2018-01-12 / Opinion

Another Take on Another View


Over the last several months I have read columns in this paper from a group that calls itself “Another View.” After reading several of these editorials, I have concluded that the members of “Another View” are really just a group of far right-wing conservative Republicans who have found a format to bash Democrats and their policies. My particular concern and displeasure is the recent article written by Jan Dolcater titled, “State and Federal Spending.”

The first issue relates to the figures DHHS gives for the cost of funding Medicaid. According to an article in Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “that expansion will, on net, cost Maine about $128 million over four years. DHHS projects expansion will cost $276 million over the same period.”

In regards to the statement made about the governor paying off a $500 million debt to hospitals “only through careful restraints,” from Modern Healthcare, “The fact is that the state sold a $220 million liquor revenue bond, allowing it to pay $183.5 million to the hospitals. That payment triggered a federal match of nearly $307 million, for a total payment of $490 million.” Maine has lost $100 million a year in federal funding eliminating 70,000 citizens from receiving insured medical care and thus putting hospitals in the same position they were in before.

Next, they write that able bodied single individuals should not be permitted to be eligible for Medicaid. How do you know the circumstances of these individuals? It just shows their complete insensitivity and intolerance of those in need of help.

Next, they refer to the poor state of the readiness of our military. We spend more than the next 14 countries in the world — four times more than Russia — 10 times more than China. In order to increase our military spending by the 10 percent, this administration wanted to, and did in some cases, cut funding to the CDC, Meals on Wheels, the school lunch program, programs for seniors and the needy, education, the EPA, and foreign aid.

The next issue brought up is the national debt and the $1.5 trillion debt “the Democrats are in such a dither about.” If you remember, President Trump promised there would be no debt from his new tax plan, yet there it is because he gave corporations and the wealthy a huge tax break at the expense of the middle class. It is estimated, because he won’t show his tax statements, that he will save $22 million in taxes this year and $1.1 billion in inheritance taxes. Also, he spent 87 days in 2017 at his resorts playing golf (that’s 25 percent of his time in office) at an estimated taxpayer cost of $72 million.

Also, when he was elected, his wife and son stayed in New York so his son could finish his school year, estimated at $30 million, about half the cost of building our new high school, so don’t talk to me about spending less when the man in the White House has no regard for it as long as it is for others less fortunate and not for himself.

And as far as the $10 trillion debt over eight years, it was actually $7.9 billion according to U.S. economy figures, because $1 trillion was from the previous administration. $858 billion was from extending the Bush era tax cuts. The Recovery and Reinvestment Act accounted for $787 billion stimulating the economy after the 2008 financial crisis. Obama also increased military spending to around $800 billion a year for eight years. However, the ACA, which Republicans are so opposed to only cost $104 billion between 2010 and 2019.

And now, the most insulting, unfeeling, and ignorant statement made in the column refers to “hopefully” raising the Social Security age to 70. Having worked at BIW for 36 years, I retired just before turning 67. I was pretty much worn out. I saw many workers with worn out knees, shoulders, hands and backs and other people working hard manual labor having a difficult time making it to 65. Now you want these same people to work till they are 70. How easy it must be for you people who may not have lifted anything heavier than a pencil all your life or suffered from nothing more than callouses where you sit to tell those who do hard manual labor to add another five years so that when they do retire, there is nothing left. It shows me that you and your group have no empathy for the average hard working person. So, before you endorse changes that affect others, try walking in their shoes. Go dig a few ditches, lay down some carpet, shingle a roof, or crawl on a metal deck welding T-bars, and then tell me you could do that till you are 70.

In conclusion, I say again, “Another View” is not just a group of citizens, but really a group of right-wing conservative Republicans who seem to rally around a dysfunctional White House and its president and his poor policies, and have no empathy or understanding for those less well off or for the hard working laborer. So, the next time you meet, you might try discussing compassion, tolerance, and understanding for the plight of those in need. Until then, “Another View,” the only thing I have to say is “shame on you!”

Paul Karwowski lives in Topsham.

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