Tax-cut arithmetic

Republicans are arguing that unless millionaires get a tax cut, no one gets a tax cut. But they try to hide the millionaires behind small-business owners. Under the Democratic tax cut plan, people with taxable incomes over $250,000 will see their taxes on income over that amount increase, but only by $3 per hundred. So, a small-business owner with $250,000 income pays zero extra tax. A small-business owner with $251,000 income pays $30 extra tax.

Meanwhile, the Goldman Sachs executive with his $100 million bonus saves $3 million.

We want to deny a tax cut to the millionaires for a great reason: We need the money. The savings are $700 billion over 10 years. By contrast, the cost of extending unemployment to the millions of Americans who are running out would be only about one-quarter of that. The icing on the cake is that the unemployed will spend their benefits right away, stimulating the economy, while the rich will probably just put the money in bonds. It has been proven that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy more than tax cuts, and tax cuts for the rich stimulate the economy the least.

Please call our senators, asking them to support extension of the tax cuts for the poor and middle class only.

Rufus Wanning



Home energy advice

Living in a prosperous and healthy community begins with the economic opportunities we create for ourselves and by nurturing and protecting our environment. It’s simple: Energy-efficient improvements create jobs and stimulate the local economy.

That’s why the town of Hampden has partnered with the Maine Green Energy Alliance, a nonprofit working in communities across Maine to help families reduce their energy consumption. By prioritizing energy efficiency, we invest in local businesses. The resulting savings stay in the community.

While it’s important to know how to make the necessary improvements, it’s also important to know how we can afford to make them. To explain, MGEA is hosting a community energy meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Hampden Public Safety Building.

Energy professionals will be there to outline the incentives available to help you make this investment in your home and in your community.

In addition to making your home more comfortable, home energy improvements can reduce your monthly heating bills by 25 percent or more, resulting in measurable savings from year to year.

On behalf of the Sustainable Homes Hampden Committee, I urge you to attend the meeting and get the answers that you need. Come out and hear from experts about how energy saving home improvements can help you, your family and all your neighbors live better and more comfortably.

By working together, one house at a time, we can continue to make our community healthy and vibrant both for ourselves and for future generations.

Mike Pullen



Blatant bias

Karen Saum’s Dec. 3 letter was fraught with broad-brush assumptions and misinformation. In the second paragraph she sets the tone for the letter by misstating Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s adviser, as outing CIA agent Valerie Plame. Simple research shows the outing began with an interview State Department official Richard Armitage had with Robert Novak.

The letter continues to cast the military as ruthless thugs dispatching civilians as sport, while painting the media as complicit in its dereliction of duty in not reporting the crimes. I believe the Marines at Haditha would beg to differ.

The broad-brush assumption no candidate addressed Iraq or Afghanistan or military spending is simply disproved by a 10-second Google search.

Finally, to call Bradley Manning a hero and a martyr puts the cap on the blatant bias the letter tries to hide. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the motive of stolen secrets, the bottom line is it is a serious crime, and Manning deserves every second he sits in confinement.

Maurice Fredette



Familiar injustice

Regarding the murder of Ralph Greenleaf: Somewhere in or near Bangor there is a man with a lot of money whose son is not being charged with murder. We have all seen this type of injustice before and we will see it again.

There have always been a certain class of people who think there are certain classes of people who are not really people and that killing those people isn’t really murder.

Someday that man will be much older, more helpless and vulnerable. His son will have had many more years to learn he is not responsible for his behavior. What goes around, comes around.

Martin Smith



Nutting should resign

The coverage by this newspaper of the next speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives, Robert Nutting, has been very informative. The more I read, the more disgusted I become.

There seems to be no legitimate defense for his gross long-term overbilling of the people of Maine while he ran his pharmacy. There seems to be no explanation about how he was able to avoid paying back more taxpayer money. I must have missed something about why he was not charged in criminal court.

It is the responsibility of the people in his district to elect him to the House of Representatives. They got what they wanted. The fact he will be the speaker of the House in Maine reflects very poorly on the members of the House who voted for him. I find it insulting that the members could elect this person to what is a prestigious and responsible position. The House members should convince him to resign the speaker of the House position if he does not have the sense to do so himself.

Public relations procedures usually recommend stopping the bad publicity as soon as possible. There has been nothing good about this. What can make it better?

If the House of Representatives and the Republican Party would like to show it is working for the people of Maine, they should start with a change of their leadership.

Stephen Carle



Help with arena funds

I think the auditorium is a great building to have, and I can see it bringing more people to the area. It also brings a great expense to the city of Bangor.

My thought in helping out with the expenses would be to ask other towns to help. The facility is used by so many people from around the state. They could put out collection cans around the city as well as other towns, and when they hold something at the auditorium they could put out canisters and pass it through the bleachers as well.

I just feel we need to pull together and help out.

John L. Stewart

Bar Harbor