As state treasurer, my job does not include commenting on political advertisements. However, it does require that I defend and help enhance Maine state government’s vitally important credit rating.

Entrepreneurs use these objective measurements to help assess state business climates in deciding where to start/expand their companies, and to create jobs. Investors rely on credit reports to identify the most secure and promising state bonds to buy, thereby lending money to those states to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

All of this strengthens a state’s economy, providing more private sector jobs. Maine’s credit rating is serious business.

I was disappointed to read about a misleading political TV advertisement in the Sept. 9 issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram that references our state’s credit rating, the Truth Test article “King ad right on tax decrease, dubious on bond rating.” The TV ad includes the troubling language,”As governor, he got the highest bond rating ever.” Unfortunately, the TV ad is not accurate.

Maine state government earned “the highest bond rating ever” of AAA during 1978-1991 by Standard and Poor’s, one of three national credit rating agencies. It achieved the same top distinction of Aaa from 1944 to 1974 from Moody’s, a second rating agency. Maine has never been awarded the AAA score by Fitch, the third agency. Unlike the claim in the political TV ad, our state’s credit rating never reached the highest level by any rating agency during 1994-2002.

Maine’s credit rating is a visible sign of our economic and fiscal health. Entrepreneurs and investors regularly use it to help decide where they should invest their money and create jobs. It should always be reported accurately and truthfully.

I strongly recommend that the contents of the aforementioned political TV ad be corrected as soon as possible.

Bruce Poliquin

State treasurer

Augusta

 

Wake up from ‘fairy dust’ and increase taxes of rich

The real “job creators” are middle-class families with decent incomes who can buy things. The economy doesn’t have enough of those confident consumers right now and that’s why the recovery has been so painfully slow. But some career right-wing politicians would have us believe the real problem is that rich people don’t have enough money.

That’s the reasoning behind extending tax cuts for families making over $250,000 a year cuts that were instituted at a time of big government surpluses.

Despite today’s record deficits, the Republican Party would slash public revenue so that quarter-millionaires and their wealthier pals would have more money to do what? Spend? Not likely. Much more likely to put away perhaps in overseas bank accounts and foreign stock markets. None of which helps Maine’s economy or unemployed workers.

This is the fairy dust of trickle-down economics that lines the pockets of fat cats and clobbers the middle class.

Both political parties agree that tax cuts should be extended for the 98 percent of American households making less than $250,000 a year. Those are the folks who would take the money saved and inject it into the local economy, creating jobs.

Meanwhile, the revenues raised from increasing taxes on the wealthy could be used for debt reduction and smart, targeted public investments in roads, schools, research, health care and all the other services that also directly and indirectly boost employment.

“Bipartisanship” and “compromise” usually result in the vast majority of Americans giving in to the desires of the wealthy few an economic elite very effectively represented by the Republican Party.

Our two Republican senators have sometimes displayed courage and independence, siding with the working people of Maine instead of their party. This tax debate is a time to show us once again where their true loyalties lie.

Scott Murray

Portland

 

Ban BPA in food containers to protect children’s health

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson alerted the world to the dangers of toxic chemicals to ourselves and our environment. Significant progress has been made since then to reduce our exposure to these chemicals, but more remains to be done.  

The use of Bisphenol-A in food containers, particularly in containers holding food for young children, is a prime example.  

BPA is a plastic-hardening chemical commonly added to consumer products that has been linked to cancer, learning disabilities, obesity and other health problems. BPA has been removed from some products, but not all.

Much of our BPA exposure comes from the food we eat. BPA finds its way into our food by leaching out of the meal can or glass jar lids. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of BPA and most baby foods on the market today contain BPA, even the organic brands.

Maine has already removed BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection is now considering a ban on BPA in food intentionally marketed to children under the age of 3. If approved, a bill will be sent to the Maine Legislature.

We know BPA is dangerous, we know our children are being exposed and safer alternatives already exist. It’s time to eliminate BPA from children’s products.

Robert Shafto

Falmouth

 

Headline wrongly depicts Romney on middle class

With the Maine Sunday Telegram front-page attack on Mr. Romney (Sept. 16), the leftist bias was on full display again.

The headline indicating he considers middle class to be $200,000 to $250,000 is incorrect, biased and not what he said.

If one just glances at the headline they get bad information. As your article stated later, he said “middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.” Not much different from Mr. Obama saying the wealthy are at $250,000 household income or more.

I have stopped buying the weekly paper. If this leftist bias continues, I’ll stop buying your paper completely, although I suppose you don’t really care.

Michael Fisette

Wells