Once again the voters have screwed up. We keep putting politicians in office instead of people who will represent us.

The politicos know this, so they sit back and continue to play bully in the sandbox while we the non-millionaires continue to get buried.

Anyone who believes that millionaires need a tax break or that these tax breaks help millionaires create jobs, must also believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Those people should be deeply ashamed that politics means more to them than the people who sent them to Fantasy Land.

They have apparently forgotten what representation means. To hold back the unemployment benefits of thousands of people just to please a political party is unconscionable.

Wayne Elliott

West Bath

 

After reading State House correspondent Rebekah Metzler’s piece in the Dec. 9 paper (“Maine’s Michaud, Pingree oppose compromise”), it clearly points out the problem liberals have with taxes and people’s money.

She quotes Rep. Chellie Pingree as saying, “Republicans are demanding that we fork over billions of dollars to the richest 3 percent.”

I thought it was the people of this country who have to “fork” over billions in taxes to the government. It is not the government’s money, it is ours.

Pingree has her priorities backward. If someone works hard and is lucky enough to earn lots of money, it is his or hers to spend as they deem fit. This spend-all government has to realize it is not their money to give to us — it is ours to give to them to spend responsibly (which is a concept our government needs to start practicing).

So, Reps. Pingree and Michaud, please get your priorities straight. Your tax-and-spend policies are dealing with the money of the citizens of the United States, not your money to give back.

David Clarke

Yarmouth

 

In a Nov. 29 Maine Voices column (“Benefits for jobless should trump tax cuts for rich”), Rep. Chellie Pingree sets two goals before Congress adjourns. Both reflect bad economics and would be bad policy.

One goal is to extend already prolonged unemployment benefits. On the surface this seems like an unobjectionable idea. But since late 2009 individuals in most states have been eligible for up to 99 weeks — nearly two years — of benefits, well above the normal limit of six months.

Furthermore, a number of economic studies have shown that extended unemployment benefits have increased the duration of joblessness.

That’s because the extension of benefits provide an incentive and the means to prolong job searches to find the perfect job at the perfect salary, or not to work at all, courtesy of the taxpayers. It is no coincidence that employment levels increase markedly just before benefits expire.

Pingree is also determined to let tax rates rise for families with incomes over $250,000. She persists in complaining about “tax cuts for the rich.” But current tax rates have been in place since 2001, and no one is suggesting that they be lowered.

What Pingree wants is a tax increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for top-bracket payers. But most economists and even many Democratic policymakers understand that a tax increase for individuals who do most of our saving and investing would slow economic growth and impede job creation.

It wouldn’t even give Pingree and Congress more money to spend, since economic data shows that tax increases result in less rather than more revenue.

Pingree is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, so her ideas are no surprise. But one wonders how many of the voters who re-elected her realize how harmful her goals for more spending, borrowing and higher taxes would be for the U.S. economy.

Martin Jones

Freeport

 

More than 2 million people lost their unemployment insurance on just one day this month. This is wrong and needs to be reversed. We can make this necessary reversal a reality by letting the tax cuts for wealthiest expire.

During the Bush administration, unregulated businesses and the wealthiest Americans were handed a free ride in the form of trillions of dollars in tax cuts.

This is the primary cause of the deficit we face today. We must repeal these Bush-era tax cuts, reinstate the estate tax to at least 2009 levels, and close tax loopholes; Congress must allow the 2001 and 2003 tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to expire as scheduled.

Taking these actions will allow us to pay for unemployment insurance for the 2 million people who unfairly lost this necessity just days ago, at the very beginning of the holiday season.

Rachael Teel

Portland

Their special day has passed, but cause of disabled hasn’t

 

Dec. 3 is the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

It has passed now, but the United Nations started this annual observance in 1982, to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from their integration in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.

I became very excited about this day, having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and bipolar illness for more than 15 years. My mania launched me into a full-blown attempt to notify media and government outlets seeking coverage for this event. I wasn’t very successful, and now I am embarrassed.

There was a positive side. Every smile, every wave, every acknowledgment that I exist means so much to me.

This day affirms all of me, and announces that I exist and thrive, and there are many like me.

The United Nations estimates that 10 percent of the world’s population have physical or mental disabilities that represent real challenges.

But so many people don’t want to talk even about physical disabilities, let alone mental disabilities. So, we let the day pass without saying anything.

Very Special Arts, the international organization on arts and disability, and 17 countries worldwide came together to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by screening Simon Mckeown’s groundbreaking video installation, “Motion Disabled.” You can see it on YouTube.

Maybe next year we will do a better job of promoting it in advance.

Fran Houston

Portland