Monday, Dec. 3, was the first business day of the month for me. As part of my normal monthly responsibilities, I downloaded my NMVTIS information. NMVTIS stands for National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System.
It is a requirement of the federal government that I regularly provide the vehicle identification numbers of all the vehicles that I have either bought or sold recently.
Not only does it require my time, but I am also charged a fee for each vehicle I claim.
The goal of the system is to provide the government with a comprehensive database containing the whereabouts of all vehicles at all times, in order to prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles into interstate commerce; protect states and consumers from fraud; reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes, including funding of criminal enterprises; and provide consumers protection from unsafe vehicles.
Recent amendments to Ohio Senate Bill 273, a bill that would open up salvage auto auctions to the general public, would not only remove essential consumer protections but also highly compromise the reporting of vehicles purchased at the salvage auctions in Ohio.
This means law enforcement will have fewer tools to detect and prosecute fraud and criminal activity.
Further, as a licensed business person, I would continue to be required to comply with these regulations while private individuals who purchase vehicles would not be held to the same standard.
Keep in mind that I am also required to include a vehicle identification number on my invoices for every part I sell.
Once a private individual purchases a vehicle at a salvage auction, how are we going to regulate the vehicle information numbers for the parts that they might sell? How will they collect taxes on the parts that they might sell?
And finally, how will they warranty any parts they might sell?
I put a lot of time and effort into running a legitimate auto recycling facility. That is what my family has prided itself on doing for over 55 years.
The main reason we follow these mandated guidelines is to maintain our salvage license. It is with this salvage license that we obtain our salvage buyers card that grants us access to salvage auctions.
The Ohio House Insurance Committee is now considering the bill. On behalf of the many hundreds of automotive recycling and salvage businesses in Ohio, I have to ask why we should continue to incur the costs and efforts of following all of these rules if we will be bidding against private individuals who have none of these responsibilities.
Return to Clinton’s top tax rate
In the history of the United States, the top tax rate has gone up considerably in every major crisis, among them World War I, World War II and the Great Depression.
During World War II, the top tax rate was as high as 94 percent. During World War I, it was 67 percent. And during the Depression, it was 63 percent.
It wasn’t until 1982 that President Reagan lowered the tax rate to 50 percent, but that rate included everyone over $199,000.
In 1988, Reagan lowered the tax rate again, to 28 percent. It should be noted that during the Reagan years, and then the George H.W. Bush years, our country accelerated deficit spending.
It wasn’t until 1993, when President Clinton raised the tax rate back to 39.6 percent, that we had a balanced budget again.
In 2003, President George W. Bush lowered the top rate to 35 percent. We have been operating at a deficit since 2002.
President Obama wants to raise the top tax rate back to 39.6 percent.
He’s not asking for the Reagan rate of 50 percent, or the rates during world wars. He’s asking for the Clinton rate that was in effect when we last balanced the budget.
Will this eliminate the entire deficit? Of course not. But it’s part of a plan to cut the deficit in half, and it would affect only 2 percent of the taxpayers.
Do we need to reduce spending? Absolutely. But cutting spending is a far more difficult task than raising taxes. Everyone wants to cut spending, but no one wants his or her government programs cut.
So let’s do first things first. Raise the tax rate. Then look for areas to reduce spending.
And as for the cry from the 2 percent who ask why they have to pay the burden of a tax increase, I’m reminded of the answer attributed to Willie Sutton when he was asked why he robbed banks.
“Because that’s where the money is,” he matter of factly replied.
The Republican tax plan is to penalize those who get old and are either poor or of middle income, and reward those who have most of the money already by ensuring they never have to pay their fair share.
No wonder I voted Democratic.
Singing praises of religious diversity
I have noticed a number of letters recently suggesting that only the traditional method of worshipping on Sunday is valid.
I am lucky to go to a church that has three services, one of them using computer images, guitars, drums and new versions of the old lessons.
These people worship the same God, support the same church. They even use the same liturgy (with more understandable words, sometimes) as I do. I do not like warbling versions of old (and to me, beautiful) songs, but if they are acceptable to others in their worship, I don’t have to hear them.
There is a passage in scripture that places a curse on anyone who adds to the message of Christ. To judge the sincerity of any other person’s worship does just that.
The Episcopal Church is dividing itself over denying people who dislike homosexuality a place in the church.
The same result will happen if we require uniformity in our form of religious worship.
H. Doyle Smith