Our politicians are politically incorrect.

Do they believe gridlock is a game?

Do they enact laws that they are not governed by?

Are our representatives only concerned about the next sound bite for their upcoming elections?

Do they live their lives knowing that their retirement and medical care will always be safe and secure?

Are you frustrated when you hear they worked late and were forced to postpone their five-week vacation for a couple of days?

Are you upset that they gamble with our stock market and retirement plans for the sake of votes?

Do you believe they have lost touch with who elected them?

Is the Constitution foreign to them?

Would you like to have them come to your house for an open discussion so that your thoughts could actually be voiced?

Do you think that if you looked in the dictionary for the meaning of “pant loads” or “vacuums,” you would see their photos?

If you answered yes to any (preferably all) of these questions, you are in the majority of voting Americans.

Please let your lawmakers know that we live and work here and hope to raise our children. We work hard, with perhaps one week’s vacation. When our politicians talk about Social Security, which you paid into for years and years, please let them know that Bernie Madoff is jailed for his scheme. This government took our money for Social Security, matched by employers, and they had no right to touch it or change the rules.

No matter what party you are affiliated with, I believe the inaction and arrogance of these out-of-touch politicians is wrong.

Jim Milligan

Gorham and Rangeley Plantation

 

Would someone please, please explain to me why it is that this great country of ours can always take care of other nations in trouble but cannot seem to take care of its own? Also, what part of the term “illegal aliens” doesn’t Congress understand?

Seems pretty simple to me. It seems as if they care more about what other countries feel about them than the people who voted them in.

Sometimes I would just like to vote them all out and start fresh. Even then I don’t know if that would do any good. After all, money talks and it seems that our politicians are listening to that tune.

Lucie Lamontagne

South Portland

 

In a recent interview with your editorial board, Sen. Olympia Snowe stated something most people are aware of: The U.S. Senate has become completely dysfunctional. The Senate would not be so dysfunctional if past politicians had not tinkered with the U.S. Constitution.

The Founding Fathers wisely realized that U.S. senators must be professionals serving the overall interest of their state instead of serving the fickle and sometimes selfish whims of individual voters.

For more than a century, U.S. senators were appointed by their state legislatures. In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted, making it so U.S. senators would be elected by popular vote – similar to how U.S. representatives are elected.

Now, U.S. senators don’t have to be competent professionals anymore. They only need a huge pile of money to buy political ads, then bring home as much political pork as possible to get themselves re-elected, regardless of how this affects the well-being of the country as a whole.

I don’t agree with Sen. Snowe that tinkering with the U.S. Constitution again with a balanced-budget amendment is the solution to the Senate’s dysfunction. I believe we should repeal the 17th Amendment, the same way we repealed that foolish 18th Amendment which prohibited alcohol.

Ted Sirois

Saco

 

Time for a simple tax plan that is truly progressive

 

The recent congressional debt ceiling and budget cuts debacle, and the deplorable behavior of our elected representatives, have prompted me to offer a long-term solution.

For as many years as I can remember, I have always divided my federal income tax due by my gross income to determine what percentage of income I pay in taxes. I itemize as much as I can. Every year, the tax is approximately 17 percent to 19 percent.

For years I have advocated a flat tax. The current tax is not progressive, as it is called, because progressive connotes something positive. It is not positive to increase taxation as income increases.

My proposal would be to eliminate every deduction currently allowed and tax everyone whose income exceeds a reasonable floor amount (to avoid taxing low-income people) at the same rate. That would be progressive, because the more money one earned, the more one could keep.

The flat rate would be determined by dividing the federal budget by the total amount of annual income generated. My guess is the result would not exceed 20 percent. As the economy improves and income increases, so does tax revenue. That would permit increased spending if necessary without increasing the tax rate. Additionally, currently hidden income could increase the amount taxed.

The tax code would be two sentences: “Multiple all income received by ‘x’ percent. Pay that amount.”

The tax form would be simplified. Line 1: “Insert all income received.” Line 2: “Multiply the amount in Line 1 by ‘x’ percent.” Line 3: “Tax due – insert amount from Line 2.”

The unemployment that would ensue would comprise tax attorneys (who claim their function is to help people avoid taxes), tax accountants and congressional staff who devise tax legislation.

This is progressive taxation and fair to all.

Warner Price

Harpswell

 

Lesson from an engineer: All oils aren’t created equal

 

As a retired 4th-class stationary steam engineer and power plant electrician at the William F. Wyman Station on Cousins Island, I would like to respond to a recent letter from Will Kessler (“Let sun meet burgeoning power needs”).

I believe, as he does, that we need more solar power and wind power to offset the need for oil. However, Mr. Kessler had his facts wrong about that power plant.

He had it right that the plant burns No. 6 fuel oil, but No. 6 fuel oil (commonly referred to as bunker C) is not home heating oil. Home heating oil is No. 1 (kerosene refinery cut) or No. 2 (common home heating oil).

You can check out this website – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_oil – to see how different all fuel oils are from each other.

Ken Welsch Sr.

Portland