Is it time for a temporary sales tax hike?
Let’s bottom out government by independently auditing every program, department and job position. Education needs must be based on essential learning programs such as reading, writing, arithmitic, science, history.
Removing money from a dead economy by an increase in taxes is trying to lift yourself up by the handle while standing in the bucket.
I find the idea of increasing taxes now to be short-sighted and a perfect example of why the rank and file Main Street worker is fed up with government. The media says the recession is over but we have 17 percent of the workforce unemployed.
Here’s an idea — cut the Legislature in half. Cut down on the number of state offices — one in each county is plenty — double up on the use of those offices, like motor vehicles, human services and probation and parole under one roof and cut the number of vendors. It is foolish to pay administrative costs for seven vendors when one can do the job. Stop buying heating oil for state buildings from the most expensive supplier. Lower the truck weights on the secondary roads. The cost of repairs is astronomical.
There are plenty of ways Maine state government could find additional funds. Just read The Piglet Book produced by the Maine Heritage Policy Center (the book is free). It contains a myriad of ways and places the state could cut its own costs before digging deeper into the empty pockets of Mainers, pockets that wouldn’t be so empty if our tarnished politicians were more concerned with the people of this state than they are with lining the pockets of unions, lobbyists and themselves.
As an example, where else can a person work for just a few years and be guaranteed the lifetime retirement benefits members of the Legislature or the governor receive? They aren’t paying for those benefits; you and I are. Better benefits, in fact, than most Mainers have ever had.
This state does not know how to stimulate spending or jobs. We get stimulus money from the federal government and it goes to paying back money. What kind of a “bass-ackward” move is that? If they actually used it to stimulate job creation they would have eventually had the money to pay back. The people in power here know nothing about business or how to make money. They are all about spending and taxing.
Should the drinking age be lowered?
If a person is old enough to vote or serve in the military, then they should be old enough to drink. What is really needed are tougher drinking laws and more education about the consequences of irresponsible drinking.
Leave it where it is at 21. Increase the punishment for providing alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age. When someone reaches 21, and they desire to drink, they should be given a simple course that outlines the consequences of drinking on their health and their ability to function and made to sign a waiver stating they are solely responsible for their actions under the influence of alcohol.
This is a small question in a time when we need big answers. In my opinion, it is time to make one year the age of adulthood; children on one side, adults on the other – 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 21. It makes no difference. One age to vote, sign contracts, work full time, be tried in adult court, enter the military, drink, smoke and marry.
The convoluted system we have now may be perfectly understandable to the folks who designed it, but young adults don’t get it at all.