Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journal

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Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journal

LSJ Commentary by Sen. Kenneth Blais ~~~

Recently, the newly elected head of Maine's Democrats set a new tone for her party. Dorothy Melanson was widely quoted as saying: "It's time to put all of our energy into fighting our real opponents: George W. Bush and all the rest of his gang, both in Washington and here in Maine."As if on cue the very next day, the first volley of name-calling and blustery rhetoric was launched in the pages of the Sun Journal, by the current pit-bull of Maine Democrats, freshman State Senator Ethan Strimling (D-Portland).Senator Strimling, some will recall, established his anti-Bush credentials in the Legislature under the guise of a highly controversial anti-war resolution. His partisan attempt to score political points at the expense of the Maine people was roundly criticized and ultimately defeated in the State Senate.Sen. Strimling's incendiary rhetoric in this newspaper echoes the outrageous claims he made in regard to the Iraq conflict. From predictions of "massive" U.S. casualties in Iraq we now move to predictions of "massive" federal deficits that will allegedly result from the President's recently passed economic growth plan. Sen. Strimling chooses to ignore the economic impact that 9/11 had on our economy and blames the current federal deficit on the President. But the Congressional Budget Office says even if there had been no tax cut in 2001, there still would be a deficit today.The tax-cut Congress approved late last month amounts to $350 billion over ten years while the Congressional Budget Office predicts the government will collect more than $28,600 billion in that same ten years. In other words, the "cost" of the tax cut is just over 1% of projected revenue "” hardly a budget buster.The best way to eliminate the deficit is to stimulate the economy, increase revenue by putting more people to work, and reduce spending. The President's economic program is designed to do just that. Here are just five examples of the many provisions of the President's plan that will benefit Maine, and Maine's low-income families:· First and foremost is the $20 billion in state aid -- $116 million of which comes to Maine. Much of this money will be spent on social services that aid low-income families and individuals. This money is in the bill thanks to Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska).· Second, the tax bill changes the 10% income tax bracket to apply to individuals earning $7,000 and families earning $14,000. Many of these families are now in the 15% tax bracket. This one change provides $11.9 billion to low-income individuals and families. · Third, all individuals and families who have dependent children will qualify for the increase in the child credit from $600 to $1000. Any family with at least $16,000 of income is likely to benefit from this. This one provision provides $32.5 billion to families.· Fourth, the stimulus bill contains $13 billion for "refundable" portions of the tax cut. This is money that will be given to filers who owe ZERO taxes. (This money will enable low-income families to receive the increase in the child credit from $600 to $1000).
· Fifth, all married couples benefit from provisions softening the marriage penalty, including low-income married couples who would be pushed into the 15% tax bracket instead of the 10% bracket without these changes. This provision lowers taxes by $35.1 billion.In addition to reducing the impact of the marriage penalty, the President's economic plan also helps seniors by eliminating the double taxation of dividends earned by stockholders. More than half of taxable dividends go to America's elderly.A study by the Council of Economic Advisors indicates the dividend provision alone will result in creation of some 430,000 new jobs in 2004, with overall job creation due to the plan pegged at nearly 900,000 new jobs by the end of 2004.Maine stands to benefit from that kind of job creation, and Maine families will benefit immediately from the provisions outlined above. President Bush and Sen. Collins deserve thanks for their efforts on behalf of our nation and on behalf of hardworking Maine families.There's a chilling transparency to Sen. Strimling's strident gloom and doom predictions that suggest he's more interested in making the President look bad then he is in getting our economy back on track. The words of the state's top Democrat seem to confirm it. Political rhetoric that places political advantage over public policy is good for no one. Maine's Democrats would do well to tame the activist Senator from Portland.

Bob Stone
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

I am pleased to see that Ken doesn't just roll over and let the Dems run over him. He stands up for his principles and uses the media. I liked his branding of Strimling.

Jean Carbonneau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Oh sure, he hit a home run alright. A Chinese home run. (I don't know if this term is still used, but that's what we would call if you fouled off a pitch, and it went over the backstop)Isn't the aid that is being sent to the states; well, isn't that going to used to implement Dirigo? That's wonderful!!!!! (If not, I'm mistaken, and I apologize)Sen. Blais, how about the spending portion? How will this slimulate the economy when the feds will receive the same amount of money that are projected to receive? Hmm!!Again, this same old Republican claptrap about cutting taxes so that the federal goons can receive "more revenue". What are you big government or limited government?I'm single with no children, and I used a program to figure out how much of a tax cut I will receive. Drum roll please. $150. Wow!!When is this nonsense of using the tax code to picks winners and losers going to stop. Nothing like using the coercion of taxation for social purposes. Guess I can go and file my retirement papers. And then he mentions the fact that more low income people will be taken off the tax rolls. Just what is needed, more people off the tax rolls and more burden to those who pay. Also, Sen Blais, what about the economic term "monetary debasement". Isn't it possible that with more money being printed up, the value of those dollars will diminish, and therefore make this not as attractive as you think. I just saw the recent cover of Fortune Magazine. The front cover reads how Washington will take back the tax cut thru sneaky ways. I wish I could have read it. As for Sen. Strimling, every time a vote is taken, tell him his choices or Yea, Nay, Abstain, or Jack Dawson. OK, I'm ready to get my rear end fried.

Anonymous
Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Special note to Ms Carbonneau.....I see in your statement above that you will more than likely have little use for your $150 tax rebate.I would be ever so grateful if you have not promised to give it to someone else, if I could persuade you to send to me that measly $150 since I certainly could use it.If you should decide to do so, I'll be pleased to give you my name and address.I remain yours in continued payment of higher and higher taxes for those filthy rich b*******s.Oracle
:roll:

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Why are Republicans gloating about the sending of BILLIONS of our federal tax dollars to the states for spending on who knows what.More of what Jim Longley accurately termed "governmental incest." Senator Collins is a prime reason why these BILLIONS are going to bail out overspending states instead of being returned to taxpayers!!!

tardus
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

OK--boys.....More than 95% of the tax cuts--are cuts in the amount the Federal government will get from you....The Collins give back to the states is minor--although annoying. In addition, it is a one-time gimmick--with no such pork in future years.The Bush tax cut is great--because it stops the money from ever getting to Wash DC. I'm sorry some of you who don't pay that much in INCOME taxes--will not be getting much of a tax reduction. I hope you work hard, so that you make lots of money down the road---you night want to move outta Maine though.Incidentally--I belive Sen. Blais is one a handful of people who voted AGAINST the budget and AGAINST Dirigo Health.

Anonymous
Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Quote from above thread: "Incidentally--I believe Sen. Blais is one of a handful of people who voted AGAINST the budget and AGAINST Dirigo Health."
=================================================
You are correct about that. It's unfortunate that more Republicans didn't follow his and a few other's lead.Oracle[ 06-15-2003: Message edited by: Oracle ]

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

"...the Collins give back to the states is minor..."As a Senator once said, a few billion here, a few billion there, pretty soon your talking real money.Beyond that, when one level of government incestuously gives to another level, all accountablility to the citizens/taxpayers is lost. That, of course, is what politicians prefer -- no accountablilty for spending tax dollars.

Anonymous
Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Gerald E. Thibodeau ~And your realistic position on the topic and your preferred current Senator's position would be?

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Let's just say I wouldn't be holding up the President's tax cut with a give away amendment to the states, and then spend the past week gloating about how I gave taxpayer dollars to overspending states.

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

If you want government that is unaccountable to the citizen/taxpayer for spending (the dream of many politicians), then incestuous transfers is the way to go. Gov. Jim Longley was exactly right.

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

If a level of government is unable fund certain responsibilities, then it would seem that the sensible answer is to have a level of government perform the function that is able to fund the responsibilities and be held accountable for the spending and performance.You say that the local governments are unable to fund education.The original reason for state involvement in funding education was to reduce the property tax burden. Have property taxes ever fallen as a result? The recent homestead allowance has proven the fallacy of that reasoning.

MMan
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Keep holding your position strong Ken!

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Let's assume that you are one of a group of hard working, honest city or town councilors or selectmen. You have projects on which you would like to expend public funds, but the reality of the tax rate and ability of taxpayers to pay the taxes prevents expenditures on this wish list (and every community has a wish list).Now assume the State of Maine says it will fund another 5 percent of the cost of education. With the knowledge of what has happened in the past and what happened when the State picked up the Homestead Allowance, do you think that the community is going to reduce the property taxes?If so, I've got several fine bridges that cross the Penobscot that you can purchase at a bargain price.

Jean Carbonneau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Mr. or Ms. Oracle: BTW, did you get that name from the Matrix movie? Are you the guiding light to us all here on AMG?First and foremost, I'm from the male stock, just for your info. And of course, you totally missed the point of my "measely $150" rebate. The point again is that both Democrats and Republcians have used, and continuing to use the immoral and unjustified tax code for social enginering purposes. It should be used for the express purpose of obtaining revenue for legitimate government functions, such as law enforcement (only 3 federal crimes listed in the Consititution) courts, defense, post office, and various other functions. But no, we have a God knows how many pages tax code which no one understands, not even the goons who write for God foresaken thing in the first place. And again, cutting taxes to raise revenue for those people who are no better than drug users. Money is their drug of choice, along with power.George, could you explain to me how those same towns, before the invention of the government indoctrination centers(aka public schools) were able to educate the children, to which Alexis DeTocqueville marveled at how well read they were, and how well educated they were.Tell how is it that homeschoolers are able to educate their kids at a much lower cost, and absolute kick butt when it comes to academic achievement, and winning the spelling and geograhphy bee nearly every year?

Gerald E. Thibodeau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Jean, it looks like they don't have an answer to your excellent question.

Anonymous
Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

I truly believe home schoolers do well because social issues are not imposed on them contrary to the foundation of our constitution.History is strong and not rewritten. 1+1 = 2And they don't have the incompetent teacher (IN SOME CASES) rewarded with a job because they exist...Union contracts do little for the child.

Anonymous
Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Monsieur Jean Carbonneau....a wise man once said (and I coinsider myself such) my apologies for my transgression as to your sexual identity; it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly what a person's gender is just by the name.As to where I got the name Oracle, that's a long story and better left unsaid, and no, I did not get it from a movie called Matrix. But what if I had, would that make any difference?Oracle[ 06-16-2003: Message edited by: Oracle ]

Jean Carbonneau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

Oracle: No problem, and I wasn't offended. In fact, I still receive mail addressed to Ms. or even Mrs.,and I get telemarketer calls from Maybelline, or Victoria Secrets. In the Matrix movie, the Oracle was a good guy, or good gal. (The woman who played the part actually died right after the recent Matrix movie was finished)

Doug Thomas
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

George, You don't have to go back 150 years to find better schools. Here in Maine schools were much better just a few years ago... before SAD's were invented. They didn't cost as much either.

Jean Carbonneau
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Re: Senator Ken Blais Hits Another Home Run in The Sun Journ

I saw this, and found it rather revealing, and quite on target."What kind of business is hated by its customers ... and dislikes its customers in return? Take a walk to your local school ... who would put a kid in such a place and ring bells in his ears if they liked him"?We're sorry we missed the evening of Nov. 13, 1991 at Carnegie Hall, where master of ceremonies Victor Gonzalez (a Puerto Rican student of Mr. John Taylor Gatto, who launched a publishing house while in junior high) introduced his former teacher with the "rules for this evening's class". The guards had been instructed not to allow any of the tuxedo-clad patrons to leave to go to the bathroom without a written pass, young Mr. Gonzalez told the (presumably amused) throng, and "I'll ring a loud bell every 40 minutes. When you hear it, drop whatever you're doing and move to another row. You have exactly three minutes to do this ... don't be late. We'll take attendance in the new rows ... and two latenesses equal an absense!"The message? "At this point I'm going to turn you over to the New York State Teacher of the Year to try to convince you that there really is a better way to learn.""Public schooling is not public education," Gatto told the crowd. "The two ideas are mutally exclusive. Government compulsion schooling is a behavior clinic, and indoctrination scheme so far removed from what history regards as education in any part of the world that we are justified in crying out 'Enough! In the name of decency, enough!' I engaged Carenegie Hall to show people like myself what choice means.""I happen to agree with damn near every semi-colon and comma that Mr. Gatto has written," comments Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, John Taylor Gatto: perhaps America's most brilliant educator."These lines appear in Mr. Gatto's book titled, "The Exhausted School: The first national speakout on the right to school choice, held at Carnegie Hall. It can be purchased at [url=http://www.libertybookshop.us/mall/Exhausted-School.htm]www.libertybooks...[ 06-16-2003: Message edited by: Jean Carbonneau ][ 06-16-2003: Message edited by: Jean Carbonneau ][ 06-16-2003: Message edited by: Jean Carbonneau ]

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