Thursday, May 23, 2013
Gov. LePage wants to eventually eliminate income taxes. I disagree.
Requiring working people such as this worm digger to pay to get renewable licenses unnecessarily expands the ranks of regulators and enforcers while doing little to benefit the public, a reader says.
1998 file photo/The Associated Press
Instead, eliminate other taxes. The state income tax is onerous, but marvelously efficient. We pay based upon calculations already computed for our federal income taxes. We can be taxed by our ability to pay. The poor, the retired, the unemployed could and should pay less.
Conversely, the state's inefficient sales tax requires too many of us to be tax collectors and requires too many state employees to administer. It taxes indiscriminately, without regard to wealth or poverty, even taxing children.
In this state, we have many inefficient and cumbersome taxes that impede our economy that beg to be eliminated.
Taxes, whose purpose is to raise revenue, are sometimes stealthily named. Unnecessary licensure is a prime example. Just about any adult can obtain hunting or fishing licenses – provided they pay a fee; this is the license's purpose. A state identification should be sufficient.
While trying to create jobs and encourage people to work, we inhibit them with licensure. We require renewable licenses for beauticians, barbers, dental hygienists, manicurists and even worm diggers. We accordingly add unnecessary enforcement and regulatory personnel.
State bureaucrats require unnecessary and ill-considered requirements for renewal. How is the public protected by requiring a license for a worm digger?
Let the state judiciously protect its citizens by requiring only those licenses that the state is willing to provide free. To protect the state from frivolous applications, applicants could pay a fee, refundable after licensure.
City's public high schools seek input on using grant
Change is in the air at Portland's four public high schools this spring.
Parents, students, staff and community members all are involved in planning how our district will use a $5 million grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to implement student-centered learning in our high schools. Our goal is to help more students become engaged in their education so that they complete high school prepared for work, college and citizenship.
Our district is considering four learning models that we may implement with the grant funds, and we expect to select two of them.
We will hold informational sessions for parents, students and other community members to learn more about each of the models. Two of the models will be presented Wednesday, and the other two will do so on May 2.
We want to involve as many people as possible in the selection process, so we are holding three sessions on each of those days. Translators will be available. To find more detailed information, visit the Portland Public Schools website: http://www2.portlandschools.org/pathways-success.
We encourage all middle school and high school students and parents as well as interested community members to join us Wednesday and May 2.
principal, Portland High School
principal, Portland Arts and Technology High School
principal, Casco Bay High School
principal, Deering High School
Cheney's heart transplant poses ethical questions
I may not like Dick Cheney's politics. I also do not wish anyone to die. However, was it wise for a transplant team to put a new heart in a 71-year-old man?
I know more about organ donations than I care to admit. My father died waiting for a lung transplant for his pulmonary fibrosis. He was only on the list for less than five months. He was No. 3 on the list for his blood type for all of that time.
He only moved up to No. 1 on the list the last weekend of his life. He was not moved up due to the two people above him getting their transplants. He was placed No. 1 due to the serious change in his condition.
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