A letter from a teacher, getting to the heart of a lot of the anger about SB5 we hear from other teachers and public employees.

Senate Bill Five is an attempt to scapegoat public workers for an economic crisis that began in the private sector with Governor Kasich’s blessing. Now, members of the Ohio legislature want to strip workers of their pay, benefits, and rights, knowing full well that the state’s economic problems are by no means related to those workers.

As a congressman, Kasich voted and lobbied for the complex laws that allowed financial institutions to destroy the national economy, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. Kasich and Governor Walker in Wisconsin want to scapegoat public sector workers for problems that began, with their approval, in the private sector!

Firefighters and teachers in Dayton did not peddle and trade risky mortgage securities for self-serving banks. Police and EMTs in Cleveland had nothing to do with the government bailing out financial institutions that engaged in the gross mishandling of people’s lives and fortunes. Corrections officers and nurses in Cincinnati did not develop a system of shadow banks that wrote off-balance derivatives, nor did they have anything to do with bait-and-switch predatory lending. Still, the legislature wants to blame public workers.

Rather than creating scapegoats, Kasich should reexamine his role in the financial crisis. In order to protect middle class public-sector workers, voters should vote no on Issue Two.

Matthew Blair