Cut Family Planning

I am writing in support of the governor’s proposal to reduce taxpayer funding for the Family Planning Association of Maine by $400,000.

This is the corporation that supplies young people with condoms and contraceptive pills and then provides abortion services when contraception fails — as it often does. The Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s hired research firm) states that 60 percent of abortive women were using a contraceptive method at the time they got pregnant.

According to Family Planning’s most recent tax return filed with IRS, this nonprofit corporation had revenue for the year ended June 30, 2010, of $6 million, of which two-thirds was from state and federal taxpayers.

While Maine’s governor receives a salary of $70,000, Family Planning’s compensation payments included $115,000 to its administrator and $94,000 to its accountant, and still it managed to have a profit of $708,000 for the year, and accumulated net assets of $4.9 million. Not bad for a “nonprofit” corporation.

Family Planning’s expenditures also included $571,000 to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, whose national organization has been charged with improper billing and Medicaid fraud in five states, and has currently been defunded by legislatures in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin.

In summary, I urge the Legislature to reduce funding to this purported “nonprofit” corporation with its reported high salaries, excessive profits and accumulated assets. Welfare should be for the needy — not corporation profits and salaries.

Gerald E. Thibodeau


Obama’s cakewalk

With the exception of the obstructionist tea partiers, are there Republicans who honestly believe any of these present candidates are presidential material?

This slate of presidential hopefuls has already started to implode. Herman Cain, the darling of the Koch brothers, has hit the highway.

Rick Perry has a memory with more holes than Swiss cheese. He wants to get rid of three agencies but can only remember the first two. The voting age has slipped his mind as has the date of the presidential election. And he is running for president of the United States? When he implodes he will probably back his buddy Jon Huntsman. How does this sound for a horror show — Jon Huntsman for president and Rick Perry for vice president?

We must not leave Michele Bachmann out of this circus. She would get rid of Social Security and Medicare, and she asks her constituents “to be armed and dangerous.”

It’s difficult to say who will drop out next, Bachmann or Perry. Mitt Romney, a master of oratorical juggling, has shown some signs of moderation, hence the move by the tea party to dump him.

Just when things couldn’t become more ridiculous, out of the woodwork pops the moldy-oldie retread Newt Gingrich, dragging all of his excess baggage. So much baggage that he will be an easy target for the Democrats who fervently wish he would win the nomination. If he does, they believe it would be a cakewalk for President Obama to take over for a second term.

Bob Roffler

North Yarmouth

Detention is wrong

The National Defense Authorization Act allows the military to arrest and imprison American citizens on American soil, indefinitely and without judicial review. A person detained under this act would never go to court, never have a trial, never meet a jury of his peers and could be held for a life sentence.

The arrest and detention would never be determined to be constitutional since the States Secrets Act precludes them from coming before the Supreme Court.

I am a retired Air Force master sergeant. The work I did in the military was the most important and rewarding I have ever done in my life. I would go back to serve my country again if needed or asked. I and many of my fellow veterans feel the military should not be imprisoning Americans in their own country.

Those of us who served during the Cold War stopped a brutal dictatorship from coming to our shores. We can’t allow the means of incarceration used in the U.S.S.R., East Germany, China and North Korea to be used here. We are better than that.

My personal safety and that of my family is not worth anything without the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Don’t let our elected representatives subvert the very document that makes us Americans. Certainly don’t do it in the name of our safety.

Michael Lewis


Monopoly and men

It’s not that difficult to understand. Most of us have played Monopoly. You set up the board, deal out the money, roll the dice and play until one person collects so much of the wealth that the other players can’t buy anything, or pay rent or pay utility bills. The game stops. The rich guy can’t sell anything, or collect any rent, the poor people can’t buy anything or pay rent, etc.

Let’s say you want to keep the game going. The rich guy, with his eye actually on collecting more wealth more quickly in the future, might suggest getting rid of all those onerous taxes and fees in Chance and Community Chest. But that won’t get the game going again. Someone has to go into the bottom of the closet, find the old broken Monopoly game and deal out more money to the players. If you do that the game can get going again. A group of schoolkids can figure out what to do, and act on it, it’s unfortunate that Congress seems unable to.

An inherent weakness of capitalism as a method to bring the most happiness, to the most people, most of the time, is that if too much wealth gets concentrated in too few hands, the game stops. The correct purpose of regulation is to keep the game going as long as possible.

John Feuille


Losing respect

While millions of Americans wonder where their next paycheck is coming from, we have a president taking a 14-day vacation again and a kindergarten Congress that bickers like a bunch of babies.

We need to cut the spending in this country. Why is it so tough to require welfare recipients to drug test when most hardworking people have to be drug tested to get a job or even serve our military?

Lastly, if Maine’s congressional representatives were really serious about cutting trillions in spending, why don’t they start by cutting their health care, staffing, travel and retirement cost? If a local business had any of these people working for them accomplishing nothing, they would have been fired a long time ago, both Republicans and Democrats.

Ray Bryant