Wednesday, July 18, 2012: Economic growth, independent generation and LePage’s Gestapo comment

Posted July 17, 2012, at 3:41 p.m.

Economic development

Our state officials in Augusta can play an important role in creating an environment that is supportive of Maine companies. Unfortunately, too often policies and programs are developed by officials that have little or no business experience. They are motivated by their desire to get re-elected and maintain power. That being said, there are several specific areas where programs offered by federal, state and local officials can make a difference.

One important area is economic development. The primary goal should be to help grow existing businesses and foster the creation of new jobs. Too often officials want to attract “new” companies and they lavish them with over-the-top incentives, only to see them leave after a few years.

A model to consider would be the creation of an economic development board for each county in Maine that would be composed of local business leaders. Using “block grants,” they could work with companies to develop mutually agreed upon growth strategies. These grants would be multi-year and tied to the attainment of specific benchmarks, with an emphasis on job creation. Instead of rigid legislation, the economic development board would work with business owners to design individualized programs that spur economic growth. These grants could also support college-based researchers in the development, protection and transfer of technologies into industry via licensing or spin out companies.

Evan J. Segal

Rockport

Blaine House bully

Never in my 70-plus years have I seen such a bully in the Blaine House. He threatens, pushes, punishes, accuses, warns and all the other adjectives that we can use to describe a bully.

We try to teach our children in school to be fair, tolerant and not to bully. Maybe he should enroll in the charter school that he is pushing so hard for. When our legislators voted whether to override or sustain his veto, they dared not vote against him lest they incur the wrath and retaliation of the “Bully in the Blaine House.”

I have followed local, national and international politics since Mr. Cosgrove taught Civics at Freedom Academy. Thankfully we have not seen or heard anything like him in the past and hopefully not in the future. Gone are the days of Sens. Cohen and Mitchell. That is why we are losing a good Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Ronald Raymond

Liberty

Why my generation needs Angus King

When I speak with my fellow college students about issues that affect our generation, one fact becomes clear — we are overwhelmingly independent. Issues that keep our parents awake at night often do not matter to us, and the issues we find important are held hostage by both parties.

For my generation, memories of our parents reinforcing the importance of compromise are still fresh in our minds: (“If you eat three more carrots you can watch 15 minutes of television.”) Playgrounds and classrooms are dominated by compromise, a prerequisite of sharing and getting along. We learned in our civics classes that Congress itself was founded on the Great Compromise of 1787.

In our two to three decades of ensuing life, we have reaped the benefits of an extraordinary amount of creative destruction, as we become more connected and productive than was ever thought possible. This makes it difficult to understand that our policymakers spend time doubting the possibilities of new technology and arguing with scientists.

Our concerns boil down to one simple policy: we want a prosperous future in a clean world where we can live comfortably with friends and family. We are not scared by either big government or big corporations — although we recognize the shortcomings of both, we understand that the appropriate balance of power resides in the ability of our politicians to exercise common sense.

This is why my generation will be turning out to vote for Angus King in November.

Peter Drown

Orono

Gubernatorial definition

I have to wonder if the Blaine House has a dictionary. I have, and the definition of Gestapo is: “The German state secret police organized under the Nazi regime, noted for their brutality.”

It is well known what they did to the German-Jewish community and all other Jewish people. The current governor has compared some hardworking government employees to the murdering German Gestapo of World War II.

This only shows that a person can go to college, get a degree and graduate without a lick of common sense. I recently resigned from the Republican Party after 45 years for one reason and one reason only — the leadership of the Republican Party stands by and even tries to defend Mr. LePage’s stupid comments and actions.

From the silence of individuals such as Charlie Summers running for U.S. Senate, Jonathan Courtney, Kevin Raye running for U.S. Congress, and other Republicans running for state office, one can only believe they agree with his comments.

That said, I will not vote for any Republican that stays silent on his Gestapo comment. The way I see it, silence is a pure sign of agreement. If you don’t agree with his comments and don’t have the guts to say so, you don’t get my vote.

I long for the days when we had intelligent individuals with common sense such as Sen. Margaret Chase Smith or Bill Cohen, who would not have stood silent.

In closing, we can get rid of the sheep following the bully by going to the polls and voting in November.

David Crockett

Augusta

Hardworking

I have read with concern several recent news accounts that describe extraordinarily offensive comments made by Gov. Paul LePage in discussing the Internal Revenue Service’s role in administering provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The employees of the IRS are among the most dedicated and hardworking in the federal government. Gov. LePage’s comments are disturbing on so many levels, but I am particularly distressed that he would attack public servants in Maine and across the country who come to work every day committed to giving their best for the American taxpayer.

We at the IRS take very seriously the duty we have to properly implement federal laws as directed by Congress, and we welcome constructive dialogue in regard to the implementation of these laws. But I must strongly object to comments such as those made by Gov. LePage, which serve no constructive purpose, and do a disservice to the employees of my agency.

Douglas H. Shulman

IRS Commissioner

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