Wednesday, July 11, 2012
NorCo Workforce Considers Boycott Over Easton Tax Grab
Simply put, a boycott of Easton businesses might have an impact on the tyranny of excessive taxation. Buy your gas somewhere else, skip Wawa for a hoagie, etc. and don't be afraid to let the powers be known that we have had enough excessive taxation due to their inequities of planning. Perhaps then Mayor Panto and his henchmen might do a better job of planning for the future. Oh, and looking at the numbers, if my math is correct, that still leaves the City of Easton $2.15 Million short. Where, when and how will the next taxation reclamation begin?
I have to say I agree with [Employee #1] on this topic. Unlike many who may live AND work in the city and say, "Who cares, it doesn't effect me." I care about what I see happening around me, especially to my friends and co-workers. In this tough economy, we have watched others lose jobs, benefits, their homes (due to losing jobs) and some even their families (divorce) and lives (suicide). Here at Northampton County Prison, many of us, when it came time for our wage freeze and union contract negotiation(s), hoped for the best, expected the worst and said, "Well, it's nothing, but at least we still have benefits (cost more) and jobs, others are worse off. Truthfully, it's quite sad to see the state of things. Poor planning, bad cost management, so many things effect so many and the "big wigs" in government keep saying, "Just tax the little people and we'll keep our fat jobs and paychecks and it'll all turn out alright." I was just saying to a friend here at work the other day that when I worked at Lehigh County from 2000-2003, we were one of the lowest paid counties and we STILL got a cost of living increase EVERY Jan. 1st of 1-2% and then we'd get a raise based on performance, on our anniversary date, of 1-5%. It made sense because you work hard, you make more and as the cost of living goes up, so does the need to be able to pay for milk, gas, groceries, etc. Now that I've worked in Northampton County for the past 9 years, I see the opposite. The cost of living keeps going up and we make less and less every year, while we pay out more and more to the union(s) and taxes. It's even more disheartening to know that due to all the elderly living longer and so many people being on SSI Disability, we're all paying into a Medicare/Social Security system that most likely won't even be there for us when we're "supposed to" retire. I say supposed to retire, as the age to retire gets pushed higher and higher and people have less and less money to invest or save for "that wonderful day when they're supposed to enjoy their golden years and the fruits of all their lifelong labor." I know my mother is one of those people who has worked her entire life, usually 1 FT and 2 PT jobs/day, often 6-7 days/week, only to have 2 of the jobs she worked at long enough to be able to retire from, close down before she could, and to have health issues bad enough she SHOULD be able to get Social Security Disability, but doesn't qualify because she won't not work, nor can she afford to not work for the req'd 6 months to be able to qualify for SSI Disability. Yet I watch one after another march in here to the prison, unemployed, often on disability, for this ache or that mental defect, and they're young enough and well enough to hold down a job, they'd just rather sell drugs or drink away their days. The entire system is disheartening.
But I digress... my point was, I may live AND work in Easton, but I care about the taxes we all have to pay and about my already struggling co-workers who are currently giving what little raises they got this year from our contract to higher benefits cost and more taxes. What are they supposed to do? They oversee the very people who "rob and cheat the system everyday" and think, "why am I playing it correct on the straight and narrow, being a good citizen and paying for these people to live how they do and keep coming back in here, keep stealing from others and destroying things we all work for?" Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I and most of my co-workers aren't going to do anything stupid because we are good people and we have principles, work ethic and morals, but when is this going to stop? When is someone going to say enough?? I know I spend a lot of my hard earned $ in Easton and I often run for WAWA for my friends who get mandated and need something to eat, etc. I can honestly tell you, to support them, it would be just as easy for me to go an extra 5-10 mins out of my way to get gas/food for myself and them in Palmer, Forks Twp, elsewhere, just to prove a point to the city. That seems like a bad solution also, as I like the city. I think the police department, the mayor and the business/residential community have done alot to clean up the crime, do more to be proactive, get rid of buildings/houses that are a blight and help beautify historic store fronts and bring new small businesses into the city. I know one of my former co-workers, who is now at NCSD, has a small business with her partner called [redacted]. I am proud of them to go out and do something like this and I would hate to have to boycott them and possibly be part of the reason for the loss of what they worked so hard for because big government can't find a better way to cut costs and re-route funds, plan better, and NOT raise taxes on the already over-stressed working/commuting men and women. I've heard people say, "Well, they don't live here, they should have to pay more." I have never felt that way. The one thing that was supposed to be great about this country was that we should be able to work, play, live where we want, truly be free. There was a time when you could live here in the Lehigh Valley, where it was cheaper to live, and work in Philly, NJ, NYC and make a ton of money with higher wages and live a better life. Now, you have to live in NJ to work in NJ and it's not worth it. Many people live elsewhere because they want better schools, safety, etc. for their families. I agree Easton has come a long way from when I got "stuck here in 2003 after divorce", as a transplant myself, but people shouldn't be forced to pay more because they don't live here. This is America... we left England to get away from tyranny and taxes and in this wonderful new technological age, pay out more and have a worse quality of life than any of our forefathers probably ever could've imagined in their worst nightmares.
I know when I first moved to the prison, due to a "snafu" with administration, my co-workers in the academy didn't get a paycheck for 4 WEEKS!! I was still getting my paycheck, as I was already in the county as an employee for 6 years, so I felt aweful they were struggling to pay child support, not lose their apartments and houses, pay their bills, commute from Philly, etc. I couldn't afford to do much, but I'd pay for whomever I could every Friday when we were allowed to eat lunch out with our training administrator. I hate to see people who work hard have to suffer because of someone else's ineptitude. None of my co-workers should have to go to the very jail they are trying to work at because they can't pay their support... having worked for the money administration wanted to pass the buck blaming others for, instead of fixing the problem and getting them PAID! So again, I see an injustice and those I work with may not care if I help or not, but if this tax goes through and they are made to suffer further by having to pay out more of their hard earned money to a City Govt. that can't "get their head out of their ass" when it comes to spending and planning/budgeting, I will sadly have to boycott this wonderful city I live in also. Just my opinion and my thought on the subject. Take it for what it's worth.
Tax is fine, but they are taxing the wrong people. THEY SHOULD TAX ALL THOSE NJ & NY IMPORTS THAT STILL WORK IN NJ & NY BUT MOVED HERE FOR A TAX RELIEF. That movement has put a strain on our school ( I have to pay school taxes & never having children), fire, police & EMT departments. Not to mention the toll that it puts on our farm land & roads. I find more deer along the side of the road than ever before cause they don't have any other place to go. Cut off the border invasion!!!!! There isn't a toll to go back to NJ, but you have to pay to leave it.