The July 30 article “DEP calls for weakening of Maine smog regulations” really got me thinking. 

I’d like to pass on to Gov. LePage that he has an excellent opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: He can free industrial polluters from pesky provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, and, at the same time, he can cut government costs. 

Why not simply eliminate the Department of Environmental Protection? While he’s at it, why not close down the Bureau of Air Quality and the Maine state parks? That should help businesses.

But that’s just the beginning.

To help protect businesses from other silly annoyances, he can terminate the Workers’ Compensation Board, the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Labor. (Speaking of labor, we don’t want to again have to deal with anything that might possibly look like Maine supports workers, so definitely ax the Maine Arts Commission.)

Once he’s accomplished ending all support for the health and well-being of Mainers, he can trash the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, the Department of Health and Human Services, MaineCare and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. After he has privatized education, he can scuttle the Department of Education.

After all these departments are gone, there will be far fewer employees, so the Maine State Retirement System might as well go, too.

And as the government of Maine will have withered away, it won’t cost much to run it. So he can fulfill his destiny of ending all taxes — and the Maine Revenue Services.

At that point, Maine won’t even need a governor. You see, we can all look forward to when he is out of office.

Mike Berkowitz

Saco

Immigrants deserve aid, but we can’t afford it

It was good of Barney Frank to respond to my arguments that America will not benefit from further immigration (“Defending previous commentary,” July 21), but I must take exception to his contention that working immigrants don’t receive taxpayer assistance.

Low-wage work and welfare are not, nor should they be, mutually exclusive.

I believe, and I’m sure former U.S. Rep. Frank would agree, that workers on the bottom of the pay scale need taxpayer-funded government assistance to provide food, shelter and decent education for themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, with $17 trillion of public debt, we cannot afford the social safety net for our own citizens, much less tens of millions of foreigners.

Frank would have us believe new immigrants will help us pay down the debt. If that were true, California (43 percent of all new births to immigrant households) would not be the collapsing fiscal wreck that it is.

Rather, California points where the nation will go if we don’t control our borders and restrict new immigration: a great mass of low-skilled and unemployed wards of the welfare state, poorly served by overpaid unionized public workers, wrecking public finances and the social fabric, while the political and business elites look on from their coastal enclaves tut-tutting about how these citizens aren’t cutting it, maybe we should import some others.

Christopher Reimer

Arundel

Maine voters should give candidate Woods a chance

I know Steve Woods extremely well, as he worked for me some years ago as my road manager. He is a remarkable man, and I can understand his great success. 

Steve’s remarks in his recent column (“Maine Voices: Campaign coverage focuses on numbers at expense of qualifications,” July 18) could be applied to a larger area than the state of Maine and certainly would be worthy of reflecting our national political scenarios. 

What sage advice he gives when he suggests that every single Mainer would be wise to invest five minutes and visit the database that lists in detail contributions made to candidates. Wow, wouldn’t that be even more revealing if people could possibly do the same with our national representatives?

It would be quite a revelation, and I think for many rather shocking, since, as he points out, aside from the personal contributions in support of a campaign, a majority of donations come from “companies, consultants, political allies, etc., all paying some manner of ‘politician tax’ in the hope of receiving tangible personal or business benefits somewhere down the line.”

Fact is, Steve Woods is a candidate who has refused campaign contributions. He says he is in favor of contributing $50,000 of his own money to his gubernatorial campaign. He goes on to state that the total he is contributing is more than that of all the other candidates combined. 

Wow, what does that say about this man? Certainly it raises him far and above and has him stand out as a singularly remarkable candidate who points out that he doesn’t “know ’66’ attorneys in Maine and Washington who want to become friends with (him) by making sizable donations.” 

The actions and public statements of Steve Woods warrant the attention of every Maine voter, but also every American who should be examining the state of government affairs and their candidates.

George Joseph Kresge

The Amazing Kreskin

North Caldwell, N.J.

Fossil-fuel habit could be the rope that hangs us all

The Noah’s ark story ends with a promise, “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” But there is no recorded promise that life will not be destroyed by other means.

I am reminded of a saying oft quoted by my late father, a farmer: “Give a calf enough rope and it will hang itself.” Humans are hanging themselves by using so much fossil fuel.

Carbon emissions are causing extreme weather events — droughts, wildfires, hurricanes — that will destroy civilization as we know it if we don’t soon convert to clean energy sources. To that end, knowledgeable people and organizations are promoting subsidies for clean fuel sources, enactment of carbon taxes and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

Since these steps can be taken only via political action, we must bring pressure on our politicians to take action.

Here in Maine, one way to do that is to support organizations such as the Maine People’s Alliance, which not only brings pressure on politicians but also urges people to register to vote, and to vote for politicians who are wise enough to work toward keeping humans from hanging/destroying themselves.

Fern Crossland Stearns

Orland