Wednesday, April 23, 2014
(Continued from page 2)
Dictators can and do come out of democracies when people don't push back. Dictators may start slowly and only gradually grab power, but as history shows, they all too often succeed.
Gov. LePage is no longer a laughable bumpkin. His anti-democratic tactics make him downright scary. It's time to say no to such behavior or to "Turn Le Page."
Being a senior citizen, I felt Gov. LePage's comment that Rep. Chellie Pingree wants to support people continuing to live on government handouts was quite insulting ("LePage blasts Pingree's Medicaid stance," July 12).
I have lived in Maine my whole life, raised my family, supported the educational system, paid taxes and spent my money locally to help local businesses survive.
Now that I'm in my 70s, it appears that Gov. LePage is saying that we seniors don't matter. We not only helped to build this state, we also helped to build the country.
I don't consider myself to be receiving handouts because I now get Medicare and MaineCare. I live on a fixed income (one that didn't increase for three years, and that increase didn't cover one year's cost-of-living increase, let alone three). I reside in elderly housing and have worked hard to live within my budget.
And by the way, exactly what happened to the $50,000 that the state found a month or so ago? Haven't heard anything about that, either.
Sharon J. Shane
Let us give Gov. LePage a break. It is my understanding that Maine law requires the state to balance its budget. If so, this will not be an easy task. It will mean cuts in spending.
MaineCare (Medicaid) will very likely be carefully reviewed, along with other costly programs. The governor will have to make difficult decisions that will not be popular but are decisions he must make.
Recently I have reached the age of 89, and, with assets depleted, I now need assistance. (I didn't plan this!)
However, I believe that if MaineCare is carefully studied and reviewed and areas of misuse and overcost are identified and eliminated, it has a chance of survival. I hope so!
I do not see why Gov. LePage should be disparaging the people who put in a day's work down at the IRS. These are working folks who do the hard work of collecting the money that is put to use for the common good: roads, schools, air traffic control, stop signs, bridges, hospitals and, of course, the common defense.
Personally, I wish the IRS would permit me to designate the projects that the money goes to, as I am not thrilled by the idea of helping pay for a $2 million cruise missile or a $1 billion Aegis destroyer to launch that cruise missile at a defenseless city somewhere in Iraq, as happened in 2003. But I am aware that no system is perfect, and I am not going to be given that option.
Nonetheless, I consider the collection of taxes to be a necessary and thankless task that many good people are doing with dignity. Let the governor go out for a day and ask people for some money to pave the street in front of his house, and I bet you we will see him sing a different tune.