Mark’s Musings – November 21, 2018

| November 20, 2018

Mark Fortune

As we prepare to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in America we need to take time to be thankful for what we have in this nation. People across the country are divided but on this day we need to come together and celebrate our freedoms. Those freedoms came at great sacrifice and they continue to be costly. We also need to exercise caution and restraint that our freedoms are not being slowly strangled in the pursuit of political correctness. You can be vigilant without being harmful and you can be watchful without being divisive. You can also be involved without being negative.

Our nation was founded on certain principles and values. Perhaps a return to those values would be in order as we head toward the end of another year of political discord. I want Congress to get something done in 2019. Solve the health care crisis – yes, it is a crisis. Ask anyone in the health care industry and they will confirm that. Solve the student loan debt problem. Just fixing those two – only two – albeit they are huge – issues would propel our country on an economic upward spiral that could not be matched by any nation on the planet. We are talking about trillions of dollars of impact.

Why? Millions of our citizens are trapped by health care costs or student loan debt – and in many cases – both. We can spend billions on the defense industry – and I certainly respect our men and women in uniform that sacrifice their time away from loved ones serving thousands of miles from home. And we can’t say enough about those that make the ultimate sacrifice. We owe their families a great debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

But a couple of percentage points of the annual defense budget shifted to help students that need the help with college would certainly further our nation. Did you know that you can only deduct a certain amount of student loan interest on your taxes? Those that have loans know that. It should be ALL of the interest – not limited. That is ridiculous. And yes, if you have looked ahead to your 2018 taxes, the tax form is indeed postcard size. It’s similar to the size that we received during the fall political campaign – not the old postcard size that you received from Grandma and Grandpa when they were on vacation. That would be too small. Take a look on the IRS website – you will see a draft version.

Turning to the local scene, let’s be thankful for those that put together the Christmas parade, all of the Main Street events and leaders that just have an overall positive attitude on the outlook for our community. Let’s be thankful for our beautiful and historic courthouse and all of the events that are hosted there. Let’s be thankful for Central Ohio Technical College and their announcement of free college tuition in a partnership with the Coshocton Foundation using the Clarence and Grace Miller Fund. This is terrific news for our community and will help many of our citizens gain access to a college education – which in turn will help our businesses and manufacturers move forward to compete in the global economy.

Finally, let’s be thankful for where we live. A place where people work together to solve problems, help each other in a crisis and generally just get along. Coshocton County is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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    Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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