Keep in mind these ‘wad’ of cash days? | Columnists

At some point the coins turned into banknotes, and I always liked to have a few in my wallet, mostly those. Then it became a habit to have what we called a “leaf”. I’ve never had a lot of money, but if I got $ 20 back and got $ 12 back in change, I’d ask for funds to make my “bundle” more impressive.

As my Social Security fortune started piling up, I started taking a few hundred-dollar bills as “just in case” money, even though a C-note doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to be. I thought I could handle most eventualities. Unfortunately, those days seem to be over.

On Wednesday I stopped at a fast food place only to say, “We don’t take cash.” NS ?! Don’t take cash with you? In my eight decades, at one point in my humble existence where I can actually afford a small “bundle”, it is now essentially useless. How can the tooth fairy cope with leaving a Visa card under the pillow? If I send the Seal Team away to get an ice cream, do I have to buy a Coldstone Gift Card first?

For years I have been comforted by having some cash. Now, to my horror, I discover that perhaps the best use of cash is to light one of my Henry Clay stogies. And how do you make a “tree” out of a Visa card? Those wandering, random thoughts of an old man are sure not to resonate with the younger crowd. What is cash to them? An uncomfortable lump in your pocket?

Our children carry wealth on a small piece of plastic. If you are a little tight on cash, the card allows you to do that. It might work for them, but they’ll never see the joy of buying an army man, ham sandwich, and ice cream soda for 50 cents at the Woolworth lunch counter.

Changing decking on an present deck can get monetary savings | Columnists

F. Our home is approximately 35 years old and the original deck has 5/4 treated planks. We’ve taken care of it and pressure washed and resealed it several times over the years. It’s looking worn again and I would love to replace it with a composite deck. The substructure looks and feels good. Is it possible to remove the old decking and install new decking on top of the existing decking joists? – Dave in Angola

A. Yes, it is possible to just replace the pad on an existing pad and it would save you thousands of dollars in the cost of a full replacement.

I recommend doing a thorough check of your existing substructure first to make sure you know what needs to be repaired or reworked. Often the existing handrail railing has to be removed, but sometimes only the spindles have to be removed.

Check all hangers and screwed components of the substructure before you remove the old decking.

Now that the decking is removed, you can really see what needs fixing and what needs updating.

I recommend 16 “center-to-center spacing for the floor joists. If you plan to install composite floorboards on a diagonal or sloping slope, the spacing must be 12”.

If you are planning a picture frame or wraparound deck, or planning a split deck so that there are no exposed decking ends or butt joints, these areas will need additional joists.

Make sure no joists need to be jacked up, trimmed, or adjusted and that the structure is ready for another 40 years.

Be sure to cover the old joists with joist tape and cover the old nail holes and protect the joists. You can now lay new composite planks and install new handrails.

Jeff Deahl is a past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column can be submitted to

Rob Ukrop column: It is time to convey again sports activities and leisure | Columnists

Richmond Kickers’ Ryley Kraft celebrated his goal with fans in a game against Greenville on August 29.

By Rob Ukrop

The Richmond Kickers are incredibly proud to be part of the larger RVA sports and entertainment community. Founded in 1993, we’re the longest running professional soccer franchise in the United States, a championship pedigree and, most importantly, deep community connection.

In 2020, we safely advanced a modified season of the United Soccer League (USL) League One with 16 games, including eight home games at the City Stadium and eight away games. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, we were able to implement extensive protocols to provide Richmonders with a safe outdoor respite, where fans could enjoy the happy experience of cheering on their local professional football club.

As we near the start of our 29th straight season this spring, sports venue capacity is currently limited to 250 people – a number that is both the viability of our club and our core mission of building connections to the community by curating a joyful Enhancing authentic, compromised soccer experience in RVA.

With a regular season of 28 games on the horizon, we intend to be part of our community’s healing process from a challenging 2020 onwards. To do this, however, we need the support of our government.

We agree with our friends at The Diamond that it is time to bring back sports and entertainment to kickstart this healing process together.

Steve Chapman – Losing cash is a foul thought | Opinion Columnists

Last spring, Treasury sent “Economic Impact Payments” of $ 1,200 for each qualified adult to approximately 160 million people. In September, Gallup asked people if they would like the government to give them more money.

Lo and behold, 70% of them said yes. Only 17% said no – a group that may have been dominated by those who did not qualify for the first time and were seething with resentment.

When President Donald Trump proposed distributing another round of checks for $ 2,000 per person in December, he again found a receptive audience. Two-thirds of Americans were willing to do their patriotic duty in order to accept more money. In the end, however, Congress approved payments of just $ 600.

President Joe Biden is now looking to make up the difference by writing checks for $ 1,400 to the vast majority of Americans. In the midst of an economic crisis sparked by a raging pandemic, there are many ways the federal government could spend money that would be both inexpensive and humane. Stimulus payments are not included.

Now is no time for austerity. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are unlikely to return to work until a large part of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19. Tens of thousands of businesses have closed due to public health regulations or missing customers. The federal government should stand ready to take on large amounts of new debt to alleviate widespread hardship and prevent the economy from collapsing.

However, this commitment is not an excuse for spending that is ill-suited to either task. While additional stimulus checks will help Americans who are in serious need, they will help many more people who are not. Anyone earning $ 99,000 or less, or a household of two adults with incomes of $ 150,000 or less, was entitled to the full amount of the initial payments.

Approximately 90% of Americans got something that’s double the number of people who say they suffered the economic effects of the pandemic. It is one thing for Uncle Sam to go into debt in order to save people from misery. It is another thing to do to improve the comfort of people who are fully employed and financially secure.

The checks are commonly referred to as stimulus payments, but are not intended to stimulate the economy.

Stimulus is also not what the economy needs. In a normal recession, people will spend less money losing their jobs or fear of losing it, causing the economy to decline. The federal government can help in the short term by giving people money to spend.

This time, however, the economy contracted because the pandemic halted or restricted a variety of activities. Giving people money doesn’t help if they can’t or don’t want to do so many things that involve money – eat out, go to the movies, buy clothes, go on a trip, or throw a party. It’s like wasting matches to light a sodden bang.

The pointlessness of this approach became clear after the first payment round. A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that only 40% of the money was spent on goods and services, with the balance supposed to reduce debt or increase savings.

The $ 600 checks cost $ 166 billion, and the $ 1,400 back payment would bring a total of $ 600 billion, according to the Committee on Responsible Federal Budget. That money could be spent in far more productive ways – to keep businesses and nonprofits from going bankrupt; Enable tenants to pay their rent; or fund COVID-19 treatment, testing, and vaccinations.

Restricting payments to individuals with incomes up to $ 50,000 and families with incomes up to $ 75,000 would save $ 200 billion and focus aid on the people who are most likely to need and spend it.

It would be a wrong economy for Washington to forego urgent needs during a crisis. But that does not excuse pumping out cash with a fire hose. Every dollar borrowed adds to the swollen federal debt. We are fortunate that interest rates are now low, making it cheap to borrow. But they won’t stay low forever, and when they go up, taxpayers will groan under the weight.

Most Americans would be happy if the federal government gave them free money, just as they would be happy if someone offered them free beer or free food. You may not notice that they are volunteering to pick up the tab.

(Steve Chapman is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Creators Syndicate.)