An old Maine adage advises “Don’t tax you. Don’t tax me. Tax that man behind the tree.” It appears that no one wants to be found behind the tree.

We have all enjoyed the benefit of lower taxes for the past 10 years, creating deficits that have now become the cause c?bre of every politician wanting to cash in on voter fear and unrest. Contrary to the theory that tax cuts create jobs, 10 years of tax cuts have been in place while national unemployment has steadily grown and remains stubbornly at 9.6 percent.

Deregulation, that other supposed engine of job creation, has created the worst financial meltdown since the 1930s. Now we are supposed to believe that extended tax cuts and further deregulation will create jobs and reduce the deficit.

It is time to face the reality that we should all be asked to sacrifice to set our country on a path to fiscal responsibility. Those of us fortunate to have increased our wealth should be willing to pay a reasonably increased tax rate. The 2 percent of small-business owners most affected are those whose net taxable income after all business and personal deductions exceeds the top rate of $372,950.

Social Security should be strengthened by extending taxation on employee earnings beyond the current limit. Cuts in the defense budget, the long-term cost of Medicare, and Social Security must be considered and implemented wisely. Eliminating earmarks and searching for the ever-present waste and corruption is not enough.

An all-inclusive effort that demands shared sacrifice will put us on the path to fiscal responsibility, lead to eventual job creation and restore a sense of everyone belonging to a national effort larger than ourselves, something that is sorely missing in today’s America.

Tom Foley
Cumberland Foreside

 

People don’t need handouts, we need real jobs.

I am writing this letter to give you my version of the eight years of democratic leadership with a incompetent governor. Thousand of jobs have been eliminated and transferred out of state, without an honest effort to maintain them.

I lost my job in 2004 because the company for which I worked for 14 years wanted to eliminate payroll simply because some of us were making too much money, but still contributed to the company bottom line and its mission statement. After leaving there, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away in 2005, and then I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.

the time I was able to return to a normal work routine, I was 55 years old and unwanted in my profession, and for that matter, any other profession I was qualified for. In 2007, I finally started driving a taxi in Portland and was able to squeak out a living for awhile.

Today, so many people are out of work, on welfare, or simply don’t have the money to do anything extra. My whole point here is that some people think the recession is over. To the real people, this state is in a deep recession and heading the wrong way.

In closing, there are thousands of us who want to work real jobs with real benefits, and we all want to feel proud about our state again.

Mark Boucher
Cape Elizabeth

 

Just a few months ago, our politicians told us they must take our tax money and bail out the bankrupt company called General Motors. Last week, General Motors had an IPO stock offering.

Great, you might say. A success, our political leaders say. Is it not funny that we regular citizens could not buy the IPO stock offering? It was saved for our politicians’ Wall Street friends, for China and Dubai sovereign wealth funds, and other well-connected friends of Congress.

So our money was taken from us and given to General Motors so it could survive as a company. But we taxpayers cannot participate in the profits that our “investment” has created.

The next time President Obama or any other politician stands at the podium and tells us how he must take our tax money to bail out some company, what is really being said is, “I am going to take your money and give it to company X, and if it works me and my friends will make a bundle.”

Once again, our politicians and their friends profit. Taxpayers — you and I — are left in the cold.

James C. Waterhouse
Saco

Cameras better than guns for hunting Maine wildlife

 

A boy spotting a rare black deer and being inspired to become a wildlife biologist would be a great story. A boy taking pride in killing a rare black deer is not.

Children should be taught to shoot wildlife with cameras, not guns. They can still enjoy the great outdoors, learn patience and tracking skills, and benefit from all the other positive aspects that are claimed for hunting. The only thing lacking is bloodlust, that same bloodlust that leads to war and other atrocities.

The myth about hunting being a necessary means of wildlife population control is just that — a myth. Wildlife habitats are self-regulating in the number of wildlife they can support. Human interference in the cycle is what causes overpopulation.

Isn’t it time we all put down our hunting weapons and picked up our cameras? The Maine woods should be safe for everyone. Teaching a child to kill is bad enough, but for a newspaper to praise and promote it is poor journalism and a disservice to the community.

Lynn Manley
North Berwick

Let the experts handle airport screening in U.S.

 

We hear a lot about the TSA and airport security, not much of it good.

El Al has never had an incident.

Why not contract with the Israeli authorities to handle the situation here in the United States?

Then only those travelers who mean us harm will be embarrassed and the rest of us will be able to go on our way, hassle-free, and enjoy flying again.

Bob Howell
Pemaquid

 

Concerning airport screening: I would rather get felt up than blown up!

Obie Philbrook
Portland