Both articles and letters written by many on all sides of the political spectrum seem to be misinformed about how to cut, tighten or even change how much money is spent by government at all levels.

From school administrators to state lawmakers to senators in Washington, most Americans believe that we must expand in all things. This long-held belief is blatantly wrong. Look at any institution you may wish, and you will quickly find wasteful spending and a terrible job being done.

One of the best examples of this, here in Maine, comes from educators and the administrators who preside over them. According to those who have put our education system in its present condition, reducing budgets can only hurt the children.

Fortunately, some of us aren’t so blind — we clearly see that when cuts are needed, all the hurt should be taken from administrative costs and staff salaries. That whenever and wherever reductions are needed, that those cuts will be placed solely on those adults who have failed in all areas of educating kids in public schools.

That a standard which states that if you have been part of the education system in Maine over the past few years, then you have been part of the problem in the profession. If so, why would we wish to hear your views of how to reduce spending and increase educational standards?

This same tack can be used in all levels of government, from fixing the roads to restricting municipal and public safety professions from being unionized.

But now, our present governor thinks hiring family members and political cronies is somehow going to change things. It will fail, because you can not get the job done with people who don’t know how to do said job. Simply cutting budgets doesn’t do it. Wrong answer, Mr. LePage.

Peter Hamilton


Would Gov. LePage have changed business contracts?

Former businessman and now Gov. LePage and the Legislature want to balance the state budget on the backs of the unions.

The Legislature entered into a legally binding negotiated contract with the unions to provide a service at a specified cost. LePage did the same at Marden’s, agreeing to pay a price for some goods.

Now LePage reneges on the state’s union contracts to help the state fiscally. If Marden’s has fiscal difficulties, does it tell its suppliers, “No, Marden’s cannot pay you the agreed-upon price for the goods you sent us so we will pay you a lower price of our choosing”?

What do you think the supplier will think of that? Is that an incentive our businessman governor thinks will attract businesses to Maine?

LePage might say, “Brand X business, I know we told you that Maine would give you all those tax incentives to come to Maine, but you know what? It’s been a couple of years now and we really need that revenue, so you will have to start paying those taxes that Maine promised you would not have to pay. We might also look into having you pay back taxes. Sorry, but rest assured, we might not do this again.”

What would businesses think of that? Is that the kind of incentive our businessman governor thinks will attract businesses?

You know, it is tiresome to read and hear about unions being the big bad bogyman to be blamed for all of this country’s ills and financial woes.

Truthfully, unions account for around 15 percent of the total U.S. work force, so why are unions the main problem? Why are we not taking a closer look at the companies that are shipping our jobs out of our country?

Ray Ronan


Arts endowment cuts can’t be allowed to stand

The U.S. House is on track to cut $43 million from the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget of $167.5 million. That’s a 26 percent cut — the deepest in 16 years!

Our senators should prevent these deep cuts from happening.

The arts mean jobs! According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts industry generates $166.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $12.6 billion in federal income taxes. Measured against direct federal cultural spending of about $1.4 billion, that’s a return of nearly 9-1.

Federal funding for the arts leverages private funding. The NEA requires at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from all grant recipients — a match far exceeded by most grantees. On average, each NEA grant leverages at least $7 from other state, local and private sources. Private support cannot match the leveraging role of government cultural funding.

How do I tell my daughter, an aspiring artist with some actual talent, that the arts aren’t important? By not writing to you, to make the public aware of these incredibly devastating cuts!

Theresa Vermette Gaetjens


Governor’s words not ‘gaffes,’ but real feelings

At first they were called “gaffes.” Now his staff says, “The governor speaks his mind.” No, that is not it. He is mean and he likes it.

When he spoke the word “estrogen” in an interview on the possible dangers of BPA, he said it like it was a dirty word. You could not deny the smirk and self-satisfaction on his face. His comment was not just about his contempt for science; it was about his contempt for women.

This man should not be in office.

Dan Nickerson


Reporter uncritically accepts loaded language

I was surprised and very unimpressed to see that your State House reporter, Tom Bell, simply accepted the Republican Party press release when reporting on the LePage administration’s tax proposal Feb. 11.

Instead of referencing one effort as addressing the Maine estate tax, he just parroted the press release and called it the “death tax.”

Next, he will probably write about “death panels” when discussing proposals to allow medical professionals to have conversations with their patients about their personal end-of life-decisions. Quality reporting requires a far higher standard of objectivity than exhibited by Mr. Bell.

Kenneth S. Spirer