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Saturday, August 17, 2019: When the music stops, don’t be a bully, thankful for a budget deal

When the music stops

The elected leadership of this country, with support from Maine’s delegation, has slowly but surely decoupled government spending from taxation.

This means that federal budgets, or spending plans, if you prefer, are developed and approved with seemingly little consideration given to how much money the government has.

There is no better example of this than the budget just approved by the Senate with a nearly trillion-dollar shortfall while the presidential campaign surges forward promising things like free healthcare.

A very sad result of this lack of congressional leadership is the that the vast majority of Americans are all in, and support their elected representatives direction to spend big and tax small. The fact that we return these same people every two years bears this out. Rest assured though, like the game of musical chairs we used to play as children, some tailbones are going to hit the floor hard when the music stops, and my guess is our leadership will all be in chairs.

Richard Ginn

Don’t be a bully

“Don’t be a bully.” Say it out loud like you mean it. Why couldn’t I come up with these words on Old Orchard Beach recently? I’ll be ready with these words next time.

Ten young black people arrived and were excited to be on the sand. Bostonians I’d guess, from their accents. Perhaps a little confused as to exactly where they were. Seemed a fun group.

Then someone got in their faces and raised his voice about their language in front of kids. Honestly, my language is worse normally, and I noticed nothing said that was offensive. He threatened to call the cops if they had any argument.

All he had to say, if anything was, “Hey, tone down your language please.” I’ve never been ashamed to be white before, and I apologize. Those ten people should not have been treated like that — and I won’t remain silent again. Shame on that man, and shame on me.

Don’t be a bully.

Simon Thorpe

Thankful for budget deal

We are grateful for the recent two-year budget deal passed by Congress that protects critical federal domestic programs. Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree, and Representative Golden voted to support the Maine economy and help Mainers lead healthy, productive lives by ensuring the potentially devastating cuts posed by sequestration didn’t take effect later this year.

Mainers care that our public health systems are strong, and that our seniors have access to the meals and transportation they need. We care that our children have access to quality education and nutritious foods, that our homes are safe, warm and affordable, and that our cities, farms, and fisheries alike have the economic development tools they need to grow and prosper.

Maine Community Action Association and our network of ten Community Action Agencies from Aroostook to York County work every day to provide a variety of services including, but not limited to, WIC, Head Start, weatherization, and heating assistance to the most financially vulnerable Maine citizens, but we can’t do it alone.

Adequately funded federal domestic programs help nonprofits like ours fill other gaps in the community. For example, affordable housing programs provide a safe place for families to grow and thrive, strong federal nutrition programs like SNAP or the National School Lunch Program make sure Maine children have enough to eat, and Medicare and Medicaid connect Maine seniors and people with disabilities with critical, life-saving medical care.

We appreciate the support of Maine’s Congressional delegation and look forward to continuing to provide services supported in part by federal programs to our community.

Jason Parent
Maine Community Action Association
Presque Isle



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