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Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017: Tax plan benefits wealthiest, invest in Maine’s kids, Trump’s poor character

Tax plan benefits wealthiest

I urge Sen. Susan Collins to vote against the proposed tax plan that will hurt Mainers in order to give tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest.

We have been told cutting taxes to corporations will lead to more good jobs. But an article in the Nov. 18-19 BDN reported when corporate executives were asked at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council if they would increase investments if the Republican tax plan became law, few raised their hands.

The story also points out that Bruce Bartlett, an official in the Ronald Reagan and George W.H. Bush administrations “has lost faith in tax cuts.” He suggests that corporations are already enjoying healthy profits and could make investments, but don’t. In fact, the proposed plan rewards foreign investments with tax breaks, hardly an incentive to create jobs at home. Rather than investing in jobs, corporations tend to invest in mergers and increasing profits for stockholders.

In another BDN article, Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says the proposed tax plan would hurt most of us: “We are left with a plan that lavishes most of its benefits on the wealthiest households … raises taxes on millions in the middle class, adds $1 trillion to the debt, increases the trade deficits … It could also lead to 13 million people losing health coverage.”

These devastating cuts will mean less money available for Medicare, for dealing with hurricanes, floods and fires, and providing for the neediest. Collins should vote against this tax plan serving the wealthiest.

Ilze Petersons


Invest in Maine’s kids

As a business leader and a member of the Maine Early Learning Investment Group, I read the Nov. 13 BDN editorial on how “Maine can show its children matter” with great interest. One way Maine can show its children matter is by investing in high-quality early childhood care and learning programs. Maine is making progress in this area, but more work must be done.

From an economic perspective, it is imperative that Maine invests in our kids as early as possible. Our children are the future workforce that will drive success in our state and the global marketplace. To do that, they need a strong foundation from which they can learn, grow and succeed.

First, our kids need stable, healthy families with engaged parents, particularly during the crucial prenatal-to-three timeframe. Voluntary home-visiting programs, especially for at-risk parents, can be a vital support for parents to learn how to give their children a safe and healthy start in life.

We then must continue investing in our youngest citizens with high-quality early childhood care and learning programs, such as Early Head Start, and expanded access to preschool. These investments are key, especially with scientific evidence showing that the first five years of life are a time of rapid brain development.

High-quality early childhood care and learning programs are a priority for Maine businesses. With Maine’s shortage of skilled workers, they are a critical workforce development tool. The returns on these investments are great. They benefit our kids, our communities, and improve Maine’s ability to compete and succeed economically today and tomorrow.

Chris Emmons


Gorham Savings Bank


Trump’s poor character

I am at a loss to understand what pro-Trump voters find admirable about the character of Donald Trump.

Is it the way he makes up stories that he cannot back up? Is it the way he makes unreasonable promises that most people don’t take literally? Is it the way he bragged about having his way with women because he was a “star”? Is it his thin skin that results in his not only attacking, but also demonizing anyone who criticizes him or his policies?

Is it the way he put down Sen. John McCain for being captured in Vietnam when Trump himself avoided any military service? Is it his pandering to the NRA instead of making an honest, sincere effort to start trying to, at least, make some progress in mitigating the unacceptable disaster of gun deaths in America? Is it the way he treats the press as an enemy, the way dictatorial regimes do, instead of respecting the concept of freedom of the press that has been important in America’s history? Is it his willingness to risk our children’s and grandchildren’s environmental future for short-term political gains?

Does he actually have any character traits that you would honestly be proud to see your son or daughter exhibit?

Gordon Canning



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