Distrust

Posted: 09/06/2007 in Uncategorized
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“Distrust naturally creates distrust, and by nothing is good will and kind conduct more speedily changed,…” This is an interesting quote from the Federalist Papers. (#5, by John Jay to be specific). As we go into this next round in the Political arena, we are going to be bombarded with attacks and counter-attacks, claims and counter-claims, points and counter-points. Each candidate will have a view, and each candidate will claim his view is the correct one for the State of Maine, as well as on the national scene. We, as a nation have been subjected to a torrent of mistruths and outright lies since the beginnings of this Nation. Special interest groups have clouded the campaigns and obscured the horizon with their own brand of the truth.

We need to learn to weed our way through all of the statements made by these candidates if we are to commit to an honest vote. Distrust has become commonplace in the election cycle, and it has become so with good reason. And because of the high levels of distrust, our country has suffered for it. How often has a candidate made a promise during their campaign, that you cast a vote for, simply based on that promise? Many times a candidate may mean well by making these promises, but frequently claims are made simply because of the way promises factor into the way people vote. In my opinion, this behavior is wrong, and defeats the growth and potential of this country, as well as here in the State of Maine.

I believe that one of the issues that leads to this behavior is the way people tend to look at the government, and in the things they believe government should be doing. Firstly, the United States is not a true democracy. We are so large a nation, we would not be able to exist as a true democracy. We are actually a democratic republic. We elect representatives to represent us in the various seats of government. And that is what the government is, a representative. Many people are under the presumption that our government is so much more. While many would like it to be more, and it often behaves as though it is, this behavior will eventually be a key component in the destruction of this nation if we allow it to continue.

The government should not have a mandate to care for the individual. In Communist and Socialist societies, that is the way the government maintains it’s control over the population. The individual comes to rely on another being to provide for it. The state will feed me. The state will clothe me. The state will house me. I have no need to be responsible for my future, the government will tell me what to do. These four statements are ridiculous, and have no place in a free society. It is not the governments job to take care of you and your family. It is your responsibility to care for yourself, and your family. The State of Maine is currently setting itself up to dish up a huge serving of distrust with the proposed Tax Reform Plan.

We have elected people to serve the interest of the greater good in Augusta, and they fail to do that. Under the guise of reducing the overall tax burden to the people of the state of Maine to the tune of $150,000.00, the good legislators are going to increase taxes behind our back. In an adroit (remember the word?) move, taxes will be raised, and instituted across the board on a great range of services, as well as increasing sales taxes. Communities may be allowed to set their own sales taxes. Voters will be asked to change the State’s Constitution. Tax relief efforts will be instituted that clearly are not in the best interest of the whole. Special interest groups will be allowed exceptions.

According to an article by Paul Carrier in the 8 June Kennebec Journal, the Maine Revenue Service estimates “623,000 Maine families would see their taxes drop…$337.00, while another 70,000 …would see their taxes jump by $431.00.” Supporters seem to believe this plan ill reduce the overall burden. I say it will not. I believe it will not only increase the overall tax burden, it will turn the state into a ‘not welcome’ mat. Higher taxes will discourage some visitors from coming to this state for their leisure experience. Tourism has become a large segment of Maine’s income groups. We will in fact be paying more in taxes than we currently do. We will pay these increased taxes under the guise of various sales and use taxes, as well as increased fees.

The only real way to reduce the tax burden, and make Maine a more livable state is to reduce the spending of the state. If you or I overspend and get into a bind, we cannot demand a bigger paycheck from our employer. We have to pull the belt a little tighter and cut expenses. It’s only responsible to do that. We should be holding our elected officials to the same standards we must hold ourselves to. I do not trust the current administration to act in my best interest, or even the best interest of the state as a whole. From their point of view, the wallet they keep digging into is not theirs, so they do not care how much they spend. From our point of view, the wallet they keep digging into is our wallet. Why do we, as a state, not care how much is being spent? Do you trust the people you cast votes for?

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