COLUMBUS — In 2013 Ohio Republicans raised taxes on thousands of seniors, forcing many of them to think twice about retirement — and now the Ohio GOP is back for more, putting unemployment insurance for working seniors on the chopping block.
“Under Governor John Kasich’s stalled economy, many Ohio seniors have been forced to keep working well into their retirement years, so they can afford food, housing and their prescriptions,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Now the Ohio GOP wants to harm working seniors and slash their unemployment compensation if they’re laid off. No other state has adopted this cruel and draconian measure, so I suppose the Ohio Republicans can be applauded for being creative in their latest attack on seniors. While the GOP is doing the bidding of special interests and their lobbyist friends, Ohio Democrats will fight to protect our seniors and ensure workers receive the full unemployment insurance they’ve earned, no matter how old they are.”
According to Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch, “Thousands of elderly and disabled Ohioans no longer would qualify for unemployment benefits” under the proposed House Bill 394, which was authored by Republican Rep. Barbara Sears. The Dispatch also noted “Ohio would be the only state in the nation to deduct 100 percent of a person’s Social Security from jobless benefits.”
The Ohio budget signed into law by Kasich in 2013 was the first salvo in the Ohio GOP’s war against seniors. It slashed eligibility for a homestead property tax exemption for all Ohio seniors, eliminated a property tax offset on new levies and increased sales taxes — all of which had a disproportionate impact on older Ohioans.
Kasich’s disdain for seniors was on full display earlier this year when he told a New Hampshire town hall attendee that baby boomers might see cuts to Social Security and seniors are “going to have to get over it.”