By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Now that the holidays are over and the new year has gotten off to a good start, many things from the past year go into the memory box, to be remembered at a more convenient time.
Every year has its trials, high points and low, as we move forward into the years ahead. While Christmas is always a special time of year, it is just as anticipated (by adults, at least) when the hurried pace has ended, some time to regroup is allowed, and the stores are far less crowded.
Even our Congress rallied to prevent the “financial cliff” that threatened many of the working class with soaring taxes while the extremely rich got tax breaks and the poor continued to pay none. Social Security and unemployment insurance was extended, although the next hurdle facing our dedicated (cough!) legislators is the national deficit and spending cuts.
Although just one of the millions of hard-working middle class folks who feel blessed to avoid paying more for less, I could make a few suggestions to help with some decisions in our national headquarters.
One would be to let the legislators work on a salary. If they fail to complete their work in the allotted amount of time, they get to work for free until that task is completed. Such a measure would save taxpayers mega-bucks and might inspire Senate and House members to set aside the political party prowess and learn cooperation and representation of the people.
Another step would be to cut their own salaries and retirement benefits and throw that into the pot for the deficit. Or, even better, decrease or eliminate the security for all former presidents. Anyone having served as president receives a yearly salary and private security guards for the remainder of their lives, with income that is twice or more what majority of the taxpaying citizens earn. With that kind of money, surely they can afford their own security guards.
A boost to our own economy would be to restore the work ethic into the masses and provide jobs that offers health insurance, benefits and decent wages. Cheap labor results in cheap products. Restore the American jobs and work ethic and watch how the economy bounces back.
Put a seal on gas prices. If we want to increase tourism and pride in our own communities, we have to make it affordable for people to visit. Over the past year, I have witnessed gas prices changing as many as three times in one day. Although not privy for a 24-hour surveillance of fuel sites, it’s almost a given that fuel trucks bearing the precious petrol didn’t deliver two times that day with higher priced gas each time.
If our government wants to provide bail-outs for companies on the brink of financial disaster, I plea on behalf of Hostess. Never having been one for ‘name brands,’ I’ve often argued that store brands offer as much nutrition, taste, and quantity — if not more — than name brands. Since trying to have a healthier diet lately, I am well-versed with knowledge that whole grain breads may not offer the softness of white bread. But after a couple of months of sampling various brands of white bread, one aspect of name brands resounds in its memory.
I sure do miss Butternut bread!