May 21, 2020
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Friday, May 22, 2020: Social security fairness, Bennett the best choice, crisis demands safe voting

Social Security fairness

In February of 2019, Sen. Susan Collins co-sponsored a bill, S. 521, and Sen. Angus King signed on later to eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). In January of 2019, Rep. Chellie Pingree co-sponsored a bill, H.R. 141, and Rep. Golden signed on later, to do the same thing.

The WEP reduces your social security benefit if you also have a pension from “non-covered” work (no Social Security taxes paid). Many individuals find themselves in this situation for a variety of reasons. This is true for folks such as firefighters who often work second jobs where they pay social security tax and police officers who retire at an early age and move on to another “covered” job. Many teachers went into education as a second career, after they’ve spent years working in a job where Social Security taxes were withheld or came from another state where public employees did not have a separate retirement system.

With the WEP, Mainers can lose up to 50 percent of their social security benefit, and have been doing so for many years.

I urge that people in this situation contact your senators and representatives and ask that action be taken now, since this has sat on someone’s desk for over a year. I understand that we are in a national crisis, but this is a great time to solve an issue that has been plaguing Maine for a long time.

Tom Keller

Newcastle

Bennett the best choice

Adrienne Bennett is clearly the best choice to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for a number of reasons.

She is active. She gets in front of the issues most important to our quality of life. She is vigorous with a great passion for good Maine common sense conservative values. She seems to enjoy taking charge and leading. And we need a leader in Washington, not just another “yes” man.

She is a gifted communicator with experience at WABI-TV and as Gov. Paul LePage’s press secretary. She will not lose her voice in DC. We need a representative who will get things done and deliver results in a post-COVID world.

Bennett is well-liked, personable and influential. That’s important in negotiations. It’s her time and if we elect her she will make us all proud for decades to come.

Mark Wellman

Bangor

A Bug Bite Thing for ticks?

Ticks have been in the news lately. On Shark Tank a woman showed the sharks a Bug Bite Thing, which they liked very much. It is a suction tool that extracts insect saliva/venom from under the skin to help alleviate the itching, stinging and swelling that occurs with bug bites and stings.

When you remove the irritant, your body stops producing the reaction that is causing the uncomfortable symptoms. It works on mosquitos, bees, wasps, ants and other biting insects that leave their irritant (saliva or venom) just under the surface of the skin.

Tick bites were not mentioned, but if anyone has a Bug Bite Thing and learns of someone who is bitten by a tick, they should try to see if it will remove the tick, or, after the tick it removed, if it will remove any poison that may be in the hole, and if it seems to work well, publicize it.

Paul Bouchard

Brewer

Crisis demands safe voting

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap recently said that “unless something radically changes,” he doesn’t expect Maine wouldn’t see a “major change” in the conduct of the July election.

Normal times can tolerate normal leaders. A crisis demands much more — vision, strength and a resolve to meet the needs of a free people in a democratic society. Maine leaders must step way up and protect the right of Mainers to safe voting that doesn’t force us to choose between our right to vote and contagious disease.

Maine’s current two-year budget is $7.9 billion. We absolutely should spend the additional $658,000 required to get $3.3 million in federal funds. Why? Access to safe voting is the foundation of this democracy. We should do everything we can to ensure it. Everything. Doing so for July ensures we are prepared for the November presidential election.

Every registered voter should receive a postage paid mail ballot, which will reduce crowding at polls. And, if increased mail ballots mean a slower vote count, we can live with a delay of a few days for the results, just as the founders did.

What we can’t live with is business as usual in the midst of a pandemic — not for July and not for November.

Maine has had one of the highest voting rates in the U.S. Our vote is our voice. Maine should do whatever it takes to ensure all citizens who choose to can vote safely and easily from home.

Leaders rise to their times. Maine, lead.

Lori Calderone

Dover Foxcroft

 


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