Even as Mitt Romney asserts that he is not George W. Bush, whose tax cuts for the wealthy contributed to a soaring deficit, unfunded wars and our current economic discontent, it’s relevant to note that two of Mr. Romney’s key economic advisers were also economic advisers to Mr. Bush.

These same advisers, Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard, estimated that the Bush tax cuts would lead to massive job growth. Instead, they led to the weakest job growth since World War II. If we are to believe that Mr. Romney has a better plan, why is he relying on the advice of the same men who got us into this mess?

While citing that he will cut the tiny amount of government funding that PBS receives, Mr. Romney has not otherwise identified the “loopholes and deductions” that, once eliminated, will finance his proposed 20 percent income tax rate relief.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center validates that it will indeed cost $5 trillion and indicates that cutting loopholes and deductions will not finance his scenario.

The math doesn’t add up – just as it didn’t add up during the Bush era. So where will the financing come from if not at the expense of the middle class?

President Obama has steadied the loss of American jobs and is reversing the downward trend. The president is accomplishing this without gutting the core values of our country’s social contract – one that serves not only the 47 percent that Mr. Romney dismisses, but all American citizens.

It is a social contract that would be in grave danger if Mr. Romney and the Republicans were to prevail. We cannot afford a return to the Republican policies that delivered the disaster that we are only just starting to climb out of.

Wayne Beach

Phippsburg 

No status short of marriage will fully protect gay pairs

Annie recently fractured her shoulder. When the ambulance arrived at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, the emergency medical technician told the Emergency Department staff that Annie’s wife, Lucie, was following directly behind. Soon Lucie was signing the papers that allowed Annie to be treated and was by her side.

In a time of emergency, we were unbelievably fortunate. Our marriage in California is not legally recognized here in our home state of Maine. When she received the call about Annie’s accident, Lucie was not at home and came without the papers we have ready for just such an emergency.

As registered domestic partners in Maine we hope, but can never be certain, that the very limited protections we are granted will cover our ability to support each other in medical emergencies. The limited rights and protections of our civil union in Vermont stop at the Vermont border.

There is only one word that describes the lifelong commitment we have made to one another and to our family: marriage. Our children deserve to be able to count on the legal recognition of our vows and so do we, especially in an emergency.

In just a few days the voters of Maine will decide whether or not to recognize our marriage license. Before you vote on whether you consider our family worthy of marriage, we urge you to talk with your lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender neighbors, friends, co-workers or family members about what the freedom to marry will mean to them. Please ask them how your vote on Question 1 will affect their lives.

Then stand on the side of love, commitment and family and join us in voting “yes” on 1.

Lucie Bauer and Annie Kiermaier

West Rockport

Differences in lifestyles merit different terminology

The idea that a single definition of marriage can include two distinctly different lifestyles defies logic! Both deserve our understanding, compassion and support, and each deserves a separate descriptive entity to avoid confusion.

1) The traditional heterosexual nuclear family definition of marriage for many centuries has consisted of a) mother, father and child; b) includes God’s miracle of creating new life (procreation); c) involves church and state, and d) is multigenerational in that future generations are perpetuated. This is the traditional definition of marriage and deserves to be titled as such.

2) In contradistinction, the nontraditional marriage of a homosexual nuclear family consists of a) two adult members of the same sex; b) absent miracle of creation; c) state involved, church optional; d) unigenerational in that absolute demise occurs with the death of one partner, and e) society’s future generations not impacted.

Therefore, the term “civil union” more accurately describes this sharply different relationship. There is a difference between an apple and an orange, between a rose and an orchid. The term “civil union” fully recognizes the enduring love relationship between two people of the same sex, deserves equal treatment under the law and clarifies an otherwise confusing situation.

Philip E. Sumner

Orrs Island

Re-electing Barack Obama would perpetuate disaster

What in the world happened to common sense?

Our country is in a serious state of affairs. The economy is dead in the water and the national health care program is so complicated no one really knows how it will work and how expensive it’s going to be.

What about the Sept. 11 Remembrance Day disaster where four Americans were murdered because they didn’t have protection that they had requested? What about our trillions of dollars in debt, the worst in the history of America, and how many billions of dollars we owe China?

What about all the wasted money going to companies that went bankrupt? Gas and oil prices are out of sight and creating inflation that has a significant slowdown of employment.

The leadership in our country is horrible, and our president will do or say anything to be re-elected. The respect we had worldwide has dipped to a new low.

The president double talks when he is questioned about all the mistakes he has made. His integrity is near zero!

I look at the polls and have to wonder why the Obama supporters would want this disaster to continue for four more years! It just is going to get worse. I just don’t get it.

God bless and save America!

Bill Brown Sr.

Westbrook

Incumbent’s life embodies House District 97’s values

Helen Rankin’s valuable work as representative of House District 97 is deserving of a third term.

It has been my profound pleasure to have known Helen Rankin, a most remarkable lady, for more than a half-century. As a dedicated wife and mother of two children, she highly values family and home.

Earning a bachelor’s degree while employed full time as director of school nutrition at School Administrative District 55, she has a profound understanding and appreciation of how schools operate and the importance of a good education.

As the wife of Albert Rankin (now deceased), who, until his retirement, served for many years as foreman of the Thomas Hammond and Son Lumber Co. of Hiram, she is a firm supporter of local industries.

As a registered independent, I am confident that Helen Rankin, a Democrat, does and will continue to work with both Republicans and Democrats for the betterment of our five towns, Brownfield, Hiram, Fryeburg, Parsonsfield and Porter, as well as the state of Maine.

Jack Barnes

Hiram

Kouzonas, Valentino will work for Saco in Augusta

Why I will vote for Demi Kouzounas, House District 133 and Linda Valentino, Senate District 5:

Both of these candidates have shown an ability to listen to the voters. Both are successful businesswomen. Both have raised a family. Both know the local community and how important it is to be prepared to work hard in Augusta.

I have talked to both of these candidates and know they will do an excellent job. They both know this will not be easy, as we are all feeling the pain of this economy.

The school system saw a reduction in state and federal government funding of $3.9 million. That gave us a 12 percent increase in Saco taxes for the school budget alone. Add that to the 6 percent local city of Saco tax increase, and we got an 18 percent tax increase on average in Saco!

We cannot change our tax increases for this year in Saco. But we certainly can for next year!

I am a registered independent. I believe both Demi Kouzounas and Linda Valentino are the right candidates with the right business experience at the right time.

It is OK to cross party lines. Think of your community and then vote. I hope you will see how lucky we are to have Demi and Linda running for state House District 133 and state Senate District 5. Please join with me, and vote for Demi Kouzounas and Linda Valentino on Nov. 6.

Richard Petersen

Saco