Be careful what you vote for

Let’s face it, Tuesday’s ballot hinges on unions, budgets and the age-old dilemma of shrinking or expanding government.

We live in an area built on union labor. But that manufacturing base is fleeting.

The Mahoning Valley suffers fiscally. It also suffers from unemployment.

There are 28,000 residents unemployed in the Youngstown-Warren metropolitan area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor unions are losing traction, and the argument for job creation has become paramount.

We agree that employees should have a say in work conditions and pay. But the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Capping vacation days at six weeks is like using a cork to plug a hemorrhaging oil spill. The conveniences that unions have come to enjoy aren’t feasible in today’s economic climate.

We have to make a tough decision. Do we allow the state to dictate our public workers’ livelihood? Or do we allow the unions to prey on a dying rust town?

We leave the choice to you.

As the freedom of health care stands before voters on Tuesday, we can’t forget the burden that mandating health insurance would place on small business owners. We also can’t forget that 15 percent of Mahoning County and Trumbull County residents are uninsured, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio.

Voting for Issue 3 will send a message to Obama that we don’t need the federal government telling us where and how we should spend our money. Voting against it will tell those who are uninsured that they have little hope for primary care.

They’ll continue to flood our hospitals and emergency rooms. If nothing is done, Medicaid, already 20 percent of the state’s expenses, will continue to bankroll our state.

The correct answer often seems the least likely. So be careful what you vote for. The decision you make on Tuesday may steer the most crucial decisions made in a non-election year — at least in our lifetime.