Recently, my wife and I had to shut our restaurant doors for the last time. Another statistic for the bean counters in Columbus and Washington. However, I won't cry the blues here but rather share with you what I recently sent in a letter to the Ohio congressional delegation.
First, cut payroll taxes, not income taxes. Payroll taxes - those levied at fixed rates for Social Security and Medicare - are the most regressive of all taxes. If low-income workers were freed from payroll taxes, the savings alone would be more than sufficient to meet everyday expenses. For employers, the savings would justify more hiring and capital investment.
Second, connect green jobs with more mass transit. Ohio is perfectly suited for a German-style system that links small towns with major cities. Closed factories could be used to manufacture transit components and build something that won't be outsourced.
Third, put aside petty politics and work together. Congress' approval ratings are in the toilet. You must be well aware. Start thinking short-term on putting people back to work as quickly as possible and cutting those taxes that put food on family tables today. Think long-term on those ideas that will pay dividends now, and in five to 10 years.
Finally, ask yourself where you see America in the world. Our manufacturing capability, energy usage, and financial health should be part of any national security discussion. Our military effectiveness will only be as strong as those people providing the lifeline. Endless protracted wars will only increase the threat to our security and livelihood while emboldening our enemies to put us in harm's way.
Peace may yet be America's ultimate warrior abroad when our nation ably demonstrates peace at home.
Craig S. Swartz
I am a 1992 graduate of St. John's Jesuit High School. I have very good friends from the great schools of Waite, St. Francis de Sales, Central Catholic, E.L. Bowsher, Maumee, and Perrysburg, just to name a few.
I think that our community should praise local graduates for what they are doing to support Toledo and what they do to support families and the local economy. They are business owners, machinists, teachers, firefighters, doctors, and coaches.
Times in Toledo are awful, but these friends have stuck it out and chose to stay to raise families and give the effort. I am 34 years old and the people I write about are in the same demographic. We are not leaving Toledo.
Can we try to put a positive spin on what is going on here and maybe put a smile on our faces - for once in a great while?
I heard that President Obama wants to give $1,000 back to working couples in hopes that they will spend it and spur the economy. Sad thing is, almost everything you can buy for that amount of money is made in another country. How is that going to put Americans back to work?
I think you should get the thousand dollars only if you spend it on products made here in the U.S.A. That idea might actually work.