment
00:01:35company to benefit themselves.
00:01:39Retired teachers
00:01:40have been angry
00:01:40that their cost of living
00:01:41adjustment was suspended
00:01:41for five years.
00:01:44They've backed
00:01:44elected board members
00:01:46and calling
00:01:46for more transparency
00:01:47and changes
00:01:47in the fund's investments.
00:01:50And governor Mike DeWine
00:01:51stress appointee
00:01:51Wade Steen joined them.
00:01:54Last summer, DeWine removed
00:01:54Stein for missing meetings.
00:01:57sued to get his seat back.
00:01:59Now, Yost,
00:01:59who said he was investigating
00:02:02a link between board members
00:02:02and that private investment
00:02:05is suing to remove Stein.
00:02:07He's. He's
00:02:07hiding behind litigation.
00:02:09It's defamatory.
00:02:09It's not true.
00:02:12I thought there was going
00:02:13to be a fair,
00:02:13impartial investigation.
00:02:16I guess this might be
00:02:17the fastest investigation
00:02:17ever done in Ohio history.
00:02:22But we're going to defend this
00:02:24None of it's
00:02:24true. It's all false.
00:02:27Yost is also suing to oust
00:02:27Rudi fit and bomb,
00:02:30with members
00:02:30backed by retired teachers,
00:02:32comprising a majority
00:02:32on the STRs board.
00:02:35They voted this
00:02:36week to oust the chair
00:02:36and put them in charge.
00:02:40DeWine says he wants to ensure
00:02:40that STRs remain solvent.
00:02:43And he said there's
00:02:44important evidence in the form
00:02:44of an anonymous letter
00:02:47outlining Strauss's
00:02:47concerns about Stein
00:02:50and 15 bombs, relationships
00:02:50with that untested
00:02:53private investment company.
00:02:54So that was my grave concern.
00:02:57So going forward, I think
00:02:57the real the real question is,
00:03:02you know,
00:03:02how is these investments made?
00:03:06the teachers deserve, to get
00:03:06the best return on the money.
00:03:10They can. We're all for that.
00:03:12they also deserve to have
00:03:12the board, not waste money.
00:03:16It's thought the anonymous
00:03:16letter came from STRS
00:03:20Yost, spokesperson
00:03:21said in an emailed statement
00:03:21that reads in part,
00:03:24this lawsuit
00:03:24allows us to obtain
00:03:26the discovery documents
00:03:26necessary to finding
00:03:28answers to the allegations.
00:03:30This is a step in the process
00:03:30to ensure
00:03:32that we continue to fight
00:03:32to protect
00:03:34teacher's hard
00:03:34earned retirement dollars.
00:03:37Backers of a plan to hike
00:03:37the minimum wage to $15
00:03:40starting in 2026
00:03:42are circulating petitions
00:03:42for a constitutional amendment
00:03:44for this fall's ballot,
00:03:44the same one on
00:03:47which Ohio voters will pick
00:03:47for president. U.S. Senate.
00:03:50All 15 members of Congress,
00:03:51the 99 members of the Ohio
00:03:51House, 16 members of the state
00:03:54Senate, and three justices
00:03:54for the Ohio Supreme Court.
00:03:58There are studies
00:03:58on both sides on how boosting
00:04:00the minimum
00:04:00wage is a good or bad thing.
00:04:03But one fact is certain voters
00:04:03in states across the country
00:04:07have approved minimum
00:04:07wage increases every time
00:04:10they've been presented,
00:04:10with one going back to 1996.
00:04:14I talked about that
00:04:14and more with Hannah Halbert
00:04:16from Policy Matters, Ohio,
00:04:16a progressive research group,
00:04:19and Greg Lawson
00:04:19from the Buckeye
00:04:20a conservative think tank.
00:04:23So let's start
00:04:23with minimum wage.
00:04:25People working 40 hours a week
00:04:27to make a livable wage,
00:04:28according to the arguments
00:04:28for the minimum wage.
00:04:31So, Greg,
00:04:31I want to ask you increase
00:04:32the minimum wage could improve
00:04:34performance and retention,
00:04:36which could lead to higher
00:04:36customer satisfaction.
00:04:38It could increase demand
00:04:39for services and goods
00:04:39because lower
00:04:41income families would have
00:04:41more money to spend,
00:04:43and it could lift families
00:04:43out of crime and reduce racial
00:04:46and gender inequalities,
00:04:46perhaps even lower crime.
00:04:51what's wrong with that?
00:04:52I think the challenge is,
00:04:54how much is it being raised?
00:04:55How fast is it being raised?
00:04:57These are two
00:04:57critical factors,
00:04:58because if you do it
00:04:58super fast,
00:05:00you could end up
00:05:00with a situation
00:05:01where the the businesses
00:05:01aren't able to adjust.
00:05:04And I'm not talking
00:05:04about so much big businesses.
00:05:06I think most big businesses
00:05:07today are probably paying at
00:05:07or above the minimum wage.
00:05:11a lot of what you're finding
00:05:12is service sector jobs,
00:05:12but a lot of smaller
00:05:14kind of companies
00:05:14and smaller businesses
00:05:16that may not have access
00:05:16to large reservoirs
00:05:19of capital
00:05:19and money like that.
00:05:20Those are the kind of folks
00:05:22that this has the potential
00:05:22to do some damage to.
00:05:25so the concern
00:05:25that we would have is,
00:05:26does it cause
00:05:26certain businesses to,
00:05:29not be able to hire
00:05:29as many people?
00:05:30That's obviously
00:05:30the big problem,
00:05:33the reality of a minimum wage
00:05:33is it's
00:05:34definitely going to help
00:05:34people who get it right,
00:05:36because for all the reasons
00:05:36that you just cited.
00:05:38The problem,
00:05:39though, is
00:05:39what happens to people
00:05:40who don't get jobs, at all
00:05:40in the first place.
00:05:43It's sort of the unseen factor
00:05:43that doesn't
00:05:46always show itself up.
00:05:47And so I think that people
00:05:47need to understand
00:05:49that there are sometimes
00:05:49economic consequences.
00:05:51You do too much.
00:05:52And we're already seeing this,
00:05:52by the way.
00:05:54We're seeing it in
00:05:54a lot of fast food
00:05:55restaurants, for example,
00:05:56you're seeing the kiosk
00:05:56ization of of things,
00:05:59and we're gonna have to start
00:06:00how to tap the screen
00:06:00a lot better and go backwards.
00:06:04that's actually not that bad.
00:06:05But I will say.
00:06:06Out raising the wage,
00:06:06we're seeing automation.
00:06:09The fact is, is that
00:06:11human employees
00:06:11are never going
00:06:13to be the robots
00:06:13when it comes to price.
00:06:16Never going to happen,
00:06:17especially if our goal
00:06:18is to have human employees
00:06:18able to, like, feed themselves
00:06:22and take care of themselves
00:06:23well enough
00:06:23to show up in a way
00:06:25that allows them
00:06:25to be productive.
00:06:27It's just not going to work.
00:06:29We've heard that argument,
00:06:32really for all time when
00:06:34it comes to humans
00:06:34and technology.
00:06:37The fact is, is that
00:06:38technology makes workers
00:06:38more productive.
00:06:41It increases wealth
00:06:41in our society.
00:06:44And the
00:06:44if we really care about that,
00:06:47we should be looking
00:06:47at policies
00:06:49that ensure that they increase
00:06:52That increased wealth
00:06:52is broadly shared,
00:06:55that we're not cut out minimum
00:06:55wage has has nothing to.
00:07:00It's not going to slow
00:07:00the oncoming robots.
00:07:04We're never going to beat them
00:07:04on purpose.
00:07:06I want to ask you about
00:07:06some of the specifics here.
00:07:08I, I believe I said
00:07:08lift families out of crime,
00:07:11but I met with families
00:07:11out of poverty.
00:07:12So I want to make sure
00:07:12I got that clear.
00:07:14But, Hannah, let me ask you,
00:07:14a higher minimum wage hurts
00:07:17the job creators
00:07:17is the other argument.
00:07:19Labor costs would increase,
00:07:20margins would get tighter.
00:07:22That could lead to job cuts
00:07:22and more automation.
00:07:24Like Greg was saying,
00:07:26Perhaps that could mean
00:07:26goods and services
00:07:28would cost more,
00:07:28because that won't.
00:07:31And that won't help people
00:07:31who are now making
00:07:34that higher minimum wage
00:07:35and a one size fits
00:07:35all approach might not help
00:07:37people who are living in areas
00:07:37with lower cost of living.
00:07:40So why?
00:07:41Let's talk about that.
00:07:43First, the job destruction
00:07:43argument is one,
00:07:47regardless of what policy
00:07:47we're talking about,
00:07:50whenever it's a policy
00:07:50designed to increase
00:07:53worker protections,
00:07:53to strengthen,
00:07:57working people,
00:07:58whether it's in the state
00:07:58or nationally,
00:08:00these are the same things
00:08:00we here. The fact is,
00:08:02is that Ohio raise
00:08:02the minimum wage in 2006.
00:08:05through a ballot initiative,
00:08:07the rate of increase
00:08:07between the 2006 model
00:08:12and what's
00:08:12proposed at the ballot now, or
00:08:12hopefully on the ballot now,
00:08:16is pretty similar.
00:08:18So we've experienced
00:08:18this already.
00:08:21These big claims
00:08:21about lots of job destruction.
00:08:25It's going cause
00:08:25all of this habit havoc.
00:08:27We're going to see,
00:08:27small businesses shuttering.
00:08:30It just hasn't borne out
00:08:30by the facts.
00:08:32And some of these jobs
00:08:32are essential jobs.
00:08:34Jobs we need.
00:08:35and I think
00:08:36this is actually getting
00:08:36to the point
00:08:36that what we would say is
00:08:38we need to improve
00:08:38our education system.
00:08:40We need to we're not doing
00:08:40very well with Stem.
00:08:42I think in Ohio.
00:08:42And that's not just Ohio.
00:08:44That's across the board.
00:08:45We are struggling to,
00:08:47I think, get the kind of jobs
00:08:47that we're wanting.
00:08:48Now. We've got Intel
00:08:48coming into Ohio,
00:08:50we've got all these tech jobs.
00:08:51Everybody's really
00:08:51especially in Central Ohio,
00:08:53everybody is talking
00:08:53about that.
00:08:54We need to do a better job
00:08:56of getting people
00:08:56those kind of skills,
00:08:57because at the end of the day,
00:08:57the minimum wage,
00:09:00nobody should actually be
00:09:00making them go
00:09:01wait for very long.
00:09:01Minimum wage
00:09:03should be an introductory
00:09:03sort of situation.
00:09:05I can't say that
00:09:06that doesn't happen
00:09:06to anybody,
00:09:07that somebody doesn't
00:09:07get stuck in a,
00:09:09in a tough situation
00:09:09in their life.
00:09:10And maybe they're, you know,
00:09:10in a job that is not,
00:09:13fulfilling all of their needs
00:09:13and things like that.
00:09:16But it really needs to be an
00:09:16introductory job that can be a
00:09:19ladder to more success
00:09:19as time goes on.
00:09:22So and we get to
00:09:22that success is
00:09:25we need to have better
00:09:27We need to have continue
00:09:28to look at regulatory reform
00:09:28and things like that
00:09:30that make it easier
00:09:30for the jobs
00:09:31that keep getting created.
00:09:32Of course, right now,
00:09:34I guess I would really harken
00:09:34to the education piece
00:09:35because we have a lot of job
00:09:36and not a lot of people
00:09:37filling some of the jobs.
00:09:39And this is a problem that you
00:09:39see with a lot of employers.
00:09:41And and so we need to
00:09:41really work on that skill set.
00:09:45I think you hear that from
00:09:45the DeWine administration.
00:09:46You see the lieutenant
00:09:47Husted talking about that
00:09:47all the time.
00:09:49And I think you're seeing
00:09:49the legislature
00:09:51talk more
00:09:51and more about partnerships.
00:09:52And how do we get that?
00:09:53Those are the things
00:09:53that we should really be
00:09:55about in terms of resolving.
00:09:56I think a lot of the issues
00:09:57that Hannah raised
00:09:57that are real issues about
00:09:59what does it mean, how do you
00:09:59take advantage of labor?
00:10:02if you don't have the skill
00:10:03sets to take advantage
00:10:03of the automation,
00:10:05then you don't
00:10:05get the productivity gains
00:10:07and the productivity gains
00:10:07or what
00:10:08actually give you wage gains.
00:10:10Otherwise, for people
00:10:10who are left behind,
00:10:12they are going to, as
00:10:12time goes on, be left behind.
00:10:16For every
00:10:16well-paying hard tech job
00:10:19which like, has not yet
00:10:22With the Intel, we're like,
00:10:24look at the number of folks
00:10:24out there on the spot.
00:10:26Now, the delays,
00:10:29you're going to have
00:10:29some janitors, you're
00:10:31going to have a fast
00:10:31food worker,
00:10:33you're going to have a child
00:10:33care provider,
00:10:35you're going to have a home
00:10:35health care aide.
00:10:37All of those
00:10:37professions are needed.
00:10:40They're important.
00:10:41They make society go.
00:10:44Those workers
00:10:44are not going to go away.
00:10:48And what you're really saying
00:10:48whenever you're saying, well,
00:10:52they should just
00:10:52earn their way out of it,
00:10:52is that there are some people
00:10:56who shouldn't be paid enough
00:10:56to survive.
00:11:00And in Ohio, raising
00:11:00the minimum wage up to $15
00:11:05as per the ballot initiative,
00:11:05we've not modeled.
00:11:08Senator Blessing's
00:11:08proposal. Yet.
00:11:09I was just going to ask you
00:11:09about that.
00:11:11The ballot initiative
00:11:11will move a million people,
00:11:14million people in Ohio.
00:11:16That's not folks who are just
00:11:16down on their luck.
00:11:19Those are folks
00:11:19who are working hard every day
00:11:22trying to get 40 hours,
00:11:24I'm sure, or maybe string in
00:11:24a 2 or 3 of these together.
00:11:29they deserve to eat without
00:11:29the need for food stamps.
00:11:32I want to ask about Senator
00:11:32Bill Blessing's bill
00:11:34that would raise
00:11:35the minimum wage to $15
00:11:35an hour starting in 2028.
00:11:38So it would go up over
00:11:38four years,
00:11:40in contrast
00:11:41to the
00:11:41constitutional amendment,
00:11:43which is not
00:11:43on the ballot yet,
00:11:44but the signatures
00:11:44are being gathered
00:11:46that would raise
00:11:47the minimum wage to $15
00:11:47an hour starting in 2026.
00:11:51And of course,
00:11:51a constitutional amendment
00:11:52can't be changed. A law can.
00:11:54So what are your thoughts?
00:11:56I mean, ballot initiatives,
00:11:56when they go to voters,
00:12:00they haven't.
00:12:00Minimum wage
00:12:01ballot initiatives
00:12:01have not lost since the 1990s.
00:12:04So it seems likely
00:12:04that this is going to happen.
00:12:06Well, I'd be surprised
00:12:06if it makes the ballot,
00:12:08and I think it probably will.
00:12:08I think it's likely to pass.
00:12:10I think that's just the
00:12:10reality of the situation now.
00:12:13I think the Senator blessings
00:12:15I give him credit
00:12:16for trying to figure this out
00:12:16and do something
00:12:18I we probably can't
00:12:18be supportive
00:12:20of the concept inherently,
00:12:20but I think it's
00:12:22better than what
00:12:22the alternative is.
00:12:25I think there's a couple
00:12:25of other provisions
00:12:26in there
00:12:26that that are important.
00:12:27It's a little bit
00:12:27slower in there.
00:12:29It also the problem with the
00:12:31not a big problem
00:12:31with the ballot issue
00:12:32is it
00:12:32applies to tipped workers.
00:12:34And so
00:12:35I think
00:12:35what you're going to see,
00:12:35and I'll be shocked
00:12:37if this doesn't come out
00:12:38in some of the campaign
00:12:38materials as time moves on,
00:12:41but you're going
00:12:41to see some tip workers,
00:12:42I'm sure you'll see
00:12:42people saying,
00:12:43yeah, it's going to help us.
00:12:44And I think you're gonna see
00:12:44some people from other states
00:12:46where this has happened
00:12:48say, well, actually,
00:12:48this might be a problem
00:12:50for tipped workers
00:12:50because tipped workers
00:12:52actually typically
00:12:52if you their wage,
00:12:52their standard wage
00:12:55might be below
00:12:55what the minimum wage is.
00:12:56But when you factor
00:12:56in all the tips
00:12:58that they make,
00:12:58it might not be.
00:12:59Now, I think
00:12:59that's going to be a question.
00:13:02and you're starting to see
00:13:02a little bit of tip fatigue
00:13:04because you're starting to see
00:13:05this show up
00:13:05in everything that you do.
00:13:08And if you have this increase
00:13:10in labor costs,
00:13:10it's going to get embedded
00:13:12in the cost of all the stuff
00:13:12you do.
00:13:14It's going to and by the way,
00:13:14a lot of people aren't
00:13:16to like higher cost of living.
00:13:17That's going to happen.
00:13:18Let me and so we have to.
00:13:19Deal with this, $20 hamburger
00:13:19or whatever,
00:13:23like there are places
00:13:23not just in the United States,
00:13:27but elsewhere in the world
00:13:27that pay much higher
00:13:30minimum wages and have lower
00:13:30costs on hamburgers.
00:13:34The fact is,
00:13:34a lot of these businesses
00:13:36are going to
00:13:36raise their prices whenever
00:13:36the public will tolerate it.
00:13:40And at least
00:13:40with the minimum wage,
00:13:43you have some direction
00:13:44shifting that money
00:13:44to the working
00:13:47people who are providing
00:13:47that product.
00:13:49It just is.
00:13:50You know, it's
00:13:50one of those policies
00:13:52that actually does lift
00:13:52all boats.
00:13:55And I know that policy
00:13:56Ohio is on board with the,
00:13:59constitutional amendment.
00:13:59And you said you not
00:14:00modeled out
00:14:00Senator Blessing's.
00:14:02But I do want to ask you,
00:14:03his bill include something
00:14:03that's been long supported
00:14:05by low income advocates,
00:14:05and that's the refundable
00:14:08earned income tax credit.
00:14:10So, yeah,
00:14:10why not go along with that?
00:14:12It's hey, look, the
00:14:12the policy is great.
00:14:16Policy matters.
00:14:17getting more people money
00:14:19into working people's pockets
00:14:19as quickly as we can,
00:14:23without large
00:14:23economic disruptions.
00:14:25Senator Blessing's
00:14:25bill is a path to do that.
00:14:28But there are real problems
00:14:28with it.
00:14:31One has already been
00:14:32It is not protected.
00:14:34There's no protections,
00:14:34in that legislation,
00:14:38if passed that,
00:14:38the legislature come
00:14:41right back and slow it down
00:14:41to remove critical components.
00:14:45And that's really needed.
00:14:46That happened in Michigan.
00:14:48We've seen that play out
00:14:48in reality.
00:14:50And knowing the history of
00:14:50this particular legislature,
00:14:55I wouldn't be surprised to see
00:14:55with additional pressure
00:14:59from the business associations
00:15:01or the restaurant association
00:15:01that they make that call.
00:15:04In fact, this bill
00:15:05and thank goodness
00:15:05Senator Blessing
00:15:07has been
00:15:07very forthright in it.
00:15:10He says that this bill
00:15:10is a response to the ballot
00:15:12initiative and from the
00:15:12restaurant association.
00:15:16So there is no guarantee
00:15:16or promises.
00:15:19no way I would give up the,
00:15:21the potential legislation
00:15:21for something certain,
00:15:24like the constitutional
00:15:26we could talk about this
00:15:26all day,
00:15:27but I want to move on
00:15:28to the other thing
00:15:28I want to talk about,
00:15:29which is the elimination
00:15:29of the income tax.
00:15:31And this is an idea
00:15:31that Republicans
00:15:32have talked
00:15:32about going back to former
00:15:34Governor John Kasich
00:15:34and maybe even before that,
00:15:37there is a bill
00:15:37that would actually do that,
00:15:41phase it out
00:15:41and also eliminate the rest of
00:15:41the commercial activity tax.
00:15:45on May 7th, the Ohio
00:15:45Office Budget Management
00:15:47released its monthly revenue
00:15:47data from April
00:15:50showing a little over
00:15:51$1 billion in personal income
00:15:51tax collections for April.
00:15:55Now, that
00:15:55is 13% lower than estimates.
00:15:59said that's because of higher
00:15:59than expected refunds.
00:16:02But last fiscal year,
00:16:04the personal income
00:16:04tax brought in $10.7 billion.
00:16:07The state budget
00:16:07just for general revenue
00:16:07funds was $42.5 billion.
00:16:11How on earth
00:16:11you make up that quarter
00:16:15of the General Revenue
00:16:15Fund budget?
00:16:17If there's no personal
00:16:17income tax?
00:16:19I think we have to be
00:16:19very careful.
00:16:21We've been on the record.
00:16:22and I'll say this,
00:16:22I think actually
00:16:24some of our local issues
00:16:24and local government
00:16:26issues and municipal
00:16:26income tax
00:16:27is probably actually
00:16:27more important now
00:16:29for the state
00:16:29than even further reductions
00:16:31to the state income tax.
00:16:32Those would probably possibly
00:16:32increase if.
00:16:34You got rid of it.
00:16:35So so I think we need to
00:16:35look at that.
00:16:36And I think what we have
00:16:36said is there is
00:16:39there are positive elements
00:16:39of how much growth
00:16:41you could see
00:16:41if you get rid of it.
00:16:43But I think you have to do it
00:16:43in a very smart way. Right.
00:16:45You can't just do it,
00:16:45in a very short time period.
00:16:48You have to have a long glide
00:16:50If you try to rapidly do it,
00:16:51going to have a major problem,
00:16:53but you can kind of
00:16:53grow your way out over time
00:16:55by doing it with a long glide
00:16:55path. That's point one.
00:16:57Point two is,
00:16:59I don't think that's
00:16:59in the legislation right now,
00:17:01but we have talked
00:17:01to legislators
00:17:03and we'll continue to talk
00:17:04what other states have done
00:17:04when they've been doing
00:17:06tax reform,
00:17:06which is to do revenue
00:17:08which means that
00:17:09if you have revenues
00:17:09that don't come in
00:17:11as the way you want them to,
00:17:13then there's a circuit
00:17:14And so you don't continue to
00:17:14do the march on the tax cut.
00:17:16I think that's a
00:17:17more responsible way
00:17:17because what it does, it
00:17:19says, okay, hey,
00:17:19we got a problem here.
00:17:21We we slow it down
00:17:22so that we're not doing
00:17:24that puts you
00:17:24in a budget hole,
00:17:25because I do think it's
00:17:25going to be not possible.
00:17:29and I can tell you, too, you
00:17:29know, we got to be realistic.
00:17:31We have Medicaid expenses.
00:17:33Medicaid is already
00:17:33the state budget,
00:17:35as former Governor
00:17:35Voinovich once called it.
00:17:37And it's not going to go away.
00:17:38Nursing homes alone
00:17:39are getting hundreds
00:17:39of millions of more dollars
00:17:41and are suing for more
00:17:41right now.
00:17:43and so that's happening.
00:17:44You've got the K-12
00:17:44education issue.
00:17:46We haven't fully funded
00:17:46the new, fair funding plan.
00:17:49So you've got that sort of
00:17:49situation, you've got school
00:17:51choice expenses that are
00:17:51obviously happening as well.
00:17:53And how do you. Pay
00:17:53for all of that?
00:17:54So it's ready to say welcome
00:17:54to the Policy Matters team.
00:17:58Their career. Absolutely. Look
00:18:02how we collect
00:18:03taxes is just as important
00:18:03as how we spend them.
00:18:06And the idea this march
00:18:06to zero on the personal income
00:18:10tax is just not nonsensical
00:18:10for this state.
00:18:15Ohioans are, looking at
00:18:15this is if if this happens,
00:18:20we're looking at cuts of like
00:18:2037% that is,
00:18:25health insurance for kids,
00:18:28It's just the idea
00:18:28that we are entertaining this
00:18:32in a state like Ohio,
00:18:34where the middle class
00:18:34has been squeezed
00:18:37and is being squeezed
00:18:37from all directions.
00:18:40Just what a waste of time.
00:18:43The estimate of one
00:18:43of the sponsors is that Ohio's
00:18:46economy would grow from $750
00:18:46billion to $1 trillion
00:18:49by 2030, and population
00:18:49growth would be more members
00:18:52of Congress.
00:18:54So this, how many times
00:18:54do we have to hear.
00:18:58Don't worry, it's
00:18:58going to trickle down.
00:19:00There will be a business boom
00:19:00unlike we've ever seen.
00:19:04The fact is,
00:19:04is that Ohio has been cutting
00:19:04the personal income tax.
00:19:08The only tax, by the way,
00:19:08that is based on a person's
00:19:12ability to pay it.
00:19:13which is a very important.
00:19:1538% of Ohioans
00:19:15do not pay the income doing.
00:19:18That for decades.
00:19:20And, you know,
00:19:20it took like a pandemic,
00:19:24recession, massive
00:19:24federal investments, the Chips
00:19:27act, huge additional
00:19:27tax breaks,
00:19:30and suddenly
00:19:30we're in a different age.
00:19:33The fact is, is that the taxes
00:19:36aren't creating the business
00:19:39It's having good schools,
00:19:39higher education,
00:19:42place that safe, a place
00:19:42that people want to live.
00:19:45And all those things
00:19:45take public resources.
00:19:48It's time we stop giving
00:19:50the top 1% a handout
00:19:50and start thinking about
00:19:54how do we build a tax program
00:19:54for the the 60%?
00:19:58Well, and we could do that
00:19:58if we had targeted tax credit.
00:20:02I think tax.
00:20:03Credits like the child tax
00:20:03credit they refundable EitC.
00:20:07That is in Blessing's bill,
00:20:07a refundable sales tax.
00:20:11Like there's tons of ideas
00:20:11and Greg like it's it's
00:20:15really incredible to hear you
00:20:15agreeing that you know maybe
00:20:19it's time we take the foot off
00:20:19the gas and and look at.
00:20:22So I think we need to be smart
00:20:22about what we do.
00:20:24And we need to get rid of the.
00:20:26Another thing
00:20:26that I think you would agree
00:20:27with is tax expenditures. It's
00:20:27something else that we do.
00:20:30We have
00:20:30what, over $11 billion,
00:20:30maybe even closer to 13.
00:20:33I'd have to look at the latest
00:20:33one. Looked at.
00:20:35And and and
00:20:35we should be looking at that.
00:20:37Because if we don't do that
00:20:37that's another thing.
00:20:39So so so how do you get to the
00:20:39if you wanted
00:20:41to do the income tax,
00:20:41how do you get there?
00:20:43It's got to be partly
00:20:43that it's got to be done
00:20:45over a longer period of time.
00:20:46There have to be revenue
00:20:48you have to have either
00:20:48either cuts or more likely,
00:20:52what you'd want to do
00:20:52is limit
00:20:53the growth of spending,
00:20:53which is something
00:20:55that has been talked
00:20:55about periodically in Ohio,
00:20:57which is,
00:20:58you know, do you tie
00:20:58growth of general revenues
00:21:00and things like that
00:21:00to population and growth?
00:21:02Because he's had a problem.
00:21:03The thing that I think is,
00:21:04is that government continues
00:21:04to grow in Ohio. Right?
00:21:06And it continues to grow,
00:21:06at a lot of different levels.
00:21:10It's not just at the state
00:21:11It can happen
00:21:11at the local level, too,
00:21:13but on a per capita basis,
00:21:13if you look at Florida
00:21:15and states
00:21:15that now Florida is different,
00:21:17I'm not trying to say
00:21:17we're going to
00:21:18have sunny beaches
00:21:18and everything else,
00:21:21but I so I understand that.
00:21:22But they have a lot
00:21:22less spending, but
00:21:25they have a lot less spending,
00:21:25on a per capita basis.
00:21:29And I and I think that's
00:21:29one of the questions is
00:21:31how are we structuring
00:21:31some of our government.
00:21:34Bodies in what you're able
00:21:34to do in terms of education,
00:21:37in terms
00:21:37of supporting people's health.
00:21:39Structure as. Well?
00:21:39Infrastructure, like we don't
00:21:39want Florida is not the goal.
00:21:44What we want is an Ohio
00:21:44that really does
00:21:47create a place for working.
00:21:49can have a middle class life
00:21:52where you can take
00:21:53your kids on vacation,
00:21:53where you can save for college
00:21:56or trade school,
00:21:57where you don't have to worry
00:21:57about living from paycheck to
00:22:02And you can't do that
00:22:02whenever you insist upon
00:22:05cutting the income tax
00:22:05so much.
00:22:08In order for the top
00:22:081% of the state
00:22:12to get a bigger cut,
00:22:12you can't do it.
00:22:15I want to ask you
00:22:15final question.
00:22:16If not,
00:22:16cutting the income tax,
00:22:19what about the flat tax,
00:22:19which is also been talked
00:22:20about going to like a 2.5%?
00:22:22I think that would make sense.
00:22:24And I and I think two key
00:22:24thing on the state level,
00:22:26it would too.
00:22:27And and I would
00:22:27I would say one thing
00:22:28that also needs to be
00:22:28looked at
00:22:29is that,
00:22:30you know, states all across
00:22:31the country are cutting
00:22:31the income tax and,
00:22:34and on now, you know, North
00:22:34Carolina, Georgia,
00:22:36I mean,
00:22:36lots of states are doing this.
00:22:37And one of the problems
00:22:37that you have is the notion
00:22:40that you can,
00:22:40you know, raise it or not,
00:22:42to try to stay competitive
00:22:43with other states,
00:22:43I think is problematic
00:22:45because other states are doing
00:22:45it. You're in a competition
00:22:48extremely competitive.
00:22:50And I so I think
00:22:50but I think that that's.
00:22:51You have a flat tax does not
00:22:51get you out of the problem.
00:22:54Well let let's think services
00:22:54and also delivering
00:22:59that's a cut for the richest
00:22:59folks whenever you buy.
00:23:02The but
00:23:02but I think the bottom line
00:23:02with all is the bottom line is
00:23:05you can't just stay static,
00:23:05because if you're not moving,
00:23:09you're going to be losing.
00:23:10And that is a problem to.
00:23:11Cut but tax entirely.
00:23:13Well, and I'm saying again
00:23:15we got to be very smart
00:23:15in how we do that.
00:23:16And I've been very clear
00:23:16about that.
00:23:18And and well Kansas screwed up
00:23:18and how they did it.
00:23:21They they didn't
00:23:21cut any spending.
00:23:23They didn't do any better
00:23:23than North Carolina. And.
00:23:26Well, and they have revenue
00:23:28which is something
00:23:28that I mentioned.
00:23:29And I'm
00:23:29going to keep mentioning that
00:23:30because that's the key piece.
00:23:31You can't just gut government
00:23:33You you can't do that.
00:23:35I mean, we want to
00:23:35restrain government.
00:23:37We want to keep it limited
00:23:38because we don't want it
00:23:38to take over the world.
00:23:41you know, like
00:23:41some kind of vast colossus.
00:23:43But you got to be smart
00:23:43about it.
00:23:44Once you've built it out, it's
00:23:46going to take time
00:23:46to adjust. Right?
00:23:47So that's why you need
00:23:47to be strategic about this.
00:23:50And one of the things that I
00:23:51are going to think about is
00:23:53if you're going
00:23:53to keep going down this road,
00:23:54how do we do it in a way
00:23:55that is sustainable
00:23:55and makes sense?
00:23:57I think there's arguments
00:23:58for why you want to go
00:23:58somewhat down the road.
00:24:01What do you go
00:24:01all the way down
00:24:02the road is going
00:24:02to be a question we can ask,
00:24:03and it might be hard to do
00:24:03in the next budget.
00:24:05I mean,
00:24:05the revenues are lower.
00:24:07like you mentioned
00:24:07before that,
00:24:08you know,
00:24:08how are we going to wrestle
00:24:09with that
00:24:09with all those expenses?
00:24:11So we need to be smart.
00:24:11We need to be strategic.
00:24:13I think the key thing,
00:24:13though, is
00:24:15you can't just
00:24:15raise these things in a world
00:24:17where everybody else
00:24:17is competing on this,
00:24:18because if you do that,
00:24:18you're going to have problems.
00:24:21And Ohio has a long standing.
00:24:22We have to leave it
00:24:22there. And unfortunately.
00:24:25Greg said the
00:24:26the goal at the end
00:24:26is to cut government overtime.
00:24:30And let me tell you,
00:24:30you can't have a middle class
00:24:33if you got government.
00:24:35I think I said
00:24:35not getting government
00:24:36overtime is what I said.
00:24:38You can't get government
00:24:38all at once, right? Yes.
00:24:42And if you want a middle
00:24:44you better have health care.
00:24:46You better have education,
00:24:46you better have a safety net.
00:24:50And, that's the thing
00:24:50that taxes afford.
00:24:53All right.
00:24:53And that is it for this week
00:24:53for my colleagues
00:24:55at the Statehouse News
00:24:55Bureau of Ohio
00:24:56Public Radio and Television.
00:24:56Thanks for watching.
00:24:59Please check out our website
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