Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Patients wait in the waiting room at the Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center in a 2007 file photo. Though the VA system has its shortcomings, those employed by the system do their jobs with pride and dedication, a reader says.
2007 File Photo/John Ewing
End corporate tax loopholes before cutting aid to needy
Maine is facing the seventh highest level of very low food security in the nation.
Many of our children, veterans, elderly and poor working families rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to get enough food on the table every month.
And yet, the House has passed a bill that would dramatically cut SNAP.
This bill would eliminate basic food assistance for millions of Americans and many of our neighbors.
I applaud Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree for their continued support of this important program and for standing up against the far-off priorities of the Republican leadership.
These reckless cuts are just the latest in a series of attempts to eliminate assistance to struggling Americans while ignoring the fact that large corporations are not paying their fair share into our system.
Instead of cutting SNAP by $40 billion over 10 years, why don't we look at the $50 billion over 10 years that could be regained if we, for example, close the corporate loophole that lets large corporations get a tax deduction when they give their CEOs "performance-based" bonuses?
It is time for Congress to get its priorities straight. Cutting SNAP while letting corporations protect their millions through tax loopholes isn't a way to a better nation and just isn't fair.
Snorkeler's Fort Gorges visit reveals sad ecological decline
Maine's environment is fragile. I've spent a lot of time this summer snorkeling in and around Portland. I'm surprised and dismayed at how dirty the water is and how relatively lifeless the seabed is.
There are no more sea urchins, few starfish, few flounder or other fish, some stripers, to be sure, and crabs, of course. The seaweed is still very pretty, but it won't be long before that is harvested to complete depletion.
Nevertheless, I recently went out to Fort Gorges to take a look. I thought there might be a good deal of interesting life to see around the island.
It was depressingly murky, dirty and dead, aside from a few fiddler crabs.
The myth of the pristine Maine environment is quickly disappearing right under our noses, unless you pay attention. When it's gone, it will be gone for a very long time.