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December 6, 2012

Paul LePage

Gov. Paul LePage

Letters to the editor: Governor out of touch on climate issue

Thank you for your editorial calling out Gov. LePage for proclaiming that clean energy would cost jobs and hurt Maine's economy ("Our View: Industry-funded study bad basis for energy policy," Nov. 28).

You were correct that he should not have based his proclamation solely on research funded by big oil. However, his proclamation also showed that he is out of touch with reality.

Climate change is doing terrible harm to the U.S. economy, and Maine will not escape. Witness Sandy and New York City, witness the Associated Press news reports of Nov. 28 on the economic impact of the Great Lakes shrinking and the Mississippi River drying up ("Low water sinking Great Lakes resorts"). The only thing that will save Maine's economy is a clean energy revolution that will slow climate change.

But the governor is not just out of touch with reality. He has also forgotten what makes a leader good.

A good leader can see what needs to be done and rally people to do it for the sake of their community and their descendants, even if in the short term it might hurt their personal finances.

If I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?

Rabbi Judy Weiss

member, Citizens Climate Lobby

Brookline, Mass. 

Families may be suffering, but Petraeus betrayed us all 

Much has been written about Gen. David Petraeus' adultery and the harm it had potentially done (Do we really know?) to the families involved.

However, the American citizenry has been just as betrayed. He had unofficially pledged to adhere to the unwritten rules of our trust. He put the position of the CIA director in jeopardy by such behavior and self-indulgence.

We, the American people, honored him with this exalted position so responsible for our national security. Gen. Petraeus defiled his office and broke the trust of America.

John Roediger

South Portland 

Increase in tax revenues won't stop excess spending 

The president says he "has a plan" for our economy and our jobs. Do you realize that if the president gets all the tax increases he is proposing, we would still be borrowing more than $1 trillion next year and every year of his term to continue the spending he wants?

Every responsible person would agree that massive borrowing every year with no plan to pay back the debt is wrong. This borrowing will result in a severe contraction of our economy with massive loss of jobs and income.

Many experts say unless we stop our borrowing, we will soon use half of the tax money we pay to satisfy just the interest on our debt (projected to be more than $20 trillion by the end of Obama's second term).

I would suggest the president's spending plans have set us on a course of a death spiral for our economy, jobs and, thus, our nation.

I am not surprised Obama has this fantasy plan for our nation's economy -- after all, he has never had experience in our private-sector economy. What does surprise me is the lack of criticism of this Obama spending from Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud and Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

Do these representatives of Maine approve of the spending policies that are sending our country into this economic death spiral? So far the actions of Pingree, Michaud, Collins and Snowe show no decrease in this irresponsible spending. Why?

They have the time to create for themselves large pensions (Social Security is not enough for them), private free health care (no Obamacare for them), housing allowances, travel allowances, and the list goes on. But by their actions, they seem to be fine with the economic death spiral we are on. I pray for a miracle.

James Waterhouse

Dayton 

U.S. policies value wealth over public service work 

As a psychologist, I am sometimes confronted by people who don't want to grow up. Strangely enough, this phenomenon and what leads from it have a bearing on the current budget debate in Washington.

One of the appeals of childhood, of course, is the ability to rely on someone else to do the worrying, get out to work, pay the bills, provide all the goodies. And even though there's initial excitement at the independence of adulthood, soon the responsibilities that go along with it make themselves felt. It's sobering.

But as we live longer and if we adequately reflect, we come to realize how much we continue to depend on each other -- not as children do on adults, but as adults do on each other.

That's true at the personal level, where we can actually see it happening, as well as on the national level, which often seems so far away, so hard to grasp.

As a society we tend to measure success by our professional and economic accomplishments. It's good to be smart, resourceful, hardworking.

However, we soon come to realize that these identical qualities are rewarded very differently in different walks of life. Some activities lead to the amassing of great wealth. Others serve important needs for modest financial gain.

In recent decades, our national fiscal policies have tended to privilege the amassing of great wealth (through favorable tax treatment) over public service (as evidenced by social program budget cuts).

We can reverse that trend by allowing tax cuts to expire on the richest 2 percent of households -- those earning more than $250,000 a year -- and using the money to pay down debt and invest in our common good.

That would be the mature thing to do, so I'm sure Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will support it.

Mary-Jane Ferrier

South Portland 

Krauthammer encourages needless killing of innocent 

I believe Charles Krauthammer has gone beyond the pale in his criticism of the Palestinians in Gaza ("Powerful allies help Hamas to keep trying to destroy Israel," Nov. 23).

Krauthammer states that Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with this independent Palestinian entity. "After all, the world has incessantly demanded that Israel give up land for peace," he writes.

Unfortunately, the outcome of such battles, instigated by the shelling of Israeli settlements, always ends up with a disproportionate number of Palestinian innocents paying the price in these conflicts.

One thing is clear: Israel is no David; nor is Hamas Goliath. The foolhardy shelling by the Hamas faction is no match for the military might of the Jewish state.

Krauthammer is certainly aware of this fact and should not encourage such massacres by the disinformation in his columns.

Petros Panagakos

Portland





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