I have had a good bit of formal training in the field of economics, and as I observe the media’s reporting on, and the public’s takeaway from, the news from the economic community that “the recession is over” mean different things to different folks.

I think that economic gurus who make a living studying and reporting on the state of this country’s, and indeed the world’s, economies, should drop the word “the” in front of “recession” in their reports of our recent economic activity, so that we lay people will not confuse their reports to mean we are out of the current “Great Recession.”

The data show to me, and I think the folks who prepared these reports are telling us, that we are out of a recessive phase of this economic downturn. Their highly refined formula, considering many parameters, of which the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the unemployment rate are but two out of many other inputs used.

Their conclusions show that the curve of the model ceased to have a downward slope a few months back. It now is trending in an upward direction, hence the recessive phase is over and overall economic growth from the bottom of the curve is in a positive direction.

Still, I think we all know that it will be a long time before we have a 5 percent or lower unemployment figure and the prices of homes reach close to what they were the before the economic meltdown. As reported, the data show we are not out of “the recession,” we are in the bottom of an economic pit and are starting to build our way out.

If you folks at The Press Herald essentially agree with my observations, I think you should let your readers in on it too.

David D. Watson



Now is not the time to be raising taxes. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe should keep this in mind, since there is a big tax hike coming down the pike if they don’t vote to extend the tax cuts passed in 2003.

With our unemployment numbers still at more than 8 percent and summer over, the last thing we need is another huge tax increase levied on our small businesses. A huge tax increase would force our job-providing businesses to focus on finding enough cash to pay the government instead of paying new employees.

It’s really too bad this discussion even has to happen. A tax increase would be a disaster. I hope our elected officials in Washington will push to extend the tax rates we have now to help out our small businesses.

Mark Walker



President Obama pulled this country back from the brink of an economic collapse that eight years of George W. Bush brought us to.

But now the Republicans, the people responsible for that near-disaster, who have done absolutely nothing for the last two years but attempt to undermine everything the president has tried to do to clean up their mess – they want us to put them back in charge.

And what’s even more amazing, polls are showing that American voters are going to go right ahead and do just that.

I don’t get it.

John Manderino



Like many of us, I read the letters to the editor with a mixture of frustration and hopelessness, including one from a reader who “didn’t get” how our current president could be blamed for not fixing our problems yet when it took eight years to create them.

I agree that 18 months to fix everything is unrealistic, but that is really not the point. The real issue for me is that the writer “didn’t get it.”

It’s possible, if not likely, that the media and some percentage of Americans won’t ever get it, don’t want to get it and wouldn’t know if they had it. It’s as if we are wearing filtered glasses that block out everything they don’t want to hear.

The issue is not that Obama didn’t fix our problems, but the extremes and methodology employed in his unsuccessful efforts. Who can accept that we should dismiss the disastrous results of the actions taken and cheerfully accept that inaction or different actions may have been worse?

Truth is, we were assured the unorthodox actions taken would be successful. They weren’t. Truth is, we spent unprecedented sums of money and endangered out future and it didn’t work.

Truth is, there has been no openness and integrity to the process. Truth is, those with opposing or differing views have been attacked and vilified.

Truth is, this president has surrounded himself primarily with people of dubious character, limited experience and so radical in their thinking that any reasonable observer could justifiably question them.

I would feel less frustrated and hopeless if it were possible that we could see things for what they are. Not with the same frame of reference, nor with the same ideology, but for what they are, regardless of how we feel about them.

Loyalty is generally a good thing. Loyalty without judgment and honesty is not, and that is very dangerous.

Vincent Brown



Because I’m tired of the timidity of my party in the face of the fear-mongering, vitriolic Republican/tea party/right wing din. I want to say that I am a Democrat because:

1) America is about equality for all people.

2) This administration and Congress finally did something about improving access to health care. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start. Health care is an economic issue as well as a social one.

3) I think we need to be very thoughtful about where we send our servicemen and women — and why, and when and for how long.

4) I think all children should get an excellent public education, and a shot at college, and a chance to be American citizens when they had no say in coming here.

5) We encourage debate, differences of opinion and the free and civil exchange of ideas, even if it costs some votes.

6) I think we’re all created in the image of God. All of us. And I’m tired of politicians and candidates who garner votes by trying to make us afraid of each other. Really – is your family threatened by my legal right to visit my partner in this hospital? Really?

7) I think we all should get a fair shot at our own American dream — and that we should be willing to reach back (or reach into our wallets) and give somebody else a hand.

I will vote Democrat until I see Republican candidates in Maine who truly are all about all the people. Paul LePage is a threat to these, my American values, my Maine sensibilities, and will not get my vote.

Laura Bilby

Kittery Point


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