Thursday, October 11, 2012: Tax policy, gay marriage and the fiscal cliff

Posted Oct. 10, 2012, at 5 p.m.

No injustice

As a lifetime Mainer and owner of a small business, I implore our two U.S. senators to reject the tax and spending policies of their party, since it neither reflects the values of our state nor the best interests of small or local businesses.

Maine people believe in self-reliance but also in fairness and balance. A tax structure that asks proportionally more of a middle-class family than of a person with more means to contribute

does not fulfill our expectations for good public policy. Contrary to the rhetoric coming out of Washington, the fact is that cutting taxes for billionaires instead of investing in our communities hurts small business!

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins can demonstrate their well-earned reputation for political independence at the end of this year when Congress will debate trillions of dollars worth of spending and revenue measures. A key point of contention is whether to extend tax cuts originally passed during the early Bush administration for households making more than a quarter million dollars a year. (This represents only 2 percent of all taxpayers, 3 percent of small businesses). The pro-Maine and pro-small business vote would be no.

It would be better to use the hundreds of billions of dollars that would be generated by allowing the rates on top earners to rise slightly, which would reduce debt and pay for things like Medicare, college tuition assistance and road repair that support the middle class and promote broad-based prosperity.

Ryan Toothaker

Brewer

Rejected by Maine voters

Throughout history, all religions have recognized the state of marriage is between a man and a woman. Among non-religious people, natural law has always dictated that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Now, because a very vocal minority wants to turn things upside down marriage-wise, the people of Maine are once again called to set things straight by voting down same-sex marriage. This in the face of big out-of-state money, a very biased media and some very aggressive advertising by the gay rights people.

One of the most perfidious claims the gay rights supporters made years ago was that they had no agenda, just wanted fairness in housing and employment. Now they are demanding the right to marry. Why should any serious society even consider changing the fundamental basis of marriage from one man, one woman? I understand that when one criticizes any aspect of gay conduct, one can be expected to be called names such as homophobic. Well, if speaking out for what is right and traditional gets one called names, then so be it.

Everyone has the right to a peaceful life; no one should be hassled. This having been said, no minority has the right to ride roughshod over the culture’s traditional mores. The concept of same-sex marriage is fundamentally wrong and should be soundly rejected by the Maine voters.

William D. Duddy

Dedham

Frustrated Maine voters

Count me as one of many frustrated Maine voters who view with utter disbelief the categorization of the approaching “fiscal cliff” as being the sole responsibility of the Republicans’ congressional intransigence.

Any critical reader who has followed the various AP, New York Times and Washington Post stories about this in recent weeks would see that the narrative is being constructed to blame the Republicans in Congress, notably vice presidential candidate and House budget committee Chairman Paul Ryan, for the impending and assumed negative impact on the U.S. economy.

If the fiscal cliff is as predicted, it may be the economic perfect storm — an intersection of several negative conditions, a very weak U.S. economy, legislative gridlock that created measures triggering automatic spending cuts of about $100 billion throughout the federal system (though not proportionately), and an estimated $300 billion in tax increases covering a broad spectrum of taxpayers.

The predicted effect? Another recession, a calculated 4 percent drop in gross domestic product, also bringing an increase in unemployment numbers. The Republicans must be to blame, right?

Let’s be honest here: the president and the Democratic Party controlled the House for two years and Senate all along and never passed a budget.

That’s three years of “incomplete” in my view and more than enough reason to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Paul Ackerman

Tenants Harbor

Gate access to Millinocket Stream

Mr. Charles Cirame, if you are going use our name, please get it correct: The Millinocket Fin & Feather Club.

If you would have contacted us, you would be aware we are on top of the situation. The president of the club — also a Millinocket councilor — has been in contact with Brookfield Power concerning this situation. By law, the river is considered a navigable roadway that can not be impeded. It is a great fishing area and, therefore, should not be blocked. There are, however, situations in regard to safety. The floats need to be pushed back significantly.

We have several areas of concern, including Frost Pond access which has been hindered. Also the Howland Project to stop Northern Pike from coming up the river, which you seem to have little interest in stopping. Once we have a definitive answer from Brookfield Power, we will know which direction to go in order to protect fishing and canoeing in this area that we believe is of vital interest to the town of Millinocket.

Bruce Fremont Leavitt

Fin & Feather Club of Millinocket

Millinocket

Support Dan Levesque

By voting for Dan Levesque for the Maine Senate seat in District 34, you will be electing a strong advocate for: full public school funding and support for Maine teachers, support for postsecondary trade schools, support for education that will allow improvements in all our schools, protection of Maine jobs and protection of Maine’s natural resources.

I have known Levesque, a Democrat, for many years, and he is a determined, hard-working individual. He takes great pride in being from the County and having raised a family here. He has been part of a large family-owned and family-operated lumber industry, along with taking on being the owner of a computer/internet company. Levesque knows what it takes to be successful in the business industry. He will take those skills with him to Augusta to make some positive change.

Please join me in voting for Levesque for the State Senate District 34.

Michael Cote

Ashland

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