July 9, 2012

Letters to the editor: Inspection system too costly

It's time to review the vehicle inspection law with the hope of repealing it altogether. Several years ago, Florida repealed its inspection law with no adverse effects.

click image to enlarge

Getting an inspection sticker too often leads to expensive work on things that don’t involve vehicle safety, a reader says.

Staff file photo

I recently had an experience that I found hard to believe. There is no visible rust on the car, but apparently an inspector saw the beginning of a little rust when the car was placed on the lift. I was told the body work had to be done to pass inspection -- probably costing thousands of dollars.

The car is in excellent condition with no problems -- good tires, brakes, no visible rust, all lights work, no cracked glass, horn works, etc.

I think the problem is profit. The fee for the standard inspection is low, making for a no-profit situation unless other work can be found, even though it may have nothing to do with car safety. So the ridiculous merry-go-round starts.

This, added to the very high price of gasoline, takes its toll on the family budget.

Repealing the inspection law would put considerable money in the general economy and I believe would be most welcome by hard-pressed car owners.

Only the state legislators can pass the repeal that I sincerely hope will get favorable attention.

Victor G. McNett

Topsham

GOP draws fire for failing to help working Americans

It's easy to tell that the Republicans on Capitol Hill have no ideas to seriously address the economic problems facing the average American. They've changed the subject.

Rep. Darrell Issa, from his perch atop the Government Oversight Committee, fresh off his fruitless Solyndra hearings, has now moved on to another conspiracy: the Fast and Furious operation. This is the same committee that put together the now-infamous "panel on women's health" that didn't feature a single woman or anyone else who dared express an opinion different from Issa, the chairman of the committee.

Not to be outdone in the grandstanding competition, Rep. Peter King has spent most of the last year and a half engaged in xenophobic fear-mongering from his chairman's post at the Homeland Security Committee.

These exercises in political Kabuki theater may provide great fodder for the talk-radio crowd and the talking heads on cable, but can anyone explain to me what they do to help the average American?

In its defense, the GOP-controlled House has gotten around to passing some important pieces of legislation, including, among others, a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto (sigh of relief there!) and something called the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act.

Is this the focus on jobs and the economy that voters were promised in 2010?

To his credit, presumptive party nominee Mitt Romney is not content simply to have no ideas, he's diligently trying to recycle failed ideas. He has hired as his top economic advisers two of George Bush Jr.'s chief economic advisers, Glenn Hubbard and Gregory Mankiw.

Yes, the guys who advised the president who oversaw the worst economic collapse since the Depression are now advising the guy who wants to be our next president. With a strategy like that, maybe a do-nothing Republican Congress is a blessing in disguise.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach

I couldn't agree more with Thomas Czyz's letter "Gov. LePage gives priority to corporate interests" (June 25).

This is also what is going on in Washington on a national level. With the never-ending "election cycle," politicians in both the House and Senate cater to the corporations and wealthy entities that keep them in office. Both parties are guilty of this, but it is the "right side of the aisle" that is always accusing the left of starting "class warfare."

If you look at the facts, it is the right that has created its own version of this by trying to turn the middle class against the lower socioeconomic population by suggesting that our taxes should not be supporting this portion of the population.

This is how the right has duped the population into believing that their policies will help them when they benefit only the wealthy minority who love to see the gap get wider between the "haves" and the "have-nots."

Look at how wide the gap has become since the tax credits for wealthy Americans were enacted. Trickle-down economics does not work!

The greed of the wealthy prevents "self-governed" control, with corporations and shareholders looking for increased profits every year as part of their business plan. Why create jobs with the money they receive when they can save money by eliminating them and making the working class do more for less?

When is the working-class portion of the Republican Party going to wake up and look at the facts?

John Glenn

Portland

If you don't vote, you lose chance to fix government

Westbrook's city clerk told me that 10 percent of Westbrook registered voters participated in the June 12 primary election. Only 1,500 people out of 11,500!

Do Westbrook residents believe their vote "won't count"? Do the simple arithmetic, and you can see how disastrous this thinking is when applied to the population of the United States! People say government is out of control. What better way to put a check on overspending, career politicians, executive orders or local budgets than using your power -- the vote -- to work toward solutions?

Remedies won't come overnight, but remember what our forefathers have done protecting the United States and the American way, which includes the right to vote, a much-admired and desired right throughout the world, and be inspired.

The outcome of the June 12 primary is a serious matter. We are electing a U.S. senator who will be in a powerful position in Washington representing the citizens of Maine. A Senate position doesn't come up very often. Senators tend to stick around, having six-year terms.

Our 1st Congressional District House member is being challenged by a candidate of another party with a different philosophy -- a big and important opportunity for voters. Local issues deserve to be voted on as well. That paltry 10 percent includes independents/unenrolled who vote on local issues, most of all, the school budget.

I will never squander my right to vote. It's the best influence I have to affect our government! Small by itself but powerful as one of many. We must be vigilant.

The apathy in Westbrook and in the state is discouraging, yes, and I fear human nature doesn't change. Thomas Jefferson observed many years ago: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

Rose Marie Russell

Westbrook

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