The area's leading online source for news!
Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008

Menu

Hooray For Less Taxes! We Hope

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Americans pay too much in taxes. President Trump's idea to eliminate four of the seven tax brackets is an excellent idea. Most Americans are sick and tired of paying everything they make in taxes. If you enjoy paying taxes and disagree with what I am writing simply write the Internal Revenue Service a check every month and mail them more money.

Let's consider some of the big money people first. A single person making $415,051 dollars is in the upper tax bracket and pays 39.6% of their wages. To make our math simple we might as well say 40% or about $166,000. This would leave the affluent single person with about $249,000. For all the Americans making minimum wage or living on disabled social security they may wag their heads, point their fingers and say, "That's a heck of a lot of money and those dang people should be paying a lot more tax than that!" The single person paying this much money on the other hand probably calculates that they are probably carrying seven or eight non-working Americans and could feel a bit irritated by how much tax they are paying.

Let's stay in the upper bracket and consider two married people working, filing jointly and making $466,951 will also pay 39.6% of their income or let's say 40%. For a round figure they will pay about $186,780 in taxes. This would leave them with about $280,177. This is a lot of money to live on. However, imagine handing the government almost $187,000!

The old adage is if you make it then you should pay it. My contention is who wants to work longer hours and harder and then pay most of it in taxes? We have our Congress people to keep up in their lifestyles. We have roads and bridges to maintain. However, everywhere I go I see tolls for roads and bridges. What about our tax dollars?

Let's go to the low bracket people. A single person making $9,276 is in the 15% tax bracket or $1,391 roughly in taxes which is a lot of money! This leaves the single person with only $7,885. I realize there are other considerations and possible deductions but this is simply for analysis and thought. The main point is no one can do much on $9,276 and much less on $7,885. If this person is placed in the 10% tax bracket they pay $927 and this is a gain of $464. This is a lot of gasoline money for someone on such a meager income.

However, the standard deduction would nearly double under Trump's proposal.

"We are going to double the standard deduction so a married couple wouldn't pay any taxes on the first $24,000 income they earn. So in essence, we are creating a zero tax rate - yes, a zero tax rate for the first $24,000 that a couple earns," said Gary Cohn, head of Trump's National Economic Council, during the news conference which introduced the new plan.

The standard deduction for single filers is $6,350 and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly for 2017.

Too many Americans have an attitude that it's okay for the wealthy to pay 39.6% and even more but realistically every American gets tax weary. We want a strong military and a strong country along with Medicare and Social Security but more and more tax dollars is not appealing to anyone who has to shell it out.

President Trump's idea will bring some relief to all Americans. Will our country suffer? No. More people will feel like working a little more knowing they can bring more of their paycheck home. His idea of only three tax levels of 10%, 25% and 35% will encourage the current workforce and stimulate the economy with more working people. Less people working cannot carry this country even if they were paying 50% in taxes. A smaller percentage of money from millions more of employed people going to work will generate more money for our government and overall economy in the long run.

Trump's proposed corporate tax rate of 15% will also help us keep some jobs and bring some jobs back home.

Regardless of your tax bracket, let out a big "hooray for less taxes!" We can only hope.

*****************


Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Enjoy books by Glenn Mollette via all book dealers.
Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette

 


A new telephone hotline gives qualifying parents free legal assistance related to their custody and visitation concerns.

The toll-free Custody and Visitation Hotline number is 1-844-673-3470. Phone lines are open Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Eastern time.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Office of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) has an agreement with the Legal Aid Society (LAS) to operate the “Custody and Visitation” Hotline. The statewide service is for eligible parents, on an income-based scale, who have concerns regarding custody and visitation issues with their children.

Steve Veno, Commissioner of the CHFS Department for Income Services, which oversees the CSE, said an LAS attorney will handle all hotline calls and provide legal advice or assistance to callers such as how to file a motion, how to file or change a child custody or visitation order in the appropriate court and how to work through visitation and custody issues.

“We have heard from many parents who ask about access to legal help, so we know the need is there,” Veno said. “Our agency isn’t able to address these issues, but now there is a resource for parents with simple legal questions or deeper concerns. We anticipate a lot of parents will take advantage of this new resource.”

LAS attorneys cannot file legal pleadings, appear in court or address child support issues.

Funding for the hotline comes from a grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families and provides for initial operation of the service through June 2018. CSE and LAS staff will meet regularly to evaluate the program, address challenges and ensure progress.

“Helping parents with their custody and visitation questions will give them more peace of mind,” concluded CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “In turn, this will help children. The connection between parents having a relationship with their children and financially supporting their children is strong. Collection of court-ordered child support payments is another integral part of the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s mission.”

While this partnership deals specifically with custody and visitation issues, a number of separate resources are also available for parents dealing with child support issues.

The Child Support Enforcement Hotline – 800-248-1163 – is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Child Support Interactive Voice Response Payment Line – 800-443-1576 – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Kentucky Child Support Interactive website – https://csws.chfs.ky.gov/csws/ – is available for parents to access information about their cases and to make payments.

For more information about Kentucky Child Support Enforcement, log on to http://chfs.ky.gov/dis/cse.htm.

From Cabinet for Health and Family Services Communications

 

Lobbyists and their employers reported spending $6.98 million in the 2017 session of the General Assembly. The total matches the record spent in the 2015 session, the most recent 30-day odd-year session.

In the past year, the number of lobbying organizations has increased by nine percent, as Kentucky follows the national trend toward more state lobbying by businesses and interest groups, and more lobbying spending in state capitols. As an illustration of that upward trend, the amount spent in the first three months of 2017 exceeds the amount spent in the entire 12 months of 2001, the first year in which Kentucky held a 30-day session.

As it was in the 2016 session, the top spending lobbying organization this year was the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which spent $126,801 in the three-month session. On its website, the Chamber proclaims 2017 as “a record year of legislative victories”, and says its advocacy against minimum wage and maternity leave bills saved the business community $244 million; while its work toward repealing the prevailing wage law saved businesses $190 million.

The Chamber also estimates that businesses will save $117 million thanks to the Chamber’s work to block 1) “transgender bathroom” bills that would have required public schools and state and local governments to designate that bathrooms they control only be used by persons based on their biological sex; and 2) a "religious freedom" bill that would have required that no law shall impair the exercise of rights guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States and Kentucky, including a person's “right of conscience" or freedom of religion.

Although the Chamber did not include businesses’ estimated cost savings for the “right-to-work” legislation, the charter school bill, or legislation requiring medical review panels, those issues are also characterized as legislative victories by the Chamber.

After the 2016 General Assembly, in which the Chamber spent $149,000 on lobbying, the group’s website called that session “one of the most successful the business community has seen”, citing “pro-business legislative victories” on bills relating to public-private partnerships to finance government projects and services, and additional money for the state’s pension system, along with the defeat of “anti-business tax reform” and renewable energy legislation.

The second-leading spender in the 2017 session was the U.S. Justice Action Network, a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) group that spent $89,125 lobbying on Senate Bill 120, which was enacted, and includes reforms to the reentry process for convicted felons, including access to occupational licenses for those with a criminal record, and a reentry substance abuse pilot program. 

Other top lobbying spenders in the recently concluded General Assembly are:

Altria ($85,347); Marsy's Law for All ($79,218); Kentucky Hospital Association ($71,132); Kentucky League of Cities ($68,969); Kentucky Justice Association ($57,156); Kentucky Bankers Association ($54,240); Anthem Inc. ($51,000); Greater Louisville, Inc. ($49,329); Kentucky Retail Federation ($46,371); Kentucky Medical Association ($44,472); Norton Healthcare ($44,325); Humana ($41,440); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. ($40,012); Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($38,626); Excellence in Education Action ($38,458); AT&T ($38,216); Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($35,951); and Kentucky Association of Realtors ($35,272).

 

(KAHC) has donated $5,000 in support of PRIDE

PRIDE logo copyPRIDE logo copySOMERSET, KY — The Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors (KAHC) has donated $5,000 in support of PRIDE’s 20-year anniversary, becoming a gold sponsor of PRIDE activities taking place throughout 2017. This includes the annual Spring Cleanup Campaign where more than 430,000 volunteers have donated nearly 1.5 million hours of time to clean up the landscape of southern and eastern Kentucky.

“We have been supporters of PRIDE for many years because we believe one of the gifts of living in Kentucky is the state’s natural beauty and that our state should be shown in its best light,” said Chad LaRue, Executive Director of the KAHC. “PRIDE helps make that happen through concentrated efforts to clean up the hillsides, highways and waterways of eastern Kentucky and educating the next generation on the importance of appreciating the gift we have in our natural environment and the work it takes to keep it.”

The Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors operates as a nonprofit trade association that represents highway contractors in Kentucky. KAHC promotes the interests of its members by acting as a lobbying group and training service. KAHC’s relationship with PRIDE dates back to 2002. The organizations have worked together on numerous Spring Cleanup events and other projects designed to keep Kentucky’s roadways clean and inviting to both residents and visitors.

“We are excited to once again be working with KAHC,” said PRIDE President and CEO Tammie Wilson. “We share the same vision for a clean and beautiful region and by working together we are able to make great strides toward that goal.”

During Spring Cleanup Month, PRIDE works with communities to pick up roadside litter, clean up dumps and offer free trash drop-off events. Local governments organize Spring Cleanup activities, and PRIDE provides volunteers with cleanup supplies and funding assistance when available.

PRIDE will also host various activities throughout 2017 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. The theme for this year’s celebration is “A Generation of Change.” In the two decades since PRIDE’s founding, a new generation of environmental stewards has been created and PRIDE hopes to continue that legacy for years to come.

 


Harassment Begging In America

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

My wife and I visited New York City a couple of days recently. We were walking through Times Square and masses of people on a Saturday night after a show when someone called out to us for money. "Will you please give me a couple of dollars I am hungry," came the first plea. I barely heard this out of my right ear, as we were moving forward with the crowds. I hadn't really noticed this guy as I was trying to watch where we were going, not trip on someone or the sidewalk while trying to enjoy the lights and sounds of Times Square. People begging for money have become a common sight in America. I see it in Cincinnati, Nashville, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland and well you get the picture...begging is everywhere in America to some extent. There is no American that can hand money to every beggar they pass on the street. My wife and I try on occasions to help people. We've seen mothers with their babies on the street begging. We've seen families on the street begging. We've seen Veterans on the street begging. We have passed people and then gone back with a few dollars if we had it to give.

Last Saturday night I was more attuned to walking with my wife and trying to enjoy a brief NYC visit. For some reason this beggar in NYC tuned in on me when I did not turn my head and look at him or respond. He moved toward me, got in my face and yelled at me, "You are a S.O.B. and I hope that you choke on your food tonight." I looked at him for just a moment. He was a very angry man obviously from the Middle East. I don't know if he was from Syria, Yemen or who knows but definitely Middle East. My wife and I moved forward. I wasn't scared but it's irritating to be accosted for money when someone is calling my mother the B word. I was happy that I had not given that man a penny.

I understand that people get desperate and hungry. I understand poverty is rampant in this nation. I understand people are victims of unfortunate circumstances. I do believe we should help people and I've tried throughout my life to always be involved in charitable projects. I don't feel sorry for people who feel they are entitled to harass, accost and literally try to rob people. Thieves and robbers who break into people's houses rationalize that they need stuff and however they can get it is justifiable in their minds.

What I am seeing more and more in America's cities is what I've seen in Africa, Turkey and other foreign countries, which is harassment, begging and pleading. Our tour group was warned about leaving the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey back in 2005. Our guide told us the people would beg vehemently for anything you have. Do not even make eye contact with them we were told. Sure enough it was a mob who did everything but try to take our wallet and purses. They literally got in our faces and begged, pled and cried for anything we might give them. I've seen this same demeanor in other parts of the world. More and more of these people are coming to America and more of them will end up on our streets and prowling our neighborhoods. Taking a carefree, delightful stroll down Michigan Ave in Chicago, a leisurely walk through Times Square or most any major American city has changed. We've always had the poor and needy. However, we are now facing a different attitude and in reality a frightening mentality that does not mind getting in your face to get some of your money or whatever else they feel possessed to try to take.

Finally, everywhere I go in America people are working from every nationality around the world. From hotels, to restaurants, to taxi drivers to vendor people are working and I can't understand anything they say. They do seem to work hard and seem to be happy to be in America. I am happy for these people if they are legal, but I do wish I could understand what they are saying.

If you run into a guy in Times Square calling you a S.O.B. and wishing for you to choke on your food please do what I did not have the presence of mind to do. Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. Tell him about all the Internationals working all over America. Tell him he can work a real job to. If he doesn't want to do that to please do us all a favor and go back to where he came from.

****************


Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette