Mar. 3 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 02, 2010, at 4:45 p.m.

Government solution

Obama’s plan requires everyone to purchase health insurance from a private for-profit insurance company. He doesn’t even offer the alternative of the House’s watered-down, ineffective public option, which the Congressional Budget Office forecasted would “cost more than a comparable private plan, and would [optimistically] attract merely 0-6 million customers” The result is that Obama is once again handing the insurance industry and Wall Street a $500 billion handout.

It is unfortunate that Democrats in Washington do not understand that people are tired of corporate handouts and bailouts and the Democratic Party will pay dearly in November and 2012 if it persists in ignoring the needs of the people over the demands of the lobbyists.

In these hard economic times it makes more sense than ever for Washington to provide all Americans with a system to maximize their health care dollar. They can do that by setting up a program for all Americans to pool their money into one insurance pool that distributes the risk as wide as possible, and thereby provides health care at the lowest cost while providing complete coverage without co-pays, deductibles or lifetime maximum coverage.

The financing of health care is beyond the capability of the private sector. The government must provide the solution as they provide other infrastructure: roads, education, fire and police, etc. The government must step forward and own up to its obligation to “promote the general welfare” of the country.

Jerry Call

South Thomaston

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Sales tax fix

Remember when we had surpluses in the sales tax? Is there no provision, for when we are in a major budget deficit, which would raise the tax rate to help balance the budget instead of constantly cutting services to those least able to help themselves?

How about this: From May to October the sales tax should be 7 percent and then back to 5 percent the rest of the year. We have about 1.1 million residents and about 4.5 million visitors. Guess who is wearing out the roads and who is paying for the repairs?

The state taxes more for restaurants and hotel rooms, why not a little extra on everything during the summer so the tourists chip in more to help keep the state they love to visit a place where they will still love to visit?

We could give a bit of a rebate to the permanent residents on their state tax returns to offset the bit paid during the summer months.

Personally, I’d consider voting for a politician who had the best interests of the people in this state as their first priority than someone who was so afraid of even whispering the words tax increase for fear it might mean the end of their political career.

Ralph Fahringer

Ellsworth

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Return to sender

In yesterday’s mail, I got a letter from the director of the U.S. Census Bureau informing me that in a few days, I will receive a 2010 Census form. Fantastic! I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not been informed that a census form was coming in the mail.

I should send a thank you note to the director. However, it would cost me 44 cents for the postage. Plus a sheet of paper and an envelope. Plus the time it would take to compose the note, and the effort to bring it to the mailbox.

Wait a minute! Who paid for that pre-letter from the director, plus maybe 200 million others like it? Could foolish waste like this perhaps be a symptom of the $3 trillion debt this country is facing?

Hank Holden

Palermo

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Prevent child abuse

I am saddened and outraged at the murder of an infant in Bangor last week (“FBI offers reward for suspect in Bangor baby’s death,” Feb. 27). I am sure that the parents among us are hugging our own children a little more closely and holding on a bit longer. I am equally sure that we all hope your coverage of this story helps bring the killer to justice quickly. However, your coverage is missing a critical issue — prevention.

Child abuse is epidemic. The suffering is very real, always horrific, and the acts of evil committed by abusers are undeniable. FBI rewards and police manhunts are sensational and easily capture the public’s attention. Now that you have our attention, I challenge your editors to frame this story in a new way.

Tell your readers what they can do to prevent abuse, and provide resources for more information. Inform readers about the larger policy issues and pending legislation that affects child abuse. Share the information needed to protect their children.

Prevention is the best weapon we have in our arsenal to combat child abuse. I hope the BDN will tell your readers a complete story, leading them towards a more constructive, positive and hopeful course of action. Tell us about this monster, but also how to prevent the monsters among us from hurting our children.

Wouldn’t we all rather help prevent abuse before it occurs rather than read about its tragic effects? Or feel its cold grip on our own innocent children?

John Szarowski

Corinna

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Snowe’s snub

Sen. Olympia Snowe refused a personal special invitation from President Obama to attend the recent health care summit in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Snowe speaks constantly about being a strong supporter of bipartisanship as a means of breaking gridlock in Congress. However, she chose to listen to her Republican leaders’ demands not to attend the summit instead of bringing her concerns and ideas to the table. This kind of partisan politics has no place in good-faith attempts to build consensus on important new health insurance reforms or in promoting a new political reality in Washington.

Nancy Allen

Brooksville

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Death of sardine plant

The news of the closing of the Bumble Bee plant in Prospect Harbor is sad indeed. But this is why Maine has had to resort to casinos for income as well.

The House and Senate are to blame for the overregulation of every industry in this state and country. It is why we have unemployment so high and why we are facing a deficit and national debt that may soon be unmendable. It is the laws passed in the House and Senate that run businesses elsewhere.

What often seem like good intentions turn out to be more destructive than good. If there is a demand for a product like paper or sardines, trees will be felled and fish will be caught. If not by U.S., then by some other company, some other country.

The only answer to save our country as we know it is for all of those elected in Washington to begin eliminating one by one the burdens of government on the people. This includes the thousands of excessive laws, regulations and taxes. There is no other way, aside from a systemic collapse, as history repeats itself.

William Sovis

Bangor

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On taking stock

From Woodstock to the Tea Party (BDN OpEd, Feb. 27-28) is a disingenuous piece of stereotyping. There is so much more to the people born between 1946 and 1965 than tea parties and rock concerts.

In 1969 I walked across the USA from New York City to Corvallis, Ore., and found that attitudes from the east to west coasts do not reflect one opinion, one society, or one way of life. I found many people my age who never had heard of Bob Dylan, who still herded livestock on the Great Plains, and who worked making the stuff people use every day without a thought of where their kitchen implements, chairs or coffee cups come from.

This city boy learned how to run a combine, break a horse in water, and love Kitty Wells and T. Texas Tyler. Young people who befriended me taught me that these United States are neither liberal, nor conservative, not tea party nor Woodstock, but a great mass of people usually trying to do the best they can for their friends and family.

In the ’70s, I heard people say that the USA was on its last legs, that we were at the end of our run; I know they were wrong then, as I think they are wrong now. We’re in a slump, but we don’t need tea parties or rock concerts to get us back on track. All we need is working folks like those I met while walking many years ago.

Harry H. Snyder III

Whiting

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Obey traffic laws

I hold a Class A commercial driver’s license. I drove tractor-trailers for a little more than 10 years. I now drive the school bus for RSU 20 in Belfast.

As a driver held to a higher standard of professionalism, I would like to address the rising problem of drivers choosing to be courteous at times when they should be obeying traffic laws.

On a recent morning, I was driving west on Route 3 approaching a side street with my left turn signal on. Upon reaching the turn, I stopped to let oncoming traffic pass. The first vehicle approaching stopped in the highway, and proceeded to wave me on. I could not believe what I was seeing, especially since there were four other vehicles traveling behind the first one. Luckily, no accident occurred.

Since the start of this school year, this has happened many times, all in the name of courtesy. I have nothing against people being nice; but please, before someone gets hurt or killed, obey the traffic rules. If you’re unsure about traffic laws concerning school buses, ask police or a bus driver. Someone will be happy to answer your questions.

Carmelo Muriel

Belfast

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