State cuts target needy
Dec. 10 on the front page of the BDN a headline reads “Breakfast cut at assisted living sites”. What’s new? Every time the state cuts programs, it either picks seniors, people with disabilities or children. This is a tactic that has been used time and time again to cover up its fiscal responsibility. In order to get new taxes it seems to elicit sympathy from the taxpayer.
It works — we feel for the seniors who have worked all their lives only to be denied breakfast; we feel for people with disabilities who need assistance and we feel for the children whose future we are selling.
But sit back and look at all the programs that could be cut instead. Maybe if we shut down just one methadone clinic we could feed our seniors breakfast. Get rid of assistants to the assistant directors and a few more white collar buddy jobs and we could educate our children, assist seniors and others without raising taxes.
But, alas, we are talking about people who are running the state government, personal agendas and where fiscal responsibility is nil.
Good luck, seniors: You will get two meals a day … at least for now.
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Retired carmaker writes
Regarding the auto bailout: As I watch the negative sentiment toward the American auto companies, I realize how misled people have become. I am a retired auto worker from Detroit and I think people should at least place the blame where it belongs.
During the ’40s and ’50s, auto companies offered health insurance as an incentive to workers. There was a shortage of help in a fast-growing auto market. That’s how industry got into providing insurance. Europe and Canada went to state-provided health insurance. Today our manufacturers are competing with the rest of the world while shouldering the cost of employee insurance.
General Motors has estimated next year’s insurance bill will cost about $5.6 billion, adding about $1,500 to the cost per unit. That’s money foreign producers can spend on their products that we can’t. Meanwhile, 47 million Americans are praying that they don’t get sick.
I have lived in Maine for 11 years and watched the paper mills and shoe factories all but disappear. Conservatives keep feeding the public garbage about the evils of state-run health care. Well, Canadians and Europeans now are living an average of two years longer than we are. People here are afraid to change jobs if they have provided care, no matter how bad their job is.
I remember President Eisenhower’s conservatism. It meant being careful with our money. Today it means cutting everything for everybody except the rich and powerful. If we continue to wish each other harm and job loss, none of us will survive.
Curtis L. Fordyce
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As the wind blows
As I read the headline of Rich Hewitt’s Dec. 11 article, “Winds cut power to thousands,” I couldn’t help but think that it won’t be long (let’s hope) before we’ll be reading instead, “Winds produce power for thousands.” Isn’t it time to shake things up a bit? Isn’t it time to twist our news ever so slightly so that it’s actually positive? Here’s hoping!
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Auto bailout a mistake
I believe Congress will make a big mistake in bailing out the auto giants. The first step for these CEOs is to take a drastic cut in their salaries, so they earn $75,000 a year. And how about selling all their property except for their legal residence, sell the airplanes and any other extravagant toys.
It’s all about poor me. If the three automakers would do what I suggested, they wouldn’t have to lay off the workers. Perhaps the workers could work for less until the economy improves. A contract saying just that and signed by the CEOs and workers would be written to safeguard everyone’s rights.
I hear how the rich are having a hard time. They might be, but no one ever thinks about the working poor in this country. We are the ones helping to pay the big salaries, yet no one thinks to help us out.
Another stimulus check shouldn’t even be thought about. We owe too much money now to our allies who one day will come knocking at USA’s door giving us an ultimatum — pay up or start paying rent!
State and congressional leaders shouldn’t make a blunder that in the end will hurt all the people of the USA
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Oily solution for Big 3
The discussion of whether or not to bail out the Big Three automakers doesn’t make any sense to me. Bailing out any major companies at the expense of the taxpayers is not logical. If it happens, I firmly believe the end result will be nothing but failure.
Business is business. Make it on your own or close the doors as so many have been forced to do.
What do I think is the answer? I believe it is very simple. Why doesn’t someone who stands to benefit from the bailout step up to the plate and do it without stealing any more of the taxpayers’ money. Who might that be? The financial giants who have been basking in the money made from bilking the American public with record profits: the oil companies.
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Body of the letter
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Breakfast or trails?
Recently I read that due to cuts in federal subsidies, residents of Maine-supported assisted-living facilities will no longer be served breakfast. A couple days later I read that more than $300,000 will be spent to upgrade snowmobile trails. Maine: The way life is supposed to be?
Emily R. Chaney
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I always have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but apparently it isn’t so with the Eastern Agency on Aging.
How expensive could it be to provide a glass of juice, a cup of coffee or tea, and an English muffin to those elderly people who depend on that agency?
Maybe Augusta should do a little soul-searching.
Lois M. Farr