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Oct. 4 Letters to the Editor

We support Schneider

We enthusiastically support Maine Senate District 30 candidate Elizabeth M. Schneider for re-election. She has worked tirelessly to help launch House in the Woods Military & Family Retreat and has personally introduced our program to Gov. John Baldacci, Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Maine National Guard, Veterans Affairs, and several others.

It’s notable that when we’ve been introduced to the officials in these offices, their comments about Sen. Schneider are always positive and lean toward her energetic and committed lobbying on her constituents’ behalf. She is always making things happen to the benefit of District 30, whether it’s for veterans, sportsmen, businesspeople, economic developers, educators and their students, or senior citizens.

We are always glad when Elizabeth is there to give us a little courage as we “learn the ropes” of creating and developing this nonprofit from the ground up. She has been there for us since we buried our 22-year old son, Sgt. Joel A. House, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Taji, Iraq.

That tragedy has challenged us to find a way to help other vets and Gold Star families get together to support one another. To make this goal happen meant that we had to open ourselves up to learn so many new skills that we never imagined.

It’s reassuring to know that Sen. Schneider will be there for us, a sentiment well-stated by our board member, Bill Emery, a local outdoorsman and Gold Star father, “Elizabeth’s not like one of them [politicians] anymore. She’s become one of us, normal, that is.”

Paul and Deanna House



Dubious endorsement

Bill Clinton came to Maine to lobby for Libby Mitchell for governor. Bill Clinton was the president who gave us NAFTA, and the free trade agreement with China, causing us to lose millions of well-paying jobs and giving us a gigantic trade deficit.

Bill Clinton was the president who gave us unregulated banking, causing a global financial crisis and the current recession, which forced us to bail out greedy bankers to the tune of billions. Breathtaking debt for our grandchildren, and most of it owed to China.

Should we trust this man to give us good advice in choosing our next governor? And should we choose a governor that is proud to accept Clinton’s support?

Betty Wall



Who’s on welfare?

I am writing in response to Stephen Bowen’s Sept. 28 column about what he perceives as welfare abuse in Maine. Who are these welfare dependent slackers?

He doesn’t say, but they are our neighbors. An old man who needs a little help to keep living at home, a child who can get health care even though her hard-working parents can’t afford it.

These are the people Mr. Bowen sees as a burden on the taxpayers of Maine and an obstacle to growth, but only to someone with a fundamentally selfish worldview.

It seems that the Republican Party, not content to be the party of no, also aspires to be the party of me.

Matthew Freedman



The top 2 percent

Has your wealth gone up in the last two years? Mine has not. I don’t know anyone whose wealth has increased.

But then, I don’t know anyone in the upper 2 percent of American incomes. Their wealth has gone up a average of 8 percent in the last two years. I don’t want to saddle my children’s with an additional $700 billion of debt just to give the wealthy further advantage in their wealth.

The argument put forth is that with the additional wealth, those folks will invest in jobs for the rest of us. But while they gained their 8 percent in wealth, they have canceled jobs and sent those jobs overseas. If they have not decided to bring forth more jobs with an 8 percent gain, what exactly is needed for the genuinely wealthy to rain down those promised jobs?

When Dwight Eisenhower was president, the tax rate for the rich was more than 90 percent and for those of us old enough to remember, jobs were created then. The highest tax rate under Bill Clinton was 39.6 percent, and in those years 21,872,00 jobs were created. The highest tax rate under George W. Bush was 35 percent, and in those years we lost 672,000 jobs.

The argument that the rich will create more jobs were they to have lower tax rates is vapid.

Larry Schneider



China plan not realistic

I was most dismayed to read the article on Millinocket’s attempt to reverse its financial woes on the backs of children. Why would they not use what is readily available to them in their community, natural resources and local skills, to address these problems?

Bringing Chinese children to the backwoods of Maine is neither reasonable nor ethical to address Millinocket’s financial difficulties. Whatever happened to good ol’ American ingenuity? This sure isn’t it.

The article certainly stressed the financial advantages to the community, yet was not convincing about any advantages to students, whose primary goal is to attend American colleges and universities.

What about an ESL program? This is, at best, a costly venture. How much is Millinocket willing to spend to provide needed services to these students? What type of cultural experiences will they offer?

I am an educator in China, having retired after 30 years in the educational system in the U.S. I sincerely hope that this plan will be scuttled and that these children will be spared the frustrations that they would encounter in what was described in the paper as an American experience.

Valerie Luce

Shenzhen, China


Dearth of GOP ideas

I could not agree more with Gene Clifford that this country is speeding down the highway to Third World status. (BDN letters, Sept. 22). This can be mainly attributed to the Bush administration, which historians call one of the worst in this nation’s history, a disastrous legacy that was the cause of the current recession.

The Republicans have not come up with a single, solitary idea that is any different from the policies of Bush. A Republican win in November will restore the worst abuses of insurance companies, repeal Wall Street reform, reopen the loopholes that banks used to take down our entire economy, reward their contributors and finally the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest will not be allowed to expire.

Dee C. Brown Jr.


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