Safety net in crosshairs

I am very tired and dismayed at the talk of cuts in Social Security payments and Medicare if the tax bill passes.

First of all, Social Security is a solemn promise to all workers who faithfully paid into the system all of their working years that at retirement a payment would be made to them for the rest of their lives. This money was to be retained in a trust fund not to be used for other purposes.

Over the years, it appears that the fund has been used for other purposes by politicians in Washington. Now, these Social Security cuts are being considered to help control the deficit, which will be widened to give a huge income tax cut to the very rich. So much for the term Social Security trust.

As for Medicare, this is one of the most efficient and well run programs of all of the government. It also has been effective in holding down health care costs. Again, why cut Medicare funding and risk the health and security of all who rely on this system?

Please think about this and let your congressional representatives know how you feel as soon as possible. Please don’t be complacent and allow this to happen.

Frank Carr


No free pass for Collins

OK, Democrats and independents, when do we stop giving Sen. Susan Collins a free pass to the Senate on Election Day?

The whole state seems to sing her praises because she bucks her party’s line now and again, and a tiny fraction is sincere but the other times her vote doesn’t matter. It’s just like throwing us some red meat to keep us thinking she’s working for us. She’s not.

Look at her voting record over the years. She’s in the back pocket of the rich and corporations. Most Mainers are not being truly represented by Collins down in Washington.

Let’s treat her by what she is — a conservative Republican.

David Puff


Collins right to support tax bill

I want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for voting to cut taxes for small businesses like mine. Despite what readers may be hearing on cable news or reading on the editorial pages, the tax reform bill moving through Congress is vitally important to our local economy.

Small businesses currently pay a top rate of 39.6 percent. Unlike our corporate competitors, most of us cannot hide money overseas, and we don’t have legions of lawyers and lobbyists to carve out special breaks. The money that we must send to Washington is money that we cannot reinvest in new equipment, more inventory, better technology, new employees, or better benefits for our workers.

The federal tax code is a burden on local businesses and an impediment to economic growth. Collins understands that reforming the tax code, and reducing the tax burden for local businesses, will create more jobs and opportunities for Mainers. I appreciate her leadership, and we should all be grateful.

Brandon Carlsen


Small businesses counting on Collins

As a small-business owner, I strongly support the tax reform bill moving through Congress, and I want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for voting for it.

Politicians always claim to care about small business, especially when they’re running for re-election. Very few of them have the voting record to match their rhetoric. In voting for the tax bill, Collins proved that she means what she says.

Federal taxes are a tremendous burden on my business. It’s money that I would much rather use to grow my business and pay my employees. Cutting business taxes would make us more competitive, and better able to create jobs.

Tom Roberts


Support local businesses

I was reading articles on the BDN website and I came across an article by Emily Burnham about new local businesses in downtown Bangor. She talked about three new businesses — Jersey’s Subs and Sweets, a sandwich shop on Hammond Street; ButterUpCakes, a bakery that specializes in gluten free options on Water Street; and City Drawers, a woman’s underwear and men’s formalwear store on Exchange Street. All three of these businesses have opened, or will soon open their doors, in just the last two months of this year.

I particularly enjoyed this article because it highlighted new businesses that many if not most of the readers of the article had not heard of. In this time of holiday excitement, it is important to remember the small businesses in our area and give them our support. In the modern era of Amazon and Walmart being the only places Americans need to go to buy anything, this is especially important to remember. If we give our support to these small local businesses, we can keep the experience of visiting downtown Bangor thriving for future generations to enjoy as we do.

Alex Lawrence


Fulford for Congress

I recently attended a Democratic event in Houlton and was very impressed with Jonathan Fulford, who is running to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. I especially liked his clear focus on creating good-paying jobs and supporting Maine businesses by improving broadband and cell phone service in our rural communities. He also advocates for making health care available to everyone, increasing the energy efficiency of Maine homes, and developing low-cost renewable energy to create jobs and reduce the impact of climate change.

Fulford is down-to-earth person who has deep roots in Maine’s traditional economy and values. Having worked as a farmer, carpenter and home builder for more than 30 years, he knows what it takes to run a business and pay a living wage that can support a family. In his presentation to the group and in his interactions with me, he has expressed his vision for Maine in an honest, straight-forward manner that is easy to understand. He displays the kind of determination to improve life for the ordinary people of Maine that I want my congressional representative to have. You can learn more about his candidacy and his character by checking out his website and following him on Facebook.

Bruce Glick