Saturday, May 18, 2013
Gov. LePage's weekly address of July 7 was disturbing on many levels, not the least of which is that it began with a statement that showed an utter deficit of knowledge of United States history.
In a radio address that compared the IRS to the Gestapo, “Gov. LePage hit a new low in offensive rhetoric,” a reader says.
2012 File Photo/The Associated Press
He states, "For 236 years our constitution has tried to uphold our Founding Fathers' intent -- to protect Americans' rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But what our Founding Fathers, I'm sure, did not have in mind is for our rights to be stripped away by our federal government."
A quick fact check confirms that 236 years ago was 1776, and that the document containing the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" was the Declaration of Independence.
The Constitution was adopted in 1787, ratified in 1789 and states: "The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence (note 1) and general Welfare of the United States ..."
I don't believe it is wise for the governor to say that he is "sure" of what the Founding Fathers did or did not have in mind. Gov. LePage's repeated reckless, erroneous statements make him an embarrassment to our state.
It saddens me to see a man so lacking in leadership, credibility and inspirational skills in a position of authority that allows him to put forth his misinformed diatribes as fact.
I would like to remind Gov. Paul LePage that being "taxed" or "penalized" for something that an individual does not have or chooses not to have is neither new nor novel. For as long as I can remember, one basically pays a "tax" or a "penalty" on his/her income tax return if one does not have children and/or is not married.
Furthermore, Gov. LePage's choice of analogy is more than insulting to those who may have suffered at the hands of the real Gestapo.
Gov. LePage hit a new low in his offensive rhetoric when he compared the IRS to the Gestapo in his radio address this past Saturday.
Surely there must be some provision in Maine's constitution that would allow us to remove him from office for ignorance and arrogance. And if there isn't, now's the time to draft one.
Readers continue to debate Affordable Care Act ruling
Smart people do some of the dumbest things.
In Justice John Roberts' ill-justified defense of the federal takeover of the American medical system, he defines the penalty for not buying health insurance as a tax; thus, it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
In one respect, this was "legislating from the bench." That portion of Congress passing the Affordable Care Act specified that it is a penalty, not a tax. Roberts effectively amended the act, substituting "tax" for "penalty." So the law doesn't mean what it says or intended anymore. Interesting.
Now, I agree the penalty is a tax in the sense that any involuntary payment to any level of government is a tax, regardless of what it's called. Specified taxes include income, excise, Social Security and Medicare taxes; gasoline, airport, property and sales taxes; as well as "user fees," municipal parking fees, entrance fees to public facilities, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
But what these have in common is that they are levied on tangible income, goods or services.
The dumb part of the Supreme Court decision is that this tax is levied against those who do nothing at all -- in this case, those not buying health insurance.
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