I am a job creator; so are you

By Mike sever | staff writer Published:

I am a job creator. And, unless your retirement funds are stuffed in a mattress or buried out back, so are you.

Much of the talk in Washington these days has been that raising taxes on the richest of us would be a mistake because those people would have less money to invest.

Well, how about the millions of us who are trying to save a few bucks in an IRA or 401K for those (hopefully) Golden Years?

If taxes go up for those folks, that will mean fewer dollars being socked away for the future and a lot less money invested with mutual funds that buy stocks and bonds in companies that are providing the jobs.

If some in Congress don't want people dependent on the so-called "entitlement programs" of Social Security and Medicare maybe they should be making it easier for folks like us to save more -- and thus create more jobs -- rather than threatening to take away the few tax deductions we have left, like home mortgage interest.

So many deductions for the little guy have been whittled away over the years, while people on the upper end of the economic scale seem to always have ways to cut their tax bill.

Class warfare? Not really. It's more like class frustration -- as in, "why does the Average Joe always seem to get stepped on?" Income inequality in the U.S. has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression. Median incomes have fallen over the last decade, widening the gap between the highest and lowest earners.

Making the holidays happy

Each year hundreds of volunteers dedicate themselves to making sure others have a happy holiday. They help sort donated toys and clothes, fill food boxes, and then assist families who register with Family & Community Services Inc. for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday help. From the guys standing outside in the cold, happily directing traffic and loading food boxes, to the young students assisting moms and dads pick toys so their kids will have a present to open on Christmas morning -- they have the Christmas spirit.

Every year there are a number of trustees from the Portage County jail who help out. Anne Marie Mann-Noble, director of emergency outreach services for F&CS, said one young man was so dedicated that, when he was released, he asked that he be dropped off so he could help out on the final day of this year's food and gift program was held.

Tacking issues in the new year

Commissioners have a number of issues facing them with the new year. They still have to find and hire a new fiscal management director, they are in the midst of building a new municipal courthouse in Kent, and they have to make a decision whether or not to sell the building they own in Columbiana County that houses the Women, Infants and Children program.

Last month, commissioners heard the state would not pay rent if the building was owned by the public agency that administers the local WIC program. The state said it was following a long-standing policy, but one the state had ignored for years after Portage had the building put up in Columbiana County. After that news, the board informally agreed to see if it made sense to sell the building. Now, commissioners are asking if the state would reconsider its decision and continue the rent payments.

Holding loved ones close

The new year is upon us, as is the time for resolutions. So, in light of recent tragedies in Connecticut and elsewhere, let's all resolve to hold our loved ones a little closer and make life a little more joyful this new year.

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