December 16, 2010

More letters to the editor, Dec. 16, 2010: Era of big government is unaffordable

The number of people writing letters to the editor wanting to see tax rates on their fellow citizens rise is stunning. It appears to me that most of these people think that the money belongs to the government, not the people that earned it.

Bill Clinton
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When he was president, Bill Clinton said, “The era of big government is over.” A reader says it’s about time.

The Associated Press

There are several lessons these people need to learn.

First, the government has no money of its own. For the government to spend funds, it must first confiscate the money of its citizens, or borrow it from somewhere else.

Second, the government does not have a revenue problem. History shows that government at all levels spends too much.

Third, higher tax rates do not result in higher revenue. The best example of the above is the Reagan years.

Tax rates across the board were cut by 25 percent. Income tax revenues to the U.S. treasury in 1981 were about $500 billion. In 1989, income tax revenues were over $900 billion. In the middle of almost doubling revenues, Congress more than doubled spending.

Today's debate is insane. Government at all levels is too big, too intrusive and out of control. If we as a people don't put a stop to this insanity, we will leave our grandkids a Third World country.

There was a proposal during the recent election campaign to return spending levels to fiscal year 2008, and liberals and big government advocates went ballistic.

I think 2008 levels would be a good start, but 2000 would be better. Remember, it was Bill Clinton who said during his presidency that the era of big government was over.

Paul Anderson

Scarborough 

Charge Cal Thomas -- or listen to troops? 

Usually, I find Cal Thomas's opinion columns to be nothing more than a collection of archaic ramblings by a man who simply cannot grasp the concept of reality.

Recently, however, I was shocked to find that what I normally ignore as yet another annoyance was something essentially criminal in nature ("Effects of gays on military will be negative and long-lasting," Dec. 2).

The statement that "The military is one of our primary underpinnings. So is marriage. No wonder the gay rights movement seeks to undermine both," is one that I find not only inflammatory, but one that can only be described as hateful.

Expressing one's opinion -- albeit it narrow and uneducated -- in the local paper is one thing. Outright gay-bashing is quite another.

While I am glad to know exactly what decent people are up against, I find it shameful that your paper would have printed this garbage, rather than turning it over to the proper authorities so that Thomas could be charged with the hate crime he has just perpetrated upon so many of our men and women who give their lives every day so that he can sleep soundly at night.

Tanya Kelly

South Portland 

Currently the U.S. military has a ban on openly homosexual men or lesbian women serving. There is a movement afoot in the congress to repeal that policy, known as DADT -- "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

But in the final analysis the only people whose opinion matters about the potential (and politically correct) repeal of the policy are those who are directly affected by it -- those who serve to protect us every day and especially those who are in actual combat.

Recently the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James Amos, testified before the U.S. Senate on the policy.

He quoted from the following letter he had received from a Marine lieutenant who was a platoon commander:

"My team's effectiveness is directly tied to its cohesiveness. Despite differences, we are so close that we anticipate each other's next move in garrison and in combat. Our ability to do our job is predicated on this kind of relationship. If you were to add any element of sexual competition, inter-unit sexuality, or hesitance in trust, it would unquestionably prevent those bonds from forming or immediately destroy them if introduced."

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