Collins wrong to support tax bill

I guess I’m kind of stupid, which is what Sen. Susan Collins must consider a large part of her erstwhile supporters. I was raised in an era of a highly graduated income tax, one where we were able to build infrastructure like the Interstate Highway System at the same time we were dealing with the Cold War.

So now we have the senator supporting a tax bill that runs up our deficit. She and her fellow bill supporters seem to have rooted around to find a few economists who believe that trickle down works in the face of the evidence that says it doesn’t. They appear to not believe the corporate leaders who say they will not use a tax decrease to create jobs. The senator voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but goes along with provisions in this bill that eviscerate it.

Collins has a couple of separate bills she has been promised will be passed in exchange for her vote. But those won’t be voted on until after the tax bill is passed. The pressure on Congress to pass these will have gone to zero. What happens if these are dropped? Not the way most people do business, but we are just a stupid bunch of voters.

Ben Fuller

Cushing

Net neutrality repeal wrong

The vote to repeal net neutrality rules came as a shock to some and left other’s questioning: What does it mean?

For those who don’t know, the Federal Communications Commission had rules in place that would prohibit internet service providers from slowing down or blocking websites that you want to use. For example, Verizon could not slow down or block Google even though Verizon owns rival Yahoo.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argues that repealing net neutrality would force smaller companies to be more competitive and promote success, resulting in a competitive market that would ultimately benefit consumers. I have to disagree.

Now that it’s been repealed, those who benefit from it are the big corporations like Facebook, Google, Verizon and AT&T. What about the little guys who are trying to compete — how does someone like me compete with multi-billion-dollar corporations?

The corporations now potentially have the ability to decide the content that we see and use. Companies would have the ability to block or slow down competitors’ content unless the consumer wants to pay extra fees to view it. What will this do to indigenous people, LGBTQ communities, or those who are already struggling economically and rely on the open internet for conversation, education and resources that they can’t get otherwise?

Net neutrality was a crucial aspect of an open internet. It gave people the ability to speak up about issues. The vote to repeal net neutrality is extremely disappointing. We should have been talking about this sooner.

Taylor Ronan

Bangor

Don’t rollback clean car standards

Americans support cleaner cars. Not only are they environmentally friendly, they are cost efficient. Since the clean car standard was put in place, our air has been less polluted and we have seen the prices to fill a car with gas go down. The 2017 model cars even shut off while at a traffic light.

The clean cars standard started the beginning of a more sufficient future for automobiles. These futuristic features are only bringing a positive change. Why would we want to reverse a working process, which the Trump administration is considering?

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt needs to be removed from his position. He does not deserve the job he is in charge of. Let’s keep the air clean and not give up a process that is working.

Sarah Petrin

Lyman

Look beyond race

For those who believe “all lives matter,” for those of you who believe racism is no longer an issue, I understand. But you don’t, unless you have been scoured by onlookers’ eyes as you, a white individual, walk alongside a black individual. It’s easy to be ignorant when you aren’t living in the midst of others’ judgment.

Waiting to be seated for breakfast, a friend and I stood by the door when a gentleman passed through, after quickly glancing at me, his gaze hardened as it stopped on my friend. I tried to ignore the disapproving look. Once seated, my friend noticed an older white couple continually staring at us, my friend in particular. My friend seemed oblivious, but inside I felt their stare burrowing deeper as my white fingers interlocked with his black fingers. The woman passed by a few times, and I tensed with each passing.

Was it his blackness, the way he dressed or sat? Was it my whiteness, fraternizing with someone different than me?

The answer is, it doesn’t matter. Though we are not the same color, we share our vibrant stories with each other, creating a mosaic.

For those who see in only black and white, it is time to see in color.

Brianna Boudreau

Holden

A model in waste reduction

The article in the Dec. 10 BDN on the respected man from Maine who disposes of his trash bags only twice per year has a significant and far-reaching purpose. It is always beneficial for the general public to gain knowledge on simple ways to improve environmental conditions while striving to eliminate pollution. It also serves as an excellent jumping-off point for limiting the disposal of waste.

As a French teacher who lives in Carrabassett, Francois Moretto is unlike any other American. Years ago, he instituted a new lifestyle where he began composting his food waste outside and acting consciously at the grocery store to purchase food items in recyclable containers. To this day, he continues to strive in finding more creative ways to reuse the products that cycle through his house on a daily basis.

People from Bangor to Maine to nationwide could benefit in taking action similar to Moretto. If we all exuded the same passion and dedication toward limiting pollution, we could start the progression toward a healthier environment. It may seem like a greater effort to apply tactics similar to Moretto, but, ironically, taking the trash out once every six months is a much less time-consuming task.

Elizabeth Vanadia

Bangor