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Here’s how minimum-wage earners can save $125,000

Published: Sun, February 16, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Here’s how minimum-wage earners can save $125,000

Over the years, the scope and size of our government has expanded. Somewhere in the process of trying to form a more perfect society, our union has suffered.

With the burdens of a very large budget and an increasingly large debt, our government has become much less effective and efficient. When the economy slows down, the effects are magnified because of decreased revenue and increased obligations.

I feel we need a new approach. First we need to look at the programs that are working in a positive way. One of the better ones is the Individual Retirement Program. Another program of low cost and high potential outcome is health savings accounts. Although it’s current implementation has not become mainstream, shortfalls in the Affordable Care Act dictate action toward health care savings accounts.

Many people look for tactics such as minimum wage increases to counteract these shortfalls. The truth is minimum wage in its current form will never satisfy people for very long. In fact, the inflationary results often erase the increases.

I propose we lower the base rate to $6 per hour. In addition, we create a minimum contribution of $2 per hour to an IRA account and a health care savings account, thus creating an effective minimum wage of $10 per hour.

As an illustration of the effects of this planning, a minimum-wage earner will have accumulated roughly $125,000 in both their IRA and their HSA over a 30-year period. Keeping the money in the hands of the consumer makes it more effective and its use more efficient. The result should also make people far less dependent upon more costly federal programs.

Robert F. Mossman, Youngstown

Struggling to make house payment?SFlbSave the Dream Ohio can help you

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has committed $332 million, or 76 percent of the $570.4 million allocated through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, to prevent home foreclosures through Save the Dream Ohio. These funds have benefited 16,560 Ohio families — more than 5,000 of which reside in Mahoning and nearby counties.

Qualified homeowners are still eligible to receive up to $35,000 per household to:

Bring a delinquent mortgage current.

Pay monthly mortgage payments for up to 18 months.

Reduce the principal balance in connection with a loan modification.

Pay delinquent property taxes or association fees.

Transition out of homeownership through a short sale.

OHFA and its partners continue to work with Treasury to modify Save the Dream Ohio to meet the state’s changing needs and keep Ohio families in their homes. With approval by Treasury, OHFA recently redirected up to $60 million of the state’s uncommitted foreclosure prevention funds to reduce the number of vacant homes in Ohio.

The Neighborhood Initiative Program provides support to Ohio counties facing a glut of vacant, dilapidated houses that threaten our local communities by reducing home values and inviting crime. Working with local land banks, the program will reduce blight and build upon the success of Save the Dream Ohio.

Save the Dream Ohio is keeping families in their homes and preventing vacant housing in the future. Home- owners struggling to make their mortgage payments are urged to visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov to learn more about the program and complete a few simple questions to determine eligibility. Individuals can also call the toll-free Save the Dream Ohio hot line at 888-404-4674.

Cynthia Flaherty, Columbus

Flaherty is director of home ownership at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency..

Young people can’t afford ACA

Why aren’t young peo- ple signing up for ObamaCare? They can’t afford it.

My grandson has been working his way through college, along with his government loan. He recently married. His wife also works. They checked Obamacare, and the lowest premium was nearly $400 a month. This they cannot afford. I’m sure there are other young people in the same situation.

It’s a shame people have to pay a tax or fine for not having insurance. This should be changed.

I don’t understand how Congress could approve this health-care bill. Worst of all, the president signed it. Shame on all of them.

This used to be “Land of the Free.”

Alice Dyce, Austintown

Vindicator interview with mother proves dire need for Teddy’s Law

I In the article in The Vindi- cator of Feb 2, Teddy Foltz’s mother discusses her failure to protect him. It shows how forceful and abusive people can have such a negative effect on someone already having emotional problems, thus falling prey to people like Zaryl Bush.

It demonstrates even more the need for Teddy’s Law or a version of it to be enacted as soon as possible to ensure that this does not happen again.

We also must become more aggressive in making women aware that the help they need and a safe place to stay are at their finger tips. Friends, neighbors and family must also be willing to come forward and report suspicions to local authorities. There are more Teddy Foltzes out there that need rescued.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township

Don’t allow outside frackers to ruin the great values of Valley

Hear Ye. Hear Ye. Got toxic waste? Dump it here! For years, God only knows what kind of garbage has been hauled into and dumped in our area, lest other states stink up their own neighborhoods.

So, we might as well let them haul in as much fracking waste as we can store. We can use the injection wells, even though they can cause earthquakes. And by the way, a 4.0 is just a baby quake out in California. That is more like a 5-something here because of the density of our bedrock. And when we run out of tanks for the brine, we’ll have the open pits dotting our landscape to fill with unknown chemicals. Nothing like a pretty “pond” or “lake” to gaze at.

I want jobs for the people who need them also, but at what cost are we willing to risk our future health and welfare and that of our children? According to a recent article, we already live in a section of the country that has the highest incidence of cancer.

What do we have left if our water source becomes contaminated? Nothing. Pipes, tanks, wells and waste pits are all susceptible to leaks; nothing much stays sealed forever. All the work done over many years to clean up the Mahoning River was reversed in an instant by an illegal dumping of brine. I also remember a dumping that was discovered on a road out in some nearby rural area. How many more have occurred that have gone undetected?

Apparently, outsiders don’t hold much worth for our Valley. I do. And I hope the voters in Youngstown do and that more of our representatives come forth and stand up for quality of life rather than quantity of money. Why, in God’s name, anyone would risk any one of the good qualities that identify this Valley and sustain its people is beyond me. We should fight to protect and preserve them.

Linda Green, Youngstown


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