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Taxation without representation
License plates of residents of Washington, D.C. read “End Taxation Without Representation”. This is because the approximately 700,000 residents of D.C. pay federal and local taxes and yet have no voting representatives in the U.S. Congress, where all local legislation, including the annual budget, must be submitted for approval.
Washington, D.C. has more residents than Wyoming and Vermont. Its residents pay more total federal taxes than those of 20 states. On a per capita basis, Washington, D.C. residents’ federal tax rate is the highest in the entire U.S.; yet, unlike anywhere else in the country, they have no local control.
This situation can be remedied by passage of S. 51, the D.C. statehood act, which is being debated in the U.S. Senate. I urge readers to contact our two senators, Angus King and Susan Collins, and urge them to support this bill. It is just the right thing to do.
Learning hard truths
The idea of home schooling may seem to be the solution to ensuring our children proper education. Most of us are at least high school graduates, but how many of us are qualified to teach our children what they need to survive after school? We may be able to teach them some math, how to read, even history as we see it. We would be limiting them to our limits.
Kids learn, in many cases, by example. They see what we do and, in many ways, mimic us. They become what they see. They learn our biases, they learn our mannerisms. They learn our likes and dislikes. What they don’t learn is what others feel or think.
When our children are allowed to attend a school with qualified teachers, they get to see for themselves what and how other kids feel and act. They will be taught history as written, math with the possibilities it poses, science, English, the list goes on and on. It is our responsibility as concerned parents and citizens to ensure that the subjects our schools are teaching are true and accurate. Not fabricated to please those that don’t want future generations to know the truth that has brought us to where we are today!
We, as parents, have had years to form our mannerisms, years to develop our biases, religious feelings and whatever else we have picked up over the years. To deprive our children the opportunity to learn for themselves how others live and act, is unfair for them. Believe it or not, we are not always right. In some cases we may be passing the wrong message to our children. Let them learn the truth, as ugly as it may be.
Vote for public power
A recent public opinion poll shows that 75 percent of registered Maine voters support the idea of replacing Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant with a local nonprofit, consumer-owned electric utility.
Now, it is up to Maine legislators this week to vote “yes” and give us an opportunity to vote for Pine Tree Power Company this November.
Why does Maine need a customer-driven utility? Well for one thing, power outages. In my first two years living in midcoast Maine, we lost power more than in 20 years living on a dirt road in Sanbornton, New Hampshire. CMP’s poor electricity reliability is legendary and true: Maine has the least reliable power companies in the nation. It should come as no surprise that CMP and Versant also came in last for customer satisfaction in the 2020 J.D. Power utility survey.
There’s another thing people have probably noticed: climate change is upon us, and it doesn’t look good. We can’t reach Maine’s renewable energy goals without major support from our utilities.
If LD 1708 passes, it will allow us to vote this fall to decide if we want a nonprofit, consumer-owned Maine based utility instead of the foreign, government and investor-owned utilities we have today. I strongly urge a “yes” vote by legislators this week and by the rest of us at the polls this November.