Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011: Jobs, tax breaks and the home front

Posted Sept. 14, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.

Temporary better than nothing

The Friday, Sept. 9 Bangor Daily News reported that President Obama’s jobs bill would have only a temporary impact.

There are millions of Americans who would gladly take a temporary job now and hope the economy will be better next year.

There were also questions about how the jobs bill would be paid for. Ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would not only save billions in current operating costs, but would save untold billions in future health costs for our soldiers.

Jim Alciere

East Machias

Tree growth abuse

If Roxanne Quimby is paying the taxes on the land she owns I have no problem with her managing her land the way she wants to. But she isn’t paying the correct amount of taxes; she is taking advantage of the residents of Maine by paying only the tree growth value on all the land she owns.

The tree growth tax break wasn’t supposed to be for land conservation the way Quimby is using it. It was meant to maintain a healthy forest and to manage the forest for the harvesting of trees to maintain and create jobs in the forest products industry, which I don’t have a problem with.

She’s not the only one taking advantage of this tax subsidy that the residents of Maine have to pay for. Landowners only need to have a forester write a forest management plan to get this tax subsidy if they own 10 acres or more. This amounts to billions of dollars in tax revenue that the average resident has to make up for with higher taxes.

Call your representative and demand something be done about this tax subsidy.

Stu Kallgren

West Enfield

Can Americans think?

The BDN’s editorial cartoon of Sept. 8 shows President Obama enduring a cacophony of voices regarding the best time for him to deliver his address before Congress regarding the nation’s economic crisis.

In spite of the importance of the message and the reality it confronted, he had to time the address so as not to conflict with the televised rubbish that dominates much of popular culture today. He actually had to promise his message would not conflict with the opening of the professional football season.

Seventy years ago, on May 27, 1941, a ballgame between the New York Giants and the Boston Braves was interrupted for 45 minutes in order that the crowd could listen to a message from President Franklin Roosevelt dealing with the deteriorating situation in Europe. There is no record of any objection.

Today, a message in a similar context from any president would be, to put it mildly, counter-productive. It would be met by jeers, scorn and derision, regardless of its content.

We have come a long way in 70 years. Space does not permit discussion of the social, technological, cultural and political changes that have since swept the nation. We can only ask whether those changes have advanced or retarded the ability of Americans to think seriously about serious matters.

Lynn Parsons

Castine

Focus on home front

The BDN’s Sept. 9 headline asks “Are We Safer?” I believe we are not safe until we bring our troops back home to guard our own borders. I believe we are setting a great country up for even more embarrassment and stigma by remaining in this money-consuming, ignorant war.

Terrorism in some countries has been the way of life for generations, and they know no other way. I’m not saying it is right, but it is a fact. We ought to bring the troops home to protect our own borders. We will never be able to catch every foreign terrorist, thus the need for our troops on our own shores to make sure said terrorists have a harder time getting in.

My mind has changed after seeing videos, reading reports and learning more about the government I served for 23 years. I am ashamed of my own country, for as much as I love it and know there are good people in it, it becomes more evident every day that more people in charge care little for their fellow citizens. They try to take away the benefits of the elderly, handicapped and veterans. It is wrong to make a person have to choose between being homeless or receiving medical help he or she needs because they haven’t the funds for both.

We ought to start with our own country. I believe the U.S. needs to clean up its own backyard before invading everyone else’s.

Angella Moser

Jonesboro

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