Pack it in
Attention all environment sympathizers, tree-huggers animal rights activists! In his derisive OpEd (“Pipeline pipe dreams,” BDN, Aug. 30), Alan W. Boone has laid down new rules: Anybody who has ever used energy or products derived from oil, gas or coal is hereby disallowed from any criticism of U.S. energy policies.
I guess we’ll pack it in and go home now.
James Solley’s Aug. 31 letter to the editor condemning columnist Charles Krauthammer is so hate-filled and anti-intellectual itself that it immediately brought to mind the Nazi propaganda from the 1930s and 1940s used against the Jews.
To Mr. Solley: Take a deep breath!
To the editor: Why on Earth would you publish such a letter?
Norman J. Cowen
How convenient for Eric Cantor and other extremists in the Republican Party to speak in half-truths. Case in point: the whole tax issue.
Republicans never finish the sentence, “Obama would raise taxes …” Because, of course, if they finished the sentence, it would read, “Obama would raise taxes on the wealthiest of the wealthiest Americans.”
That would translate to less than 1 percent of Americans. No one else’s taxes would have been raised, and no one else’s taxes would have to be raised to pay for the wars the Republican administration led us into with no payment plan.
But this myth continues to be disseminated and repeated and no one calls them on it. I urge the Bangor Daily News to print the names of all the Republicans who refused a cost of living increase (COLA) to seniors and refused money for veterans, but voted eagerly for the wealthiest Americans to continue receiving huge tax breaks that they don’t need. Time for the media to start exposing these half-truths.
No welcome mat for students
What an interesting juxtaposition of headlines in the Sept. 1 BDN: “GOP chairman says if students want to vote, they should pay taxes” and “UMaine, Orono businesses urge students to feel welcome downtown.”
Charlie Webster’s complaints do little to encourage young people to feel invested in Maine communities — too bad, since we spend so much time worrying about being an aging state and wondering what we can do to keep young people here.
Whether they are native Mainers or people who’ve moved here to attend school and have fallen in love with the state, we have an opportunity to keep young people in Maine by helping them feel welcome and invested in their communities. Wouldn’t we like them to stay after they graduate, keeping their skills and expertise? Wouldn’t we like them, when the time comes, to buy a home (and pay property taxes) here? To raise their families here?
Webster’s remarks are, at best, unwelcoming, but they are also illogical; last time I checked there is no blanket tax exemption for students in Maine, and they do pay taxes in the communities in which they live.
I hope his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud — which seem to be based more in political motivation than in reality — don’t turn young people off from the possibility of staying here after graduation. If we want students to spend money in and feel connected to Maine communities, then let’s not make them feel unwelcome at the ballot box.
Balanced budget needed
It’s easy to understand the BDN’s hesitance about a balanced budget amendment (“The pitfalls of a balanced budget amendment,” Aug. 31 editorial), and in truth, it’s embarrassing that we need it. But unfortunately, members of Congress have proven that they are unable to control their spending habit.
I recently heard Sen. Olympia Snowe say that last time she voted for a balanced budget amendment, it failed by one vote in the Senate — amid promises to control spending and deficits. Well, at that time, the national debt was $5 trillion, and now it’s on its way to $16 trillion or $17 trillion.
That is why she is a strong supporter now — because Congress keeps proving they need tighter controls on spending our tax dollars.
My concern is if something is not done, what will be the excuse when the debt is $30 trillion or $40 trillion?