December 10, 2013

Letters to the editor: Augusta ignores stranded riders’ woes

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Sheena Patel of South Portland relies on the MaineCare rides program for transportation to a sheltered work environment. A private rides broker that hasn’t delivered on its promises shouldn’t have gotten “second, third and fourth chances,” a reader says.

2013 File Photo/John Ewing

Did Sen. Collins change her vote because she likes being on the losing side? Or did she change her vote because the filibuster reforms prevented her from pretending to be moderate on a measure destined to be defeated by her colleagues in the minority?

Sen. Collins’ angry news release on the filibuster reforms mentions that “60 votes are generally required to end debate on major legislation,” but this reform focused on nominations to executive agencies and the judiciary (excluding the Supreme Court). On the most major piece of legislation considered this year, it was the Senate that passed immigration reform, while the Republican-controlled House hasn’t taken any action.

Sen. Collins is angry about this change because she can no longer pretend to be moderate when a nominee’s fate is already decided by her obstinate Republican colleagues. At least now the people of Maine know where the senator really stands with respect to Ms. Millett.

William Winger

Portland

Trickle-down economics does nothing to help poor

Your Nov. 28 front-page report on a recent papal admonishment includes comments by a South Portland Catholic who disagrees with Pope Francis’ critique of trickle-down economics (“Mainers reflect on pope’s challenge to church”).

The usual defense of that erroneous theory is repeated: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” But if that is true, then what about the many Walmart employees who have to turn to food stamps and food drives due to poverty wages?

Very little trickles down to them from America’s richest family, the Waltons, who own Walmart. And the Waltons are hardly alone in their greedy business practices, which they and those like them protect by lobbying against government attempts to regulate them and efforts to raise the minimum wage.

It is to all of us, but especially people like the Waltons of the world, that Pope Francis is speaking. This pontiff knows that not all people have boats!

Judith Church Tydings

South Thomaston

Rather than repeating the tired slogan “A rising tide lifts all boats,” take a look at history, particularly recent history, when Wall Street has been saved, leaving Main Street behind.

Far better to say: “A rising tide lifts all yachts.”

Linda Wright Sheehan

Sebago

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