Founding Principles, part IV

Posted: 01/06/2007 in Uncategorized
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To continue on with the quoted passage, “to thwart the colonists in all their endeavors to secure popular rights” we must continue to make comparisons with the different eras of government here in the US over the last 400 years. Yesterday I started to discuss taxes and how the administration is sliding by an excess level of taxation by calling the taxes “fees”. Today I’m going to discuss the fact that the government is trying to take away our rights by excessive controls and regulation.

We have all kinds of laws intertwined in our daily lives that control what we do without realizing it. Every session of the legislature brings new laws. I once almost purchased a copy of the 1919 laws of the State of Maine. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cash and had to forego the pleasure. I bring this up because the entire compilation of State laws in 1919 amounted to one volume about two inches thick or so. That was every single State law that was in existence. Two inches thick. Today the laws cover about twenty volumes of that size, and new ones are added to the collection every year, without fail. How can any one person be on compliance with every one of the thousands of laws we deal with? Our rights keep disappearing one by one, because we haven’t got the nerve to make our elected representatives accountable for the bills they vote into law.

Instead of encouraging citizens to be responsible for their actions there are laws to allow people to avoid the repercussions of responsible action. Special interest groups are very adept at getting regulations passed protecting their interests and income, and the public has to foot the bill for it. How long will it take for the public to realize that the freedoms we once held so dear are gone. One of the most recent examples in the battle to secure rights is the Peaks Island secession bill.

There are many people who live on the islands that would like to secede from Portland. A similar effort was attempted twelve years ago, and shot down then as well. The proposal this time around would have allowed several islands to form their own community under the name of Peaks Island. Opponents claim that this was merely an anti property tax ploy. I read “opponents” as the Portland City Council and governing body. The supporters of the bill, which included residents of Peaks, Pumpkin Knob, House and Catnip Islands insist that the City of Portland denies them adequate representation in City affairs.

Just like the Crown of the 1700’s, the State Legislature refuses to allow the Islanders the right to represent themselves. I’m guessing the tax dollar is speaking loudly in this issue. The Island properties are heavily taxed by the City of Portland because of the high property valuation. Island property sells at a higher rate than land property does due to its desirable nature. But the people living on the islands do not share as easily as the land residents of Portland do in the benefits the tax dollars pay for. They do not have the same level of police and fire protection as the residents on land do. They do not share the same level of roadway and transportation services. And they have to endure more hardships than the land residents do.

They are subject to the whims of the ferry service and Mother Nature just to get to and from their homes. There is no running down the street for a quart of milk. And the list goes on. I feel it is very unfair for the State to take away the right of the Islanders to secede and govern their own affairs, just so Portland can suck up their paychecks in excessive taxes. And you can bet that is what they are doing. Too often the Legislature votes on bills that really have no business even being introduced. The people of the islands have the right to self government. Many towns in Maine have been created through secessionist movements without negative impact on the state. In fact, Maine has grown because of an independent minded population. Why have we, over the last forty or so years continued to decline in all the areas we should be growing in, and growing in areas we should be shrinking in?

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