It’s very unfortunate opponents of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights continue to spread the politics of fear and confusion. Ms. Melanson’s letter (Current, Sept. 28) attacking the guest column of Councilor Jeff Messer was well off the mark concerning the ramifications of Massachusetts Proposition 2 1/2.

The writer mentions the Education Reform Act that provided additional state monies for education. What the writer doesn’t say is that the Education Reform Act was instituted within the limitations of Proposition 2 1/2.

Ms. Melanson states a comparison of the recent SAT test scores is “rhetorically unsound” because Massachusetts students taking the test are college bound, while all Maine students were all required to take the test. This is incorrect. The SAT scores were for the class of 2006, which wasn’t mandated to take the test. The SAT test mandate is for the class of 2007. According to the College Board, only 73 percent of Maine students took the test while Massachusetts had 85 percent participation rate, the highest among the New England states.

Living in denial serves no useful purpose. The test results validate that high taxes and increased spending do not equate to quality education. The national average was 1518. Maine, with the HIGHEST TAX BURDEN IN THE NATION, scored well below the national average at 1493. Massachusetts, with an education system that was allegedly going to be devastated by Proposition 2 1/2, scored well above the national average at 1547. Spin it any way you want, but facts are facts.

As FDR once said when talking about making a sweeping change, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. It seems the opponents of TABOR use the tactics of fear to try to intimidate Mainers so that they may continue to tax and spend. Facts, not fear, will carry the day.

Marcus Moschetto


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