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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Sunday, August 29, 2010


We have the income tax, the property tax, the sales tax, the estate tax (Well, except for this year. If you're rich and you die this year your estate won't have to pay it.), the luxury tax, the corporate tax. But another, and more insidious tax, is what I call the addiction tax.

When our government is facing a revenue shortage, it starts raising taxes on the things people are addicted to. Why? Because no matter what the cost, an addict will pay or play. Booze and cigarettes...addictive. Gasoline...addictive in America. Gambling...addictive. And, the more reliant the government becomes on the income from the addiction taxes, the less enthusiastic it becomes to cure the addiction. In fact, in one case, it encourages it. Gambling.

As of February 1, 2010 the Tax Foundation reported that the State of Ohio addiction taxes are: Gasoline tax (per gallon) $0.28; cigarettes tax (per 20 pack) $1.25; spirits tax (per gallon) $9.04; table wine tax (per gallon) $0.32; and, beer tax (per gallon) $0.18. That's just the State taxes! There are federal taxes loaded on top of that.

Now casinos are coming to Ohio. According to the Columbus Dispatch (February 27, 2010), "The casinos approved in the fall for Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo each will pay taxes equal to 33 percent of their gross revenue. It will be distributed as follows, based on the new constitutional amendment:
-- 51 percent to Ohio's 88 counties, based on their share of the state population. If the biggest city in a county has more than 80,000 residents, it gets half its county's share. (Columbus would get $16.2 million of Franklin County's estimated $32.4 million.)
-- 34 percent to Ohio's public-school districts based on their enrollment. ($22.9 million estimated to Franklin County districts)
-- 5 percent to Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo as the host cities for casinos. ($8 million estimated for Columbus)
-- 3 percent to run a new state agency that will regulate casinos.
-- 3 percent to help Ohio's horse-racing industry, which fears that casinos will hurt its business.
-- 2 percent to a state fund that will pay for police training.
-- 2 percent to a state fund to support treatment of gambling addiction and substance abuse.
[Sources: Ohio Constitution, Penn National Gaming Inc.]

Columbus City Councilman Andrew J. Ginther, who chairs the council's finance committee, said he worries that the new tax revenue might not boost the budget in the long run. Ginther fears that state legislators might use the flow of casino taxes to Ohio cities and counties as an excuse to reduce local governments' share of state income taxes. That's what happened with Ohio Lottery money, which replaced previous state support for schools instead of adding to it."

So, let the feeding frenzy begin as various government entities fight over the millions of dollars gambling will bring to the State. But the real quesiton for our elected officials should be, "Have we ceded our moral compass to balance the budget?"