May 20, 2018
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ClickBack on Tax Votes



This week, a proposal to put tax hikes before state voters tops the list of ClickBack questions for editorial page readers. We also want your thoughts on limits to the presidential power to wage war, Roxanne Quimby’s park plan and Geraldine Ferraro. To participate, visit and select the Opinion menu.

Should state tax hikes be put before voters?

Sen. Mike Thibodeau has proposed a bill that would require all state tax or fee increases to go to voters in a referendum. The arguments in favor of such a bill are obvious — those who will be impacted by the hikes in taxes or fees would have their say. But the other side counters that representative government should take on the responsibility of making such tax and fee decisions. Opponents may suggest such a plan would result in legislators pandering to voters who will likely shoot down most if not all increases, even if new revenue is needed. Is this a good idea? What pitfalls, if any, would this form of governance hold?

Should Congress further limit the president’s power to wage war?

Acting without a vote by Congress, President Barack Obama has moved ahead with a U.N.-sponsored plan to use force against Libya’s government. Should such moves require congressional votes? Or is it enough for the president to notify the congressional leaders of both parties? Is this a case in which the president had to act quickly? Or would a congressional debate over the policy been possible?

Can Roxanne Quimby create a Maine North Woods National Park?

The former owner of Burt’s Bees has been purchasing land around Baxter State Park for years. She is now ready to offer 70,000 acres to the federal government for a national park, while also reserving 30,000 acres north of Dover-Foxcroft as a state park where hunting and snowmobiling would be permitted. Can she entice the federal government to establish a national park? Or is opinion in Maine too divided over the issue? Would such a park be a good idea?

What is Geraldine Ferraro’s legacy?

As the first major-party vice-presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro broke ground in 1984 as Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale’s running mate. She died Saturday at 75. Sarah Palin, the GOP vice-presidential candidate who ran with John McCain in 2008, was the second major-party woman running mate. What changed in the period between 1984 and 2008? What challenges did each face?

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