Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011: A season to help, politicians’ wealth

Posted Dec. 27, 2011, at 5:49 p.m.

Strange change of heart

Strange. Until recently, the GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives did not want to pass the payroll tax deduction extension for any period of time. However, when the Senate recently passed a two-month extension, the GOP members decided that they would not agree to this unless the extension was for a whole year.

It doesn’t make sense to me. I wonder what they’re up to.

Mike Gagnon

Fort Kent

Insider trading and earmarks

It is time for OWS protesters to make others aware of how and why politicians are accumulating great wealth. These protesters understand that the salaries and perks of members of Congress are not the cause of their emerging wealth, but the result of a loophole in a law that the public did not know about.

Peter Schweizer’s tell-all book, “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians And Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals and Cronyism That Would Send The Rest Of Us To Prison,” explains in full detail. Please read this book and understand that not all members of Congress are honest and ethical, but instead, some became greedy and developed an interest in primarily increasing their own personal wealth.

You may be surprised to learn this not a Republican or Democratic thing, but rather bipartisan. By reading this book, you will learn why earmarks are so popular with many members of Congress, but their own personal financial gain will never be disclosed.

Some of our multibillion-dollar investors seem to have a Midas touch, however, they in fact receive inside tips. Tips such as these are illegal for every other American. Why is it legal for politicians to cheat the system, when ordinary Americans would be punished if they were to do the same thing? This entire system of insider trading by politicians should be publicly disclosed and recognized so that this loophole will finally be closed.

Peter Benedetti

Southwest Harbor

Season to help

Times are tough. Many people are struggling to get by and Congress rewards their efforts by cutting heating assistance by 25 percent. With fewer and fewer people having the ability to pay for expensive health care, the state recommends cutting 65,000 people from MaineCare.

Here’s where private citizens have started picking up the slack that the government is leaving behind. Thanks to a challenge from Stephen King, his radio station has raised almost a quarter of a million dollars to help Mainers pay for heating oil! Ongoing donations from Lafayette Hotels go toward the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer giving Mainers a more local and comfortable place to go when they fight their battle with cancer.

At the same time, from Thanksgiving to Dec. 30, Lafayette Hotels’ Home for the Holidays program gives free rooms to people who are visiting loved ones in the hospital or have lost their homes to fire.

These are just a few great examples of people stepping up for others. For those of us with the wherewithal to support ourselves, we should take a look around and see the needs of others this Christmas season. Even the smallest deed can make a big difference.

Ryan Asalone

Hampden

Poverty in perspective

Long ago, when blueberries were mostly harvested by hand, I was a raker up in Washington County, camping out for the five-week season every year. On rainy days, I worked in the Cherryfield processing plant. So it was I came to know the men and women up county.

One day in the barrens, a woman said to me, “some people call us poor. Sure, our husbands don’t have steady jobs. But we have our own homes and gardens. Plenty to eat. How many Americans can say that?”

Perhaps a statistician, if he still has a job, may not be aware of us. We fall between the cracks of the percent scale. However, we have our homes and gardens. Plenty to eat. And have adapted to go where the work is. How many Americans can say this?

In Depression-stricken Chicago during the 1930s, my parents lost their store where we lived in the back. We called it the school of hard knocks.

Russell Vesecky

Harmony

Remove the gate

In the Piscataquis County Registry of Deeds, Vol. 5, Page 317, a 1987 Appellate Court ruling reversed the Piscataquis County commissioners’ 1895 decision to discontinue Little Wilson Road. This ruling is still in force.

In a January 2008 review of local roads with the Maine Department of Transportation Local Roads Center, the county manager confirmed that Little Wilson Road was maintained for summer use.

A 1990 printout of local roads, by the same Local Roads Center, lists Little Wilson Road as a seasonal summer townway.

Little Wilson Road is a legal public easement and not on privately owned land and is under the jurisdiction of the county commissioners. Are the commissioners more interested in protecting private interests than the public interests?

They should have Roxanne Quimby’s gate removed.

Roy McSorley

Clowes Brown

James Buchanan

Elliotsville

The gift of wisdom

I discovered a gem of a book called “The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom” by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany. It was published in 1994 when the sisters were each over 100 years old.

They were remarkable women and what they had to say will always be well worth listening to and learning from.

Christmas is a perfect time to hear the Delany Sisters’ inspiring words about “How to Handle Money.”

1. When it comes to money keep your mouth shut.

2. Cut back on your possessions. The more you own the more time you waste taking care of things.

3. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Forget credit cards — they are the Devil’s work!

4. Don’t live above your income. If your income goes down, your spending must go down.

5. Out of every dollar, give the first ten cents to the Lord, the second ten cents to the bank for hard times, and keep the rest — but you’d better spend it wisely.

6. Once you put your hard-earned money in the bank, leave it there! Smart people invest it, and then they’ll always have some to fool with.

7. Teach your children to save money from day one. Give your child an allowance so she can practice responsibility. A child who doesn’t learn thrift at home will have money trouble all her life.

If parents want to give a meaningful gift to their children, it would be hard to beat the gift of handling their money well. Maybe one gift that would top knowing how to manage money well might be the gift of time. Time and attention are the gifts most children really want.

Koko Preston

Rockland

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