December 21, 2012

Letters to the editor: Doing the math on proposed tax hikes

Readers take issue with other readers’ opinions about the impact of federal tax increases.

(Continued from page 1)

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Congress and the White House hope to agree on a plan to avoid automatic tax increases and government spending cuts.

The Associated Press

Like it or not, neither the budget nor the deficit has been balanced since the Clinton years. Look it up at www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/

Mike Foley

Portland

Best gift to ill, homebound: time with the ones they love

I am a home health aide who provides personal care to clients in their homes. One thing that I've really found to be true for almost every one of my clients is that they really love time spent with their family. It is really what matters most to these folks: being with the ones they love and who love them.

They don't really need any "things," but they really need some time with their kids, grandkids, friends and other loved ones. It's kind of like what kids need most. They don't need more toys, or more things -- what they really need is time with those who love them.

If you have a loved one who is in a long-term care setting or is living alone, please consider making time to see them. Make a regular schedule, it becomes easier when it's part of your routine.

Not everyone is comfortable visiting a hospital or nursing home or assisted living facility, but I can tell you from experience it gets easier the more you do it. And when you know how much it means to the one you are visiting, it makes it 10 times easier -- plus you leave feeling good about yourself.

Consider giving the greatest gift you can this holiday season -- the gift of you.

Your presence to someone who is ill, lonely, homebound or in a facility will be the highlight of their day, week or month.

Martha O'Connor

Westbrook

Fossil fuel stock divestiture sets example for rest of us

Kudos to Unity College and its trustees and president, Stephen Mulkey, for divesting their investments in the fossil fuel industry (www.unity.edu/focus-faculty/fossil-fuel-divestment).

It is a step all organizations should take. Investments are supposed to ensure the future health of an organization, so it makes no sense to invest in companies whose business plans ensure that we have no future.

According to the London-based Carbon Tracker Initiative, composed of financial analysts and environmentalists, the fossil fuel industry already has five times the amount of reserves on hand to warm the earth by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

That is the amount that nations that attended the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in 2009 agreed would be the tipping point beyond which the Earth's climate could not recover.

Many believe that 2 degrees is too conservative. We are already seeing devastating effects of climate change: record temperatures, drought and crop failures, wildfires, multiple tornadoes, more powerful hurricanes -- and that is just in our part of the world.

Wild weather is becoming the norm worldwide, thanks to all the CO2 the fossil fuel industry is pushing into our atmosphere.

It is time to take action and follow in the footsteps of Unity College. Divestiture worked to end apartheid. It should also work to save our planet.

Lynda L. Sudlow

Parsonsfield

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