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BackgroundEdit

  • In 2006, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Case Western Reserve University. Teacher at Case since 1966. Served as the Chair of the Economics Department for six years.

Peirce’s published works include: Bureaucratic Failure and Public Expenditure, The Economics of the Energy Industries, and Technological Innovation and Industrial Leadership (co-authored with Bela Gold, Gerhard Rosegger, and Mark Perlman), as well as many journal articles and book chapters. He has lectured at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Mannheim in Germany.

IssuesEdit

Plans for OhioEdit

Freedom to ProsperEdit

Bill Peirce has a three point plan to immediately improve Ohio’s economy. A better economy will lead to better jobs, better incomes, and better lives for all Ohioans.

Step One: Lift the Roadblocks to Growth

  • Eliminate all of the tax increases included in the Taft budget, especially the commercial activities tax (CAT).
  • Limit the growth of state spending to no more than the change in population plus inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).
  • End the state monopoly on Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Let firms choose among private insurance companies and phase out the state Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.
  • Encourage the choice of Medical Savings Accounts to introduce personal choice and individual responsibility into the market for medical care, including Medicaid. Reduce the costs of Medicaid without changing benefits by updating its 1970’s era computer system, introducing new management techniques, reducing the bureaucracy, and eliminating special interest pork.
  • End special favors to particular businesses. Reduce taxes and regulations so that all businesses have an equal chance.

Step Two: Protect Private Property

  • Protect homes, businesses, and farms from “eminent domain” abuse by forbidding the government from taking your land to build shopping malls, parking lots, and other private developments.
  • Reform the property tax to exempt homes and other improvements. This will allow market forces to improve private development without eminent domain and stop penalizing property owners for improving their land.

Step Three: Improve Education

  • Allow parental and school choice in education. A $3,000 state grant will be given to any school, public or private, chosen by the parents to instruct their child.
  • Give student admission and disciplinary authority to the the school and its principal, without regard to the student’s place of residence.

Freedom to Prosper for IndividualsEdit

Individuals - A Prosperous Ohio

Individuals in the new economy of the 21st century require strength, flexibility, skills, and freedom to prosper. The first priority of the Peirce administration is to lift the roadblocks to growth.

The residents of Ohio are suffering through the difficult transition from an economy based on heavy industry to one of small, nimble, highly competitive firms without the support of its state government. Unfortunately, our politicians and state officials are still thinking in the past.

We are entering the 21st century with the highest taxes, the most burdensome regulations, and the most intrusive government in our history. Political favoritism and corruption have resulted in an oppressive and stifling place to do business. This is exactly the opposite of what you need to prosper.

While most of America is growing at a rapid pace, Ohio is one of the few states that is actually shrinking.

This is not a coincidence.

What can Individuals expect from Peirce’s plan, Freedom to Prosper?

  • Lower taxes. We will deliver the tax cuts planned by this legislature without creating any new taxes. The CAT tax will be eliminated with the rest of the Republicans’ new taxes.
  • More freedom to start your own business without restrictive regulations and unnecessary licenses.
  • Protection of your home and property from “Eminent Domain” abuse and “Bogus Blight”
  • Freedom to choose where your child attends school without residential restrictions.
  • A $3,000 grant to help you pay for your child’s education.

HomeownersEdit

Protect Private PropertyEdit

Over the last 30 years, Americans have witnessed the slow erosion of their rights to own property, and to use their property as they see fit.

“Eminent Domain” is the power of government to take your home and to use your land as our politicians decide.

Bill Peirce wants a Constitutional limit on Eminent Domain Abuse. Eminent Domain is abused when governments take your homes away to build shopping malls, parking lots, and private developments. Libertarians were successful in fighting eminent domain abuse in Lakewood, Ohio, and perhaps the Supreme Court will hear the notorious Norwood case.

Carl and Joy Gamble lived in this home in Norwood, Ohio until they were forced to move for a shopping mall. More pictures of the Norwood situation.
For more information on Eminent Domain Abuse please visit The Institute for Justice and the Castle Coalition.

Property Tax ReformEdit

Under Ohio’s current system, property owners are actually penalized for improving their home or land. The more you build, the better it looks, the more money you pay in taxes.

It is no wonder that over time, homes and businesses begin to look run-down. Our government penalizes us for looking successful by increasing our property taxes.

Bill Peirce has a new plan for property tax reform. Under Bill’s plan, homeowners would pay a tax based on the inherent value of their land and its location. Any improvements to the property would not be taxed. This encourages development, and encourages people to improve their homes without the fear of higher taxes.

Small BusinessEdit

Reducing Taxes and RegulationEdit

Small business and the entrepreneurial spirit are critical to the future growth of Ohio.

The Peirce administration will be dedicated to freeing the talent, capital, and hard work of Ohio’s entrepreneurs. The current tax and regulatory system penalizes Ohio business. This puts Ohioans at disadvantage, not only among other states, but internationally as well.

The first goal of the Peirce administration will be the reduction of the high tax burden in Ohio. This is the most important part of modernizing Ohio’s anti-business taxation system. The elimination of the tangible personal property tax and the estate or death tax are all key components to encouraging growth in the small-business sector of the economy.

To accomplish this goal, we will deliver the tax cuts recently planned by the Ohio legislature:

  • A 21 percent across-the-board reduction on personal income taxes
  • Complete elimination of the tangible personal property tax
  • Partial elimination of the Ohio estate or “death” tax
  • Elimination of the corporate franchise tax

And replace the Republican tax increases with further cuts:

  • Eliminate the new tax called the Commercial Activity Tax applied on all gross sales made in Ohio

This new tax includes all services, including legal and accounting services.

  • Eliminate the rest of the estate tax.
  • Reinstate the 10 percent property rollback on commercial/industrial property
  • Eliminate the entire one-cent sales tax increase enacted that was set to expire in July, 2005.
  • Decrease the cigarette tax $1 per pack
  • Halve all tax rates on alcohol except spirituous liquor
  • Eliminate the 2002 Trust Tax changes
  • Decrease the Kilowatt Hour Tax by 30 percent

Ohio also needs to eliminate the Streamlined Sales Tax Project. This is an attempt to capture sales tax dollars lost to transactions made in other states. Under the plan, businesses will be required to track all sales that take delivery outside of their respective county and state. This a particular problem in Ohio since each county is allowed to add their own sales tax. The result is that small businesses must now know the sales tax rate of all 91 taxing jurisdictions in Ohio, plus any state they ship to.

Worker’s Compensation InsuranceEdit

Oregon Dept. of Consumer ServicesOhio has the 5th most expensive worker’s compensation insurance in the country according to Oregon’s Dept. of Consumer Services. Ohio’s dividend credit on workers’ compensation premiums masked systemic problems within the workers’ compensation system. Furthermore, Ohio Supreme Court rulings during the 1990s expanded benefits and increased costs while allowing for a greater amount of fraud.

No one expects the state of Ohio to provide car insurance or life insurance. Ohio needs to leave the insurance market, and allow market competition to drive down the cost of worker’s compensation insurance.

State SpendingEdit

The Peirce administration will cut both taxes and spending to keep a balanced budget. Reductions in spending will not be made arbitrarily to cut corners as previous Republican administrations have done. Spending reductions will be a natural result of a new customer-driven approach in state management. Increasing choices for our citizens will decrease spending.

Buckeye Institute's Medicaid StudyIn 2003, the state legislature and Gov. Taft passed the largest tax increase in Ohio history and an 11 percent increase in spending. The budget’s two biggest cost-drivers, Medicaid and educational spending are devouring an ever-increasing sum of general revenue money, and the state leaders are faced with tough decisions to control these items. Ohio’s double-digit budget increases are unsustainable and small business is already over-taxed. Strong measures must be enacted to limit government spending.

Medicaid spending can be reduced by enhancing patient choice, increasing efficiency, and cutting special interest pork. Educational spending can be cut by giving parents and teachers real choices and decision-making authority in our schools.

Parents & FamilyEdit

Better Educational ChoicesEdit

Our school system is broken. According to the Columbus Dispatch, only half of Central Ohio’s public school students passed their standardized tests. In private schools, nearly everyone passed the same test. Adding insult to injury, the private schools cost less than public schools. (hyperlinks)

The State of Ohio spends over $8 billion per year on a failing educational system. There is clearly no relation between state spending and better education, we’re spending more than ever while grades and drop-out rates are getting worse.

Education is important and most people want education to be publicly funded. That does not mean that every child is best served by the nearest public school. Children differ and parents have their own preferences about teaching styles and methods of maintaining discipline. More important, the public schools are caught in the middle of intense disputes about values, religion, and even what subjects should be taught. Moreover, court decisions and bureaucratic controls at all levels—Washington, Columbus, and the local school district—interfere with the freedom of teachers to teach and to maintain order. Especially in the largest and most diverse districts, it is impossible for public schools to satisfy the needs of all families.

Currently, our educational system is controlled by high-priced lawyers and lobbyists in Columbus who actually spend our own schools’ money to influence legislators in the State House. Money is spent as political favors for powerful friends, not for our children.

Bill Peirce has an answer to this problem: he wants you to decide how to spend your money on your children’s education. He wants you to choose where to send your children for their best interests.

And to help you do what’s best for your child, the school of your choice will receive a $3,000 grant from the state of Ohio. This is similar to the Pell grants the federal government provides at the university level. You decide on a school, and the school earns the grant.

Child-Centered Educational Finance program

Under Peirce’s program, both the Basic Aid from the state and any supplementary amounts for handicapped and disadvantaged children would accompany every child in his or her educational finance “backpack” to any school chosen by the parents. With full funding of Basic Aid, this plan resolves all reasonable constitutional objections. The flexible funding geared to particular students puts Ohio in the vanguard among states in meeting the educational needs of children, rather than propping up particular schools that fail to adapt to today’s educational challenges.

PDF Position Paper on EducationEdit

Child-Centered Educational Finance Program

William S. Peirce, Ph.D.

The worst blot on our record as humane and civilized people is the wretched school system we have inflicted on some of our poorest fellow citizens. We have lost a generation of kids in the worst urban school districts.

Every couple of years we scramble to find Supersuperintendent to swoop in and destroy the evils of the system, but Supersuperintendent soon encounters a mysterious bureaucratic substance that saps his strength until he fades away, leaving teachers to fight an unequal battle against the forces of ignorance and crime.

Education is important and most people want education to be publicly funded. That does not mean that every child is best served by the nearest public school. Children differ and parents have their own preferences about teaching styles and methods of maintaining discipline. Court decisions and bureaucratic controls at all levels—Washington, Columbus, and the local school district— interfere with the freedom of teachers to teach and to maintain order. More important, the public schools are caught in the middle of intense disputes about values, religion, and even what subjects should be taught. Especially in the largest and most diverse districts, it is impossible for public schools to satisfy the needs of all families.

The State has a responsibility to ensure that all children have an opportunity to obtain an education. It does not have a responsibility to protect any particular school or educational institution. For this reason, we should focus on child-centered educational finance that ensures that each child has access to the appropriate education.

Parents, of course, must take the responsibility for making educational decisions for their children, and the easiest option is simply to leave them in the local public school. Local public schools do have a variety of advantages. Academic studies show that greater local control and funding is associated with lower costs, higher quality, and less bureaucracy. Local funding also implies unequal funding. Whether that necessarily implies unequal educational opportunity is an open question.

But for many parents, the local public schools do not present the best choice for their children, finding the local public schools deficient in physical safety, academic standards, discipline, moral training, or other qualities. As such, many parents have chosen to send their children to the local public school only after a painstaking search for a school district they can move into that is more appropriate for their children. Others choose to send their children to non-government schools – private or parochial – if they can afford to. A small but rapidly growing minority has taken direct control by home schooling their children. Unfortunately, not all parents cannot afford to live in their preferred local school district or pay for non-government schooling, and many lack the skill, energy, and inclination to home school their children.

Child-centered educational finance offers the best of both public funding and parental choice. Under a child-centered plan, state funding is assigned to the child rather than the school district. Thus, if a child attends a local public school, there is no change from the present system. But if the parents choose home schooling or a private school, their out-ofpocket costs would be met by state money, up to the maximum amount that would have gone to the local district.

The basic approach to calculating the grant per child from the state does not have to change from current practice. Under the current system, the state sets a base amount that will provide a “thorough and efficient” education for each child. The specific amount is negotiable in each state budget and rises over time as costs and wealth increase. The state commits to paying that base amount minus a “chargeback” based on the amount that school districts are expected to raise from local taxes (currently $23 per $1,000 of taxable real estate value in the district).

In rich districts, schools are supported by more local taxes and thus have a higher “chargeback,” which means they receive little or nothing from the state. Poor school districts, especially those in rural areas not supported by large amounts of local taxes, have lower chargebacks and thus receive most of the base amount per child from the state.

Under a child-centered educational funding plan, this mechanism for calculating the grant per child would remain the same. The difference is that under a child-centered approach, the money follows the child, not the school.

The special advantage of child-centered funding is that it can easily be expanded to encompass the whole “backpack” of federal and state funding for education, including funds restricted to such special programs as aid to the handicapped and disadvantaged, as well as a special premium for the intractable. The backpack of funding would accompany the child to whatever school his parents choose.

We don't have to rely solely on government schools. Government schools are monopolies. Monopolies generate high costs, low quality, and enough profits to corrupt the political process. Education is no exception to the general rule, despite the thousands of dedicated teachers who struggle valiantly in the classroom against the bureaucratic fetters that sap their strength and misdirect their efforts.

The cure for monopoly is consumer choice. Choice means alternatives for those stuck in unsafe or ineffective schools. Choice means that parents select the school (public, private, parochial, or charter) that is right for their child. Choice means more competition to encourage the best efforts of everyone. And choice allows schools to set their own admissions standards so each school can specialize in what it does best.

Educational choice is not a radical concept. It is common in Western Europe. It is the way our system of higher education is organized. Consumer choice is, after all, the foundation of the rest of our economy and our lives. The question should not be, “Why have educational choice?” but rather, “Why have we tolerated monopoly in such an important part of life?”

We pay an enormous amount for K-12 education, and costs have gone up rapidly while achievement has stagnated. Breaking the monopoly provides better education at lower cost. It also allows for parental decisions about how their children are educated, including whether to include religion or values in the curriculum, or whether to rely on strict discipline or on more fashionable modes of learning.

Providing some way for families with school age children to live in our major cities is also a vital part of any plan to redevelop the cities. The two most common complaints of those who move to the suburbs are crime and lack of good, affordable schools. Urban schools are losing their best students now as families move away. If parents can choose the right school for their children, they can continue to live in urban areas, even while their children are enrolled in private schools. If urban neighborhoods are filled with stable young families, the city schools will benefit from increased taxes and an environment that would improve the quality of those who remain in the public schools.

Breaking the public education monopoly is both efficient and just. Every year of delay destroys the future of more children. Some government programs can be discussed for years, but this is a case where speed saves lives. Let’s do it.


Teachers & EducatorsEdit

As an Economics Professor for over 35 years at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Bill Peirce understands that each student has a different learning style and each teacher prefers to teach in a unique and interesting way. The Freedom to Prosper plan can accommodate a wide range of schools with different learning and teaching styles, specializations, and other important features. Teachers who develop a new way to reach a particular kind of child can find opportunities in an existing school or even begin a new school to meet that special need.

How will the Freedom to Prosper plan affect schools and educators?

Under the plan, the current State Education budget will be divided into grants of $3,000. Parents and students will be able to select the school they will attend regardless of their place of residence. The parents or guardians will notify the Department of Education, and their school will receive the grant. State funding will no longer go to failing schools, but will have to be earned by performance .

Schools will be allowed to set their own admissions standards, so discipline and safety issues will be controlled by the school.

The best teachers will benefit from active bidding for their services. They will earn more, and work in a school that makes use of their special strengths. Teachers will also be free to form their own schools if they find a special need that hasn’t been met.

Competition in the provision of education will help to move this dysfunctional industry into the 21st Century.

How will Freedom to Prosper affect Religious, Faith-based, or Values Oriented Education?

The Freedom to Prosper grants will be distributed to any school chosen by the student and his or her family without discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, or other factor. This allows the parents to decide what form of education is truly best for their child, and teachers can decide whether they prefer to teach in a religious or faith-based environment.

Under Peirce’s program, both the Basic Aid from the state and any supplementary amounts for handicapped and disadvantaged children would accompany every child in his or her educational finance “backpack” to any school chosen by the parents. With full funding of Basic Aid, this plan resolves all reasonable constitutional objections. The flexible funding geared to particular students puts Ohio in the vanguard among states in meeting the educational needs of children, rather than propping up particular schools that fail to adapt to today’s educational challenges

School DisciplineEdit

Schools in Ohio have become so sensitive to politics that they’re afraid to discipline their students or even call the police in an emergency. We can’t allow this to continue. Schools must be free to determine their own standards of conduct and disciplinary policies. They must also be able to set admission standards for their students regardless of the student’s residence. While the district and the state remain obligated to provide for the education of all children, that obligation should not be met by sacrificing the interests of those students who want to learn.

How will Freedom to Prosper affect Religious, Faith-based, or Values Oriented Education?

The Freedom to Prosper grants will be distributed to any school chosen by the student and his or her family without discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, or other factor. This allows the parents to decide what form of education is truly best for their child, and teachers can decide whether they prefer to teach in a religious or faith-based environment.

For more information on Ohio’s school system, please see the Buckeye Institute’s Education Policy Center

Farmers & Rural CommunitiesEdit

Family farms are threatened by low world prices for agricultural commodities as well as unending regulation. Farmers must be free to adopt new technology and enter new lines of business if they and their surrounding communities are to thrive in the 21st century.

Bill works his own land on the vintage family tractor.

How will Freedom to Prosper benefit family farms?

  • End the Estate or “Death” tax to keep the farm in the family
  • Eliminate the Republican-led increases in taxes and fees applied to farmers
  • Reform the property tax to exclude homes, farm buildings, and other improvements
  • Eliminate the restrictions on farmer’s markets and where farmers can sell their products
  • Remove regulatory barriers to operating other types of profitable and creative businesses on the farm property

Bill Peirce is a member of the National Rifle Association. “Ohio needs to respect our right to keep and bear arms.”

The Second Amendment and Gun ControlEdit

Bill Peirce and the Libertarian Party are the only 100% supporters of the Second Amendment and your right to keep and bear arms.

Bill’s ancestor Solomon Peirce was a farmer in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1775 when he was wounded in the first battle of the American Revolution. Bill Peirce understands that there are many reasons to own a firearm and law-abiding citizens should not have to explain why they want to buy or own a gun.

That’s why restoring your unrestricted right to own and carry a firearm will be a top priority of the Peirce administration.

For position overviews on all topics, see: Plans for Ohio

DetailsEdit

From the desk of Bill Peirce, Libertarian candidate for Governor of Ohio (November, 2006) Edit

Dear friends:

Ohio is in bad shape. Fiscally conservative voters have allowed Republican domination of state government for decades. The disgraceful crony capitalism of entrenched political power has saddled Ohio with one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the country, although it was one of the lowest two decades ago. The rapidly growing taxes and the network of regulatory favors have taken their toll on the economy. Population and income are scarcely growing. Unemployment exceeds the national average and educated young people are moving away.

Voters are looking for change, but they are not finding it in the major parties’ candidates for Governor of Ohio. The Democratic candidate has offered no concrete plans except vague promises to increase spending on social programs. Both major candidates are promising a laundry list of special programs to “create jobs,” oblivious to the well established fact that such French style industrial policy has given France an unemployment rate of 25 percent for young adults.

It is no secret that Ohio is a pivotal state for national-level politics and leadership. As such, Ohio’s circumstances present a unique political situation and the opportunity for a Libertarian candidate who can carry the message of limited government and economic freedom to the people of Ohio and beyond. I am that candidate. I have a B.A. from Harvard, a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton, and taught Economics at Case Western Reserve University for 35 years. During that time, I served as Chairman of the Economics Department for 6 years and wrote books on Bureaucratic Failure, Energy Economics, and Industrial Innovation. I am now Professor Emeritus, which enabled me to devote full time to the campaign for the past year and a half.

I need your help. It is imperative that Ohio’s voters know that they have a real choice. In these last days of the campaign, I am trying to spread that message to the many undecided and disenfranchised voters who might otherwise cast a disillusioned vote or no vote at all. Unfortunately, I was blocked from the debates and have been unable to afford TV advertising, so many people have not yet heard the message. I have more than 20 billboards in place now and radio ads airing on 14 stations. A contribution right now will enable me to spread that radio campaign throughout the state. Please consider contributing to the campaign. You may make a donation online at: https://donate.peirceforohio.com/ or by mail to the address below.

Thank you for your support and your continued efforts to promote freedom in our country.

Sincerely,

Bill Peirce

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