There is no proposed “tax hike.” Merely an end to major Bush tax cuts. There’s been no net job growth in the last 10 years; there has been middle-class wage stagnation and this disastrous economic crisis.

Along with tax cuts, the previous administration started two wars that are bankrupting our economy, even as they make us less secure.

The figure of $700 billion has several faces.

TARP: Originally $700 billion,some of it was used to bail out our biggest businesses that now are planning large year-end bonuses.

Tax cuts for high income: $700 billion over 10 years is the projected increase in revenue to the Treasury if top tier tax cuts end.

Estate tax: $670 billion through 2018 is revenue the Joint Committee on Taxation of Congress estimates if there were complete repeal of the estate tax (affecting about 6,000 heirs of millionaires).

Military spending: $664 billion was approved by Congress in 2010. Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Ron Paul are asking colleagues to sign a letter for significant savings through assessing military goals, strategies and expenditures.

As for tax cuts as incentive to create jobs, there was no disincentive in 1955 when the top 400 U.S. taxpayers paid taxes at 51 percent of income.

About small business, 97 percent would not be affected and the remaining (law partners, hedge fund managers, consultants) aren’t likely to create jobs.

It is essential to end the tax cut for high incomes. It is equally essential to end the war. The United States cannot afford either one.

Grace Braley



A reader’s response to another reader who “didn’t get it” about how the president has been blamed for not fixing the Bush administration’s problems in 18 months turns the truth on its head. Every one of his descriptions of Obama apply far more accurately to the Bush years.

He writes, “Who can accept that we should dismiss the disastrous results of the actions taken and cheerfully accept that inaction or that different actions may have been worse.”

He could be talking about starting the Iraq war, turning Clinton’s surplus into huge deficits, or the decline of America’s reputation around the world. And he continues, “Truth is, we spent unprecedented sums of money and endangered our future and it didn’t work.”

It was Bush who doubled the national debt, put two wars on a credit card and left our economy in the ditch. Obama’s plan has reversed massive job losses and set the regulatory system back in the right direction.

He then writes, “Truth is, there has been no openness and integrity to the process, that opposing and differing views were attacked and vilified.” This describes “to a T” the Bush administration, especially in the lead-up to the war and in labeling protesters unpatriotic. Across the board, Obama has been far more open to ideas across the political spectrum.

The real truth is Obama inherited an unprecedented set of problems from Bush and has worked not perfectly, but intelligently and tirelessly to make headway out of a very deep hole with little help from the people who got us into it.

Republicans need to look in the mirror. The last thing we need is to turn down their tired road again because Obama hasn’t been able to clean up their mess as fast as we’d like.

Chris Wriggins


Don’t cry for us here, we have Lyric Theater


Forget New York’s Broadway theaters and go to South Portland’s off-Broadway Lyric Music Theater’s production of “Evita.”

It’s fantastic.

Ellen LeFevere

South Portland


Pingree helped oil spill bill in House; what now, Senate?


We thank U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree for her support of oil spill response legislation (H.R. 3534) that passed the U.S. House recently.

The bill would implement strong new safety measures for oil drilling, ensure polluting corporations pay for oil spill damages, reduce the federal deficit, and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help restore and conserve land in Maine, the Gulf Coast and across the nation.

The anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall five years ago and the BP oil spill this year are painful reminders of the impacts of America’s short-sighted energy policies.

This oil spill disaster and intense storms like Katrina have destroyed lives, crippled economies and damaged ecosystems. The destructive weather events we are seeing can be attributed to our changing climate, which stems from our nation’s addiction to burning oil and coal.

Business-as-usual energy sources have set up the Gulf States for more intense and frequent hurricanes, and created heat waves, flooding, and other disasters around the globe.

It is time for America to move towards a clean energy economy to reduce these growing threats, jump-start our economy and increase our energy independence.

The U.S House passed comprehensive energy and climate legislation over a year ago, showing the kind of leadership the country needs to move us toward a clean energy economy.

The U.S. Senate needs to also pass an oil spill response bill and continue to work toward comprehensive energy and climate legislation.

The job is not done and we cannot settle for less.

Lisa Pohlmann

Deputy director, Natural Resources

Council of Maine



Rep. Adams combines history and antiwar lesson


I just returned from a Portland history tour led by the local treasure that is Rep. Herb Adams.

I was struck by the connection between something Herb spoke about to the recent Veterans For Peace convention in Portland, where the national organization was founded 25 years ago.

Herb spoke of Portland native Thomas Brackett Reed, the powerful speaker of the House for the latter part of the 19th century, who resigned his seat in protest of the country’s entry into the Spanish-American War, a war commonly viewed today as one of U.S. aggression.

Reed said he did what he did in accordance with his belief that America was not founded to create a political empire or to expand its commercial interests by military action.

Sounds eerily like something I heard at a Veterans For Peace rally in Monument Square.

Cliff Gallant



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