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Differing views, but one county reality

By JAMES SPANGER, O.D.

I am responding to a letter about a letter about the sign. I know all three men involved. They are all gentlemen and determined in their views, I am opposed to the gentleman on the right’s depiction of the spin of the sign. I agree that the agencies on development within the county should be concerned about the words on the sign.

Donald Trump won a large majority of the votes in Warren County in 2016 and 2020. Contrary to a commonly promoted opinion, he did not win the nationwide election in 2020. Stop the steal is a lie and Trump’s own election overseer stated that clearly.

As well, Trump lost the nationwide vote by 2.869 million votes in 2016 and by 7.060 million votes in 2020.

Business owners in Warren definitely express conservative positions but it seems there are less of those expressing those opinions as businesses with good paying — as well as mediocre paying — jobs seem to be leaving in droves. Current projections do not look promising for our future.

Business owners express a desire for tax cuts, but who gets them? The workers? The small business owners? Or the very wealthy large business owners? Note when tax cuts are discussed they are on Federal Income Tax, the Capital Gains Tax, and the Estate Tax. I’ve got some news for you, if you make less than $100,000 a year these tax cuts probably don’t affect you.

What really affects workers are the payroll wage taxes — Medicare and Social Security. Whereas the wealthy pay a much larger portion of Federal Tax, the common worker pays a proportionally larger portion of the payroll tax since that tax is capped at $160,200.

High wage earners only pay the Medicare and Social Security taxes on their first $160,200 of payroll income. (A little secret. Payroll taxes and federal withholding taxes use the same form and are paid with the same check!)

As a result, when the Medicare, Social Security, federal withholding, state, and local taxes are included, the bottom 40% of U.S. wage earners pay about 21% of their income in effective tax whereas the top 1% pay 33.7%.

Who has the gripe? Somebody making $45,000 paying 21% in tax or somebody making $3 Million paying 33.7% in tax?

Of course many of the wealthy pay a different tax. Not a payroll tax, but a capital gains tax. And the top rate for that is 20% — 1% less than the bottom 40% of simple wage earners. And that is only if the ultrarich don’t park their money in some shell company overseas where they may not pay any tax. (Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you…)

Strangling regulations? Well, unfortunately we do have regulations. Sometimes tight regulations. Sometimes bad regulations. Then again, the Cuyahoga River hasn’t caught on fire in Cleveland lately. The Great Lakes have rebounded in fish habitat again. Acid rain has diminished. There are trout back in our streams again.

I would suggest the gentleman on the right take a seat and listen. I know what it takes to open a one man operation and grow it into a practice that serves the community that I love. But I also have lived outside of this community and have seen explosive growth in industry, technology, diversity, and education while we seem to be going the other direction.

If you think there are high wages to be had in Warren County you need to take a better look. If you think there is job growth in Warren County, talk to our youth who have left. If you think there are exceptional educational opportunities in Warren County, you have no idea what exists in other areas.

If you think Warren County is growing, ask our area businesses and our hospital about the struggles they face. My Warren Area High School Class of 1972 had about 500 classmates. How many students are there in the Senior Class of all Warren County High Schools combined in 2024?

Is our message: If you don’t like it here, leave? If it is then our kids are certainly taking us up on it. Will the last one out of Warren please turn out the lights?

By the way, the trial isn’t a sham. I know, because in December of 1998 the gentlemen on the right impeached Bill Clinton over just such an affair and his lies about it. The gentlemen on the right said it was a crime. President Clinton was a flawed man. But I asked at the time, “Do you really want to impeach him over this knowing the impeachers were guilty of the same thing?”

There is a term for calling the Trump trial a sham. It’s called hypocrisy. Something Jesus spoke very frequently about. Far more frequently than sexual immorality. Perhaps it represents the log in your own eye (Matthew 7:4).

James S. Spangler, OD, is a Warren resident.

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