To head off the “fiscal cliff,” Congress should allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire, says a reader who also calls on Americans who pay no federal income taxes to pay “just a little to help your country out.”
I'm tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff and who should pay "their fair share." We have a huge federal deficit, and as tax experts agree, there aren't enough rich folks to tax to solve it, unless you take all of their money, which is slightly un-American.
Instead, let the Bush-era federal tax cuts expire. Yes, my taxes will go up, as will yours, but I'm patriotic enough to say let's do it; I'll pay my fair share. Now, how about you?
For those 47 percent of "taxpayers" who don't pay any federal income taxes, maybe you can pay just a little to help your country out. Some say this group pays other taxes, like Social Security, but that shouldn't count, as those taxes are for retirement and disability, not supporting our country. As for sales taxes, that money goes o the state, not the feds.
Consequently, we should all be willing to let the Bush-era cuts expire to help our country balance its books, assuming Congress won't waste our patriotism by going on another spending spree.
I'm also tired of hearing that fat-cat Wall Streeters caused the financial crisis. Banks only followed your government and Congress' lead.
Starting with the Community Reinvestment Act, Congress pressured banks to loan to low-income borrowers.
Likewise, they pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax their lending standards so that low-income borrowers could achieve the "American dream" of homeownership. Wall Street and the banks only took the government and Congress' cue.
Actually, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Rural Development still makes subprime home loans, that is, 100 percent, no-money-down mortgage loans to low-income borrowers with less than sterling credit. The agency even makes these loans to noncitizens, subsidized by your federal tax dollars, assuming you pay any.
Clinton "Charlie" Pearson
colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Governor demeans efforts of educators, school staff
I read about Gov. LePage and his "Eggs 'n Issues" discussion ("LePage's criticism of Maine schools disappoints Maine principals," Nov. 14). I was appalled by his lack of empathy! I feel that this governor has personally insulted me. I am so tired of his poor attitude and thoughtlessness.
I have personal experience with the public school system. My niece and nephew work very hard in the Westbrook public school system. They are committed teachers.
I see the sacrifices that they make every day for their students -- I mean personal sacrifices! They use their own money to support their classrooms.
They have young families and somehow on a teacher's salary manage to support their families and their jobs. Their extended families have donated items needed to assist them in their endeavors at school. It has become a project for us.
I have young nieces and nephews in the Westbrook public school system. They are getting a wonderful education. While that is important, they also have a community of guidance counselors, teachers and so many more people who see to it that their life is completely safe in order for them to get a good education.
Let's not leave out the office staff making sure everything is running smoothly. How about the lunch employees, the bus drivers? All these people contribute to our children's education. In my opinion, you have insulted all of them as well.
They all work hard, and their heart is in it. They care! Do you care?
You are in a position of power to help them and what do you do? So far, all I hear is criticism from you. You need to change your poor image in Maine. This just might be your ticket. I challenge you to do more to help.
Testy drivers fail to honor sacrifices made by veterans
On the afternoon of Nov. 10, it was my privilege to accompany some of America's Greatest Generation to the production of "West Side Story" at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland.
Since all of the residents from the Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough are limited in their mobility, it required organization, time and patience to load, and unload, these ladies and gentlemen from their van with their wheelchairs and walkers.
Because Myrtle Street is a narrow, one-way passage to Cumberland Avenue, it meant that some occupants of vehicles using the street were inconvenienced for a few minutes while this process was completed for everyone.
While some people were courteous and patient, there was an unsettling number of drivers and passengers from a wide range of ages who became impatient, and in one case, was verbally abusive to a caregiver, as this person worked quickly to get the residents back in the van.
To those of you who were respectful, I thank you for demonstrating such an admirable trait. To those of you who demonstrated lack of respect for the elderly and those who chose to serve this country for you and me, I want you to use this experience to rethink your choices toward these dear souls.
Is that the way you would have liked to been treated as a resident? Make a choice to respond in a different manner should the opportunity present itself to you in the future, and show them that you value the sacrifice they made for this nation.
In U.S. Senate, expect King to heed Democratic agenda
Surprise, surprise, surprise, Angus King announced that he was going to caucus with the Democrats. He could have just as well have stamped a big red "D" in the center of his forehead during the campaign, and been more honest than the charade he has been putting on about what party he was going to caucus with.
Angus King sold his soul to Harry Reid for a committee appointment. Sen.-elect King is about as independent as Nancy Pelosi is. Expect him to follow the Democratic Party line to the letter.
Raymond T. West