The number of people writing letters to the editor wanting to see tax rates on their fellow citizens rise is stunning. It appears to me that most of these people think that the money belongs to the government, not the people that earned it.

There are several lessons these people need to learn.

First, the government has no money of its own. For the government to spend funds, it must first confiscate the money of its citizens, or borrow it from somewhere else.

Second, the government does not have a revenue problem. History shows that government at all levels spends too much.

Third, higher tax rates do not result in higher revenue. The best example of the above is the Reagan years.

Tax rates across the board were cut by 25 percent. Income tax revenues to the U.S. treasury in 1981 were about $500 billion. In 1989, income tax revenues were over $900 billion. In the middle of almost doubling revenues, Congress more than doubled spending.

Today’s debate is insane. Government at all levels is too big, too intrusive and out of control. If we as a people don’t put a stop to this insanity, we will leave our grandkids a Third World country.

There was a proposal during the recent election campaign to return spending levels to fiscal year 2008, and liberals and big government advocates went ballistic.

I think 2008 levels would be a good start, but 2000 would be better. Remember, it was Bill Clinton who said during his presidency that the era of big government was over.

Paul Anderson

Scarborough 

Charge Cal Thomas — or listen to troops? 

Usually, I find Cal Thomas’s opinion columns to be nothing more than a collection of archaic ramblings by a man who simply cannot grasp the concept of reality.

Recently, however, I was shocked to find that what I normally ignore as yet another annoyance was something essentially criminal in nature (“Effects of gays on military will be negative and long-lasting,” Dec. 2).

The statement that “The military is one of our primary underpinnings. So is marriage. No wonder the gay rights movement seeks to undermine both,” is one that I find not only inflammatory, but one that can only be described as hateful.

Expressing one’s opinion — albeit it narrow and uneducated — in the local paper is one thing. Outright gay-bashing is quite another.

While I am glad to know exactly what decent people are up against, I find it shameful that your paper would have printed this garbage, rather than turning it over to the proper authorities so that Thomas could be charged with the hate crime he has just perpetrated upon so many of our men and women who give their lives every day so that he can sleep soundly at night.

Tanya Kelly

South Portland 

Currently the U.S. military has a ban on openly homosexual men or lesbian women serving. There is a movement afoot in the congress to repeal that policy, known as DADT — “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

But in the final analysis the only people whose opinion matters about the potential (and politically correct) repeal of the policy are those who are directly affected by it — those who serve to protect us every day and especially those who are in actual combat.

Recently the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James Amos, testified before the U.S. Senate on the policy.

He quoted from the following letter he had received from a Marine lieutenant who was a platoon commander:

“My team’s effectiveness is directly tied to its cohesiveness. Despite differences, we are so close that we anticipate each other’s next move in garrison and in combat. Our ability to do our job is predicated on this kind of relationship. If you were to add any element of sexual competition, inter-unit sexuality, or hesitance in trust, it would unquestionably prevent those bonds from forming or immediately destroy them if introduced.”

Terence McManus

New Sharon 

York County food need continues to get larger 

This letter is a huge thank-you to all those good people and stores in York County who have supported food drives.

As a new board member for the York County Food Rescue program, I have seen your generosity firsthand.

As I stand and collect cans of food at area supermarkets, I am in awe listening to the stories that are shared with those donations.

Some people tell us how lucky they are to own their own home and are happy and healthy.

One woman donated 30 turkeys just because she could this year. A young man brought out his bag of groceries to add to the baskets and said he wanted to set an example of sharing for his children. He obviously has.

Still, there continues to be a need to assist families with enough food to keep them healthy and strong during these coldest months of the year.

Children should not leave home without a breakfast, pregnant moms should not sacrifice nutrition for their babes because they need to pay for heat. The elderly should not be hungry during the later years of their life.

As one woman said, “Any one of us could be in that position ourselves, someday.”

Through the efforts of director Jodi Bissonnette, we furnish food without charge to 47 food pantries and meal programs in York County.

Food rescue is the practice of safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to those in need. Please consider making a donation to our program to help your neighbors in need. Mail your check made out to York County Food Rescue to York County Community Action, P.O. Box 72, Sanford, ME 04073.

Joan Dawson

Kennebunkport 

Man’s bail far too low for his criminal record 

It was infuriating to read that a York County judge reduced bail on a career criminal from $5,000 to $250.

The man was arrested for eluding police and crashing his car into a car carrying a family of four.

He has served time in prison for drug trafficking, multiple counts of assault, carrying a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and drug possession.

What was the judge thinking? This is a dangerous man who flouts the laws of our state and could possibly hurt innocent people.

Is the judge trying to save the jail system some room and board expenditures by setting the bail so low he could easily bail out?

Or perhaps the judge is hoping he’ll jump bail and flee to another state, thus saving this state the cost of a trial?

Kathleen Stevens

Portland 

Defending public lands keeps children happy 

Last month, my daughter celebrated her first birthday. She had an exciting first summer living in and visiting Maine’s spectacular outdoor spaces experiencing all that our public lands have to offer.

We have been able to watch our newest addition to the family enjoy her natural playground thanks to conservation legislative measures that have protected our wilderness.

Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe should vote to protect our shared public lands and waters this year.

I want my daughter to experience Maine’s natural heritage as long as she likes, whether it be on the Appalachian Trail or in Acadia National Park.

Brian Diamond-Falk

Portland