Berry: Issues 2 and 3 threaten your freedomWritten by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opponents of Issue 2 have claimed that the issue’s proponents will say anything in its defense. All right then, let’s go all the way crazy and say that Issues 2 and 3 are both about your freedom.
Let’s get one freedom-related matter out of the way. The claim that Seante Bill 5, which Issue 2’s failure would repeal, restricts rights to collective bargaining is wrong; on the contrary, it expressly provides for collective bargaining. Also, the claim that it restricts any right to negotiate staffing levels is moot, because emergency workers do not have that right under current law. The freedom that Issues 2 and 3 does affect is your freedom as a taxpayer and citizen.
Let’s start with Issue 3. While certainly not generating as much heat as Issue 2, Issue 3 is also important, as it will add to the state constitution three provisions: That within the state, no law or rule shall force participation in health care systems, prohibit the purchase or sale of health care and health insurance, or impose fines and penalties for such sales or purchases.
The underlying theme of those three provisions is protection of your liberty. Issue 3 was crafted specifically as a defense against provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, aka Obamacare, that would: Force you under law to participate in health care programs even if doing so is not in your best interest; prohibit you from purchasing health care that doesn’t fit its myriad proscriptions; and penalize you financially for failure to comply.
In other words, Obamacare takes away substantial portions of your freedom. It restricts your ability to choose the health care that you want, and it restricts your right to do with your property as you choose by imposing three direct mandatory financial burdens on you: Higher costs for care; forced payment for coverage you don’t want or need; and harsh penalties for noncompliance. Issue 3 cannot address the higher costs of care that Obamacare is already causing, but it will protect your freedom from the other two direct burdens of premiums and penalties.
Issue 2 likewise pertains to your freedom. Unlike Issue 3, the circumstances addressed by Issue 2 do not immediately restrict your right to make personal choices. But if Issue 2 fails, your property rights will be compromised in the same manner as under Obamacare. Consequently, as we will see, your overall liberty will also be reduced.
To continue the present system of public employee pension giveaways without the additional employee contributions provided for in SB5, you, the taxpayer, will be forced to pay more in taxes, thereby restricting your freedom to do as you please with your money, or protection of your property will be compromised. Conceivably, both could occur.
Perversely, Issue 2’s Big Labor, We Are (Not) Ohio opponents predict that cuts in emergency services are inevitable should it carry, because it would mean that management, the bane of Big Labor, would decide staffing levels. But this outcome is much more likely if it fails, because local governments will either have to lay off personnel and reduce services or go bankrupt unless you forfeit more of your property rights to underwrite their unsustainable agreements.
If you think this argument, that Issues 2 and 3 are in the end about your liberty, is preposterous, then please contemplate this quote from John Adams, our second president: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist.”
Adams was not only describing the breakdown of social order should property not be protected from theft and destruction. With the passage of federal legislation that requires you to either purchase health care or to pay punitive taxes on the one hand, and continued handouts of exorbitant benefits to public employees on the other, the common theme is a crass disregard for his wisdom.
In the halls of government, it is not property that is sacred, but rather the accretion, protection and wielding of power; the result is legislation and deal-making that sacrifices the liberty and private property rights of the taxpayer while allowing the tyranny required to enforce those sacrifices to expand. If our liberty is to be preserved, so too must our property rights be preserved, and Issues 2 and 3 are steps toward that preservation.
I am Ohio, and so is every Ohioan who favors Issues 2 and 3.
Contact Thomas Berry of the Children of Liberty at www.meetup.com/The-children-of-liberty.