Struthers needs to make cuts before seeking tax increase
As I read my Feb. 9 Vindicator I could not believe what I was reading and the more I thought about this one particular article the angrier I got. A story on B5 reported that the Struthers Board of Education would be seeking an 8-Mill levy. The story stated, "It's been eight years since the district asked voters to pass a levy." So does this mean we must respond with a yes vote? I believe absolutely not.
Is it our fault, as citizens, that the district is in such a financial crisis? Not at all. If I were in such dire need of cuts, I sure wouldn't expect to get a raise (As did all Struthers administrators every year for the past four years that our superintendent has been here.) And I wouldn't be making cuts starting at the bottom of the pay scale as she has. Raises, bonuses, cell phones, etc. are the reasons we are in this situation, and to have the nerve to ask the voters of Struthers to vote for this levy is just absurd.
Another section of the article referred to "open enrollment to out-of-district students to increase the per-pupil payments the district receives from the state. & quot; Another absurd idea. As if we haven't enough trouble with what is going on now, let's add to the situation and make it worse. There are already approximately 750 students at the elementary school; isn't that too many now?
When talking about cutting costs, which means teachers' aides and such, we can't afford to have any more students. We have one guidance counselor for 750 students -- what a joke. Our superintendent detailed a range of personnel changes -- reductions in current staff and elimination. How can we accept more students and be understaffed? Wouldn't that be causing our students and staff to suffer?
As Matthew Rhoads stated in the article, "At the end of the day, we still have to provide quality education and determine what's best for the community of Struthers and the students of Struthers. & quot; Well, he said it all in one sentence, what I have been saying all along. You must start cuts from the top of the pay scale, without jeopardizing the children's education, and that would be no more raises, (give them back from the last four years,) no more bonuses, no more trips, etc.
Don't take away from our children. Take away from the administrators. Get rid of the positions that need not exist -- full-time curriculum director, full-time athletic director, and EMI coordinator.
I really believe once this article reaches the thousands of people in this community, there will no way a levy will get a yes vote on election day.
Take off the S.S. cap
Since the re-election of George W. Bush much has been written about the Social Security program and its problems. One writer has suggested removing the caps on the earnings that are taxed. When one thinks about this suggestion and does a little mathematics you can readily see the inequity in keeping this cap on the earnings being taxed.
Using a cap of $90,000 and assessing a tax rate of 7.65 percent, that wage earner will pay a total of $6,885 to the Social Security fund. On earnings of $180,000 (which is double the cap) that wage earner still pays $6,885, making the tax rate on his income only 3.825 percent. On earnings of $900,000 the wage earner still pays $6,885, which is .77 percent of this income. It takes little imagination to see how small the tax rate would be for those in the multi-million dollar income bracket.
Another way of looking at this inequity, Those whose income is $90,000 will have $573.75 taken out their pay every month for 12 months. The $180,000 income earner will pay off his tax obligation in six months and the $900,000 income earner will pay his tax obligation in 1.2 months.
I think it is scandalous to have such a sliding tax scale benefiting only the wealthy, if anything this sliding tax scale should be reversed, the lower incomes paying little or nothing instead of shouldering the bulk of the tax.
This preferential treatment has come about because the majority of the members of Congress, who enact these laws, are comprised of very wealthy people who most always favor the rich and powerful. They also are not in the Social Security program, they have their own retirement plan, which is very generous, and is entirely paid for by the people in the Social Security plan. Since we pay for their retirement plan I think it is fair for them be taxed to help pay for ours