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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013: ‘Fiscal pork,’ the Salvation Army and distracted driving


Bring back market figures

I really miss the closing stock market figures at the top of the Bangor Daily News’ Business Page. It was always the first thing I turned to. It’s a complete snapshot of the prior day’s financial action.

Sure, the information is available online but only late in the day or in historical charts.

Bring back the closing stock market figures.

Tracy K. Hastings


Outrageous “fiscal pork”

As I read the Jan. 4 article, “Fiscal cliff package includes $75.3 billion tax deal for wind farms, NASCAR, rum” by Richard Rubin of the Bloomberg News about the pork included in fiscal cliff tax-break extensions, one paragraph blew me away.

“The bill includes a one-year extension through 2013 of the production tax credit for wind power, at a cost of $12.2 billion. That will save as many as 37,000 jobs in an industry that’s expected to stall this year, the American Wind Energy Association said.”

All weekend I could not get that statement out of my mind. I used a calculator to determine the per job tax credit to the wind industry. It works out to be more than $329,000 per job saved for one year.

There was more pork included in the budget deal, it’s just that this one was the most outrageous example I noticed.

Is it any wonder that “We the People” have so little faith in our representatives in Washington to do what is in the best interest of all the people?

Carol Russell


Salvation Army gratitude

I am thanking the Salvation Army for helping my daughter with oil. She fell a couple weeks before Christmas and broke her tailbone.

She couldn’t work until she got a doctor’s note, which means her job — doing flowers at the grocery store — gave her no benefits.

Her oil was about to run out because she can only afford 50 gallons at a time. With two kids to feed and to try to pay rent, how could she do it?

She was told that the government has no money unless you are served with an eviction notice.

So she went to the Salvation Army, they delivered oil, gave money towards rent and just helped so much.

So, the next time you walk by the bell ringers, put some money in as it could be your son or daughter who just needs a little help in this cold winter. Also, support the stores who allow them to ring the bells.

Brenda Hussey


Congratulations, taxes rose

In the days leading up to the “fiscal cliff,” there were many letters to the editor calling for higher taxes to solve the budget problems. Congratulations to those who wanted higher taxes, you got your wish.

Now for the reality check — it doesn’t help. We got $62 billion a year in new taxes.

However, the government spends more than $20 billion a day, so the new taxes will cover about three days of government spending.

To put it another way, the budget deficit for November was $172 billion, so it will take three years for the new taxes to pay for November.

The government hit the debt limit on Dec. 31. Recent reports indicate that the treasury department will run out of options to shuffle funds sometime in the first two weeks of March.

At that point, they will start having to default on some payments. It is time to face facts.

The national checkbook is overdrawn, and the credit cards are maxed out. You can’t tax your way out of the problem. We have to get serious and cut spending.

Every single program needs to be looked at but most especially welfare and entitlement programs, which account for the largest portion of government spending and are growing the fastest.

The cuts need to be made and will be made, either voluntarily, or at some point the bond

markets will force them to be made. The cuts will hurt, but the longer we wait the worse

it will be.

Timothy Grant


Distracted law or not

A local driver flips his van and says he was distracted by his cell phone. He ties up traffic for an hour for this act.

I thought we had a distracted driving law?

But maybe not because no charges have been filed. Something is wrong with this picture.

He could have hurt or killed someone. But the police will stop you for not wearing a seat belt.

Russ Blenkhorn


Helpful sports photo

Michael York’s Dec. 29 photo of Maine’s Justin Edwards making a slam dunk completely captured the joy of the game. The athlete and the artist will help all of our teams remember why they do what they do.

James Haddix


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