T. Shields: What is good for us?

In response to Norman Smith’s letter of Aug. 9 concerning my letter printed Aug. 5, Mr. Smith is an independent who indicated that I don’t realize what is good for the country. He makes no political commitment, but I have, and for good reason.

What is good for the country? Some of my Republican guides are:

A balanced budget, low taxes, a strong defense, control of our borders and following the Constitution. Good public health, safety, and law and order are essential. An educated populace is necessary, as well as more personal responsibility and less government dependence.

We need to care for those who are unable to care for themselves with sensible allowances and rules.

We need the freedom to make personal choices. Regulations from unelected bureaucrats must be curtailed.

The Maine state Republicans have demonstrated that they can bring sanity to spending and taxes. The federal and state Democrats have not.

From the Maine Democrats we inherited an excessive welfare system, obstructive regulations to business, departmental unnecessary spending, and an unpaid retirement fund.

From the federal Democrats we have a record-high debt, an unaffordable health care law, millions unemployed and a wasteful bureaucracy.

If you continue to elect the same people to Congress you will likely get the same result. There are quality Republican candidates whose credentials far outweigh their opponents. The Democrats haven’t done the job.

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Thomas F. Shields, Auburn

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Comments

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Oh so the republicans will

Oh so the republicans will best represent us in Washington....give me a break...the republican candidate for the US Senate seat is receiving a pay check for being our Secretary of State but he is away campaigning even though he stated that if he should win the republican primary he would resign his position. Talk about telling falsehoods and double dipping and fraud.....shall I continue?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

For those readers who get

For those readers who get pleasure off attacking the rich; this is a very good article that shows what will happen when taxes and tax collection is too excessive.
The takeaway for me was that the government gets less taxes in the end and the local economy suffers. Go excessive taxation.

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/18/158573973/italian-yacht-owners-weigh-ancho...

Jason Theriault's picture

Ahhh, not so fast.

Doesn't work like that in America. They would have to renounce their US citizenship to be able to dodge taxes. If they want to give up being a US citizen to save a few bucks, god bless and GTFO.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

One last thought for the

One last thought for the evening. According to Jason's logic, Romney has not dodged taxes since he is still a US citizen. Don’t let me hear you claim that Romney is a tax dodger. That goes for the one "agree" too.

Jason Theriault's picture

I never said he dodged taxes

I never said he dodged taxes. Romney, like many rich people in this country have the means and motivation to exploit every tax loophole.

Example - Romney Roth IRA is rumored to have over $100 million in it, all tax free. This, normally, would be impossible as people are limited to depositing $5000 a year in a ROTH IRA because it grows tax free. However, Bain put Bain stock that it valued at pennies on the dollar into his IRA, when in reality, the stock was worth 1000X that amount.

This is just one of many improprieties that Romney's returns would clear up. But they wouldn't be cleared up, he would be nailed dead to rights, which is why he will NEVER release those returns.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Another tax shelter that is

Another tax shelter that is available to all of us is an over funded whole life policy. Buy whole life policy with a very low death benefit, but over fund the policy. All leftover funds at the time of your passing can be transferred tax free to your beneficiary.

Caution: Seek tax advice prior to using this method since IRS rules are very narrow, and we don't what to violate those rules. You need a professional to set this up.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

what -- want

what -- want

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I am sure the IRS scrutinized

I am sure the IRS scrutinized his practices.

Perhaps you should studied IRS rules regarding self-funded IRAs, you too would learn about tax loopholes (really existing law) that can work to your advantage. These rules have benefited me greatly. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of existing law – nothing!

AL PELLETIER's picture

No wonder you love Rmoney

You and he are rowing the same canoe while pissing in the water the rest of us are swimming in.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Al, Technically any legal

Al,

Technically any legal deduction you qualify for is a loophole. Some are easy to understand, like the personal deduction. Some are a little more involved, like the mortgage interest deduction. Some take a bit of financial planning, like traditional or ROTH IRAs.

If you are unable to capitalize on all the deductions (i.e. loopholes) afford you, get better tax advance. If you are simply unwilling, learn to swim with your mouth closed.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Moreover, this is a global

Moreover, this is a global economy; now what will you do when they take all their money out of country.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Naïve or Denial - which one is it?

This practice happens today – trust me. It also happens between states, such as in the case if one owns a plane but houses it in a low tax state rather than in a state with high use taxes.

Again, the takeaway is that money otherwise spent locally to maintain these vessels is driven to other states or other territories/countries close to the US.

States and Federal governments would do far better to keep taxes low in order to get some revues, but more importantly keep economic activity local.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

revues -> revenue.

revues -> revenue.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Indeed...

Ronald, yes it's a shame that our fellow veteran's don't support these organizations more; here in my town they struggle as well. I've joined a couple VFW, MOWW and American Legion because I know the great works they do with Legion Baseball and Scholarship drives for the high school, etc. In addition, and most important, they keep the memory of those who gave their all alive by sponsoring parades, providing honor guards, and flag ceremonies at our local and national cemeteries. Most operate on a shoestring budget, a lot own their building as they have been around so long; the cost of energy is the backbreaker in many cases. This also applies to civic fraternal groups as well. Before the government and non-profits became so heavily involved, these agencies carried the water. Now we have bloated non-profits with executive directors that get paid obscene salaries, getting tax dollars in many cases taking the place of community based organizations. Once again, it's a shame indeed; but I will keep my membership up and encourage other veteran's to do the same. The folks in those little buildings across America have walked the walk and we should support them if we are able.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The echo chamber

So a balanced budget would be a good thing and Republicans "tell you" they are the ones to do it. Why would anybody believe that? LePage's budget is not balanced. He made cuts that he will be in court with for years and he still has unpaid debts on the table, and he has hamstrung the next legislature with millions of dollars in tax cuts that he has no money to pay for. Bush did not have a balanced budget. The Ryan plan calls for a deficit budget until the year 2030. Yet Obama was supposed to straighten that out in two years? They are telling you that Ryan is the champion of fiscal responsibility yet he voted for all the following unfunded bills: the war in Iraq, the bridge to nowhere, the bank bailout, the auto bailout, the Part D prescription plan, NCLB. That 's where the deficit came from. Romney is for this plan on some days and not for it some other days but replacing Medicare with vouchers means that people under the age of 55 will pay for medicare for the next 20 years (because those now retired will be getting their benefits) only to be given worthless vouchers when they are 65. I say worthless because the insurance companies will charge an additional $6000 beyond the amount of the vouchers. In other words they will pay out of pocket for their insurance and the government gives an $8000 gift to insurance companies. How is this good for their health? You can only believe that Republicans will give you what you condsider is good for the country if you live in the Fox news echo chamber. Their record does not support it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“So a balanced budget would

“So a balanced budget would be a good thing and Republicans "tell you" they are the ones to do it”
This sure as hell will not happen with a second Obama term. Moreover, Obama does not have to worry about reelection, so he need not be concerned with that – the governor is off.

While there is no guarantee Republicans will move the country forward in that direction, we at least have a fighting chance, unlike with Obama. If the Republicans fail, throw them out with the garbage in 2016.

Obama has no plan.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“So a balanced budget would

“So a balanced budget would be a good thing and Republicans "tell you" they are the ones to do it”
This sure as hell will not happen with a second Obama term. Moreover, Obama does not have to worry about reelection, so he need not be concerned with that – the governor is off.

While there is no guarantee Republicans will move the country forward in that direction, we at least have a fighting chance, unlike with Obama. If the Republicans fail, throw them out with the garbage in 2016.

Obama has not plan.

JEAN FORD's picture

Yup, the only thing Ryan

Yup, the only thing Ryan voted against was the stimulus (gee, couldn't be because a Democrat was in office) and while trashing it publicly, was behind the scenes lobbying for every penny he could get! And when asked he continued to lie and say he wasn't the kind of politician that would vote against something and then take advantage of it. Of course, till the letters he wrote asking for the money were made public in the last few days. And he wants to give such huge tax cuts to the wealthiest among us that Mitt Romney would pay an effective tax of .82% - less than 1% while raising taxes on working families with children by $2,000. Ryan/Romney have no intention of reducing the deficit nor cutting spending, only killing middle class programs and adding 4.5 trillion in tax cuts on top of the Bush tax cuts.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

..."and he has hamstrung the

..."and he has hamstrung the next legislature with millions of dollars of tax cuts that he has no money to pay for."
Claire, you should know that you don't accompany taxcuts with money to pay for them; you CUT SPENDING. That's why the dems never get it done; they won't cut spending. Every giveaway program is a sacred cow to a democrat.

JEAN FORD's picture

Sure, cut food stamps for the

Sure, cut food stamps for the poor, headstart for children and education in general, and throw people off Medicaid/Mainecare to give tax cuts to those with the highest income.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Are you suggesting that all

Are you suggesting that all 45 million of the Americans on food stamps belong there?

JEAN FORD's picture

http://otda.ny.gov/programs/s

http://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/

We are in the worse economic meltdown since the great depression so the number doesn't surprise me. The above link shows income guidelines to receiving food stamps...you have to be really really poor and even then you don't get much. Am I happy about this state of affairs...no...do I think there are that many people in poverty...yes.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"really really

"really really poor"??
$44,700 a year is really really poor? At that level I know a lot of people who would enjoy being really really poor. That's why the system is so abused and misused.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Forty-four thousand and seven

Forty-four thousand and seven hundred dollars is pretty much the mean US income. That means 50% of the population makes less and 50% of the population makes more. Are we saying that 50% of the US population is living in poverty?

Under to Obama administration food assistance has skyrocket. Yes, some of the increase is attributed to the bad economy, but much is contributed to redefining qualification limits.

Note that an individual could retire tomorrow and easily meat the income qualification for food assistance, but have many assets.
Many of the assistance programs of yesterday are use as tools of income redistribution under the Obama administration.
This is wrong, and it diverts needed revenue from those who really need assistance to those individuals simply benefit from income redistribution.

This serves nothing but to accelerate the bankruptcy of American. Let us see how the poor will fare in a bankrupt America where there zero dollars to weave a safety net!

JEAN FORD's picture

You're looking at: "Elderly

You're looking at: "Elderly or Disabled Member and Households with Dependent Care Expenses" which factors in medical and dependent care costs...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I don't care if they're

I don't care if they're supporting half a leper colony, $45 grand ain't being poor. $22 grand is poor; $45 grand isn't.
I know democrats who'd sell their kids to cannibals for $45K a year.

JEAN FORD's picture

I haven't dived into the

I haven't dived into the numbers but if a family pays $500/week for medical/assisted care that drops their effective income to around $23,000 for a family of four.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If they're as poor as you say

If they're as poor as you say they are, that $500 a week isn't coming out of their pockets, it's being paid for by a program that is paid for by the taxpayers.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Cutting spending

Easy to say . Not so easy to do. Nobody likes waste or fraud but just because the government cuts spending doesn't mean we get better or more efficient government. It's a little like saying I am too fat and I need to lose weight so I'll cut off my legs. Some things really, really shouldn't be cut. The present administration is the poster child for not knowing what should and shouldn't be cut.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Claire, You present a

Claire,

You present a twisted and contrived analogy. Cutting spending is a life saving necessity. Once the US can no longer afford to borrow, that will be a flat line according to your analogy. Perhaps at that point you’ll be wishing you cut off two legs.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Nobody says it's easy to do,

Nobody says it's easy to do, but priorities have to be established and adhered to. dems consider every program a top priority making the assignment of true priorities practically impossible.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Priorities

It seems to me that both parties have their pet priorities. The Republicans rarely say no to the military-industrial complex. Nor do they very often say no to oil, gas, and insurance subsidies and pork for their constituencies. And often Republicans vote for Democratic priorities but turn them into corporate funding. Take food stamps which include a huge amount of agricultural farm subsidies for the Red states and NCLB which forces school districts to spend millions for the testing corporations in Texas. And then they pay for this by reducing services to state and local communities or they leave it unfunded because they refuse to raise taxes to pay for their corporate largesse choosing instead to pass the bill to the state and local communities and the guy who earns a wage. The system is broken and can be fixed but not by cutting off its legs and not on the backs of the poor and the local community.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The liberal mantra of

The liberal mantra of accusing the republicans of placing the burden of all social program cuts on the backs of the poor is a bunch of worn out crap. If you're going to keep sawing the same old wood at least alter the tune a little.

 's picture

They pay nearly that out-of-pocket now.

$6000/year is $500/month. Medicare part B costs $100/mo and a decent "gap" policy is not cheap, unless it's subsidized as for, say, retired teachers and other government workers. The outlay is about the same.

A voucher for $8000 plus $6000 cash, times two, is $28,000, approaching the real cost of insurance, the kind that actually pays for some stuff. If you don't believe me, call Anthem and ask for a quote for age 63, married, no dependents.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Not the same

But Medicare is guaranteed coverage, something your insurance company will not give you ( think pre-existing conditions, caps, loss of coverage due to getting sick). What they have given you is a 200% increase in premiums in the last 20 years something Medicare will not do.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

No one is any better or worse than four years ago....

Democrat, Republican, or Independant. They all work at the same job. It's how they perform their duties that causes problems. If their going to keep ignoring each other nothing will be accomplished. Obama may not be the best, he may not be the worse. What he is, is President. He only has so much to work with. I can't see how anyone can saddle the deficit on his back. He didn't start two wars at the same time. Think of what those two wars have cost from the beginning. What could that money have done if spent in this country.
All the tax money that is collected each year is a certain amount, I have no idea how much that is. Now subtract the cost of two wars, That alone is killing the economy, anything else just adds to the mix. It won't matter who's in office until our money stays in this country. I'm not saying the wars were needed or not, I'm just saying, we have them. We pay for them. As long as thats the case, quit complaining.........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So, you're ready to give

So, you're ready to give oBAMa a 4 year pass on the status of our nation. WOW!!

JEAN FORD's picture

YUP!!!

YUP!!!

 's picture

from the GPO ...

An excerpt from 2012 Federal Budget:

Not a pretty picture for our kids and grandkids. Our public schools must begin immediately mandatory courses in Mandarin, so our descendants can speak to their masters.

This and other sources put the cost-to-date of Iraq+Afghanistan at about $1.4T over 10 years, or about $140B per year. For 2011's budget, just the interest portion was $227B. Medicare+Medicaid was $835B. I'm not saying the cost of the wars was a drop in the bucket, but it's less than 4% of the budget.

Of course, a lot of this stuff is just vapor because we don't have a real budget. That's something else you-know-who won't take responsibility for.

JEAN FORD's picture

Obama has submitted a budget

Obama has submitted a budget every year...it is the job of CONGRESS to pass said budget.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Your numbers were estimates

Your numbers were estimates from the budget process. Given the actual spend rate for 2012, the Office of Management and Budget predicts the deficit for 2012 will be about $1.33 Trillion.

 's picture

I believe it.

We've had 3 years and 7 months of estimates. The only constant in this process is, when the administration says what something will cost, you can be certain it will cost more.

 's picture

Four years ago ...

... gas was $4/gal for a while and every leftie in the country called it the Bush Gas Prices, something to slam McCain with. I don't recall even one Democrat who said: Hey, wait, that's not fair. The president doesn't control gas prices. Today, every Democrat says that, following the lead of BHO, who won't take responsibility for anything that happens on his watch, although he's quick to take credit for anything perceived as helpful to him.

Yesterday the price was $3.77 and climbing. Yup, it's a little lower than four years ago. Have you been to a grocery store lately? Where you spend your own money, not somebody else's? It's rather difficult to live on gasoline.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Better off?

10 years ago did we have two wars to pay for? What was the unemployment rate four years ago? What was the price of gas and oil four years ago?
I'm certainly not saying Obama is our savior, but I am saying Bush sure as hell wasn't!
Perhaps if Boner and his alliance had worked for America instead of their party we would have moved forward. We need people in congress who know the meaning of compromise.

JEAN FORD's picture

If it wasn't for the

If it wasn't for the obstructionist Republicans in Congress there would have been millions of more jobs created and a several points shaved off the unemployment number. A Congress who's only goal is to thwart the President at every turn and to keep the economy floundering to, in their words, "make sure he is a one-term President". Hopefully the electorate will vote out this do-nothing Congress come November!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You need to let go of the

You need to let go of the Bush crap, Al...It's been 4 years. It's time SCROTUS starts owning some of this misery. You preach compromise but your opinions are all slanted to the left, which is certainly your right to do, but still blaming Bush for stuff doesn't wash any more. Having said all that; how've you been?

JEAN FORD's picture

It's just that Bush so

It's just that Bush so wrecked this economy it is just going to take more time to fully recover. Four and a half million private sector jobs created...come on, that's more than Bush created in 8 years!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Aww, geee wizzz, I just knew

Aww, geee wizzz, I just knew there was a really good reason.

AL PELLETIER's picture

C'mon Paul

Bush screwed this country up so badly all you folks on the right want to do is forget about his eight years of mismanagement and now criticize Obama. I ain't nuts about the past four years of our countries economic improvements either but basically every other democratic country on this planet is in the same sorry shape. A world recession is a "world recession" and is not hardly predicated by Obama policies.
November will soon be here. Mitt better put his past five years of tax records on public display or I believe we'll have a tax cheat on the ballot. and it will hurt his chances. If he comes clean-----(I just went to the can to puke)-----he could get my vote.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Romney doesn't need to come

Romney doesn't need to come clean, for unlike oBAMa, he has nothing to hide. oBAMa: born in Hawaii; went to school in Indonesia; had to become a citizen of Indonesia in order to matriculate there. Question: How and when did oBAMa regain his U.S. citizenship? Just askin'.

JEAN FORD's picture

Re-gain??? He was born in

Re-gain??? He was born in Hawii so he never lost it...even Republicans have admitted you can't fake the newspapers' microfiche that they dug up to prove the birth announcement...I find it shocking that this subject is still up for debate!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You did not read my post. He

You did not read my post. He had to renounce, or someone renounced it for him, his U.S. citizenship in order for him to become an Indonesian citizen so that he could attend school there. He could not be both. He was required by Indonesian law to be a citizen of that country to study there. So, when and how did he regain his U.S. citizenship after having renounced it to become an Indonesian citizen?

JEAN FORD's picture

Don't know why I am bothering

Don't know why I am bothering because you are so way out there that Jesus could come down off the cross and you wouldn't be convinced but here goes:

Under Indonesian Law 62/1958, Article 2, there was no way to grant Indonesian citizenship to Barack Obama due to being over the age limit as defined by Indonesian law. In addition, the inability to renounce Barack Obama's US citizenship would have rendered him unable to be granted Indonesian citizenship until the age of 21, and he would have had to returned to Indonesia to live AFTER his mother divorced Lolo Soetoro to meet the guidelines in Article 5 of that law.

In short, there is no possible way under either United States OR Indonesian law that Barack Obama could have lost his US citizenship and been granted Indonesian citizenship as a child.

If you care do read ALL the facts:

http://badfiction.typepad.com/badfiction/the-indonesian-citizenship-myth...

I'd be interested in your response...I know you will deny what you read but I'd like to know on what basis.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Great job Sandra!

You called the pirates bluff and shot his parrot in the wing.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

But, but; but

What about individual responsibility and history. You are saying Bush did not happen?? None of the things he did occurred? What about George Washington? Did he actually defeat the British or did somebody make that up? Did we win WWII? It would seem sensible to me to blame Bush for what he actually did do and blame Obama for what he did about it. I'm not ready to erase history.for political points.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

When we say stop blaming

When we say stop blaming Bush, we're not saying "Bush did not happen". A fifth grader would know that what we're saying is that it's about time oBAMa starts owning some of his own crap and there is plenty to go around. "Bush didn't happen". How sophomoric.

JEAN FORD's picture

It took a over a DECADE to

It took a over a DECADE to get out of the only other depression that approached the scope and scale of this one. And even then we only started coming out of the recession because of Roosevelt's New Deal and and then WWII. The Bush reign saw the world's economy brought to its knees and a record number of factories shipped overseas along with the advent of "outsourcing". You also have a Republican-controlled Congress that is determined to keep the economy in free-fall just to keep the President from having any success. Absolutely shameful behavior that should result in them being ousted in November.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Were the events that took

Were the events that took place on September 11, 2001 George Bush's fault?

AL PELLETIER's picture

Wow Claire

Couldn't have said it better myself! You go girl.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“10 years ago did we have two

“10 years ago did we have two wars to pay for?”

Obama said he would end the wars; he did not, so now he owns them.
If my taxes don’t go up, then the Republicans are working for me. I had no part in causing this financial mess, and I don’t what any part in paying for it.

JEAN FORD's picture

What...the Iraq war is still

What...the Iraq war is still going on???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

People are still dying, but

People are still dying, but of course, one won't get to hear that watching the Kardashians.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The US still has troops and

The US still has troops and contractors there, so the US is still involved. Now if you want to play with semantics and attempt to claim we are no longer at war with Iraq, you must first reconcile the fact that no formal declaration of war was pronounced at the onset of the war

There are American “peace” keepers in Iraq, there are still billions of dollars flowing into Iraq, and there are still Americans killed in Iraq. If it walks like a duck, quack likes a duck, and smells like a duck – it is a duck.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Once again, well stated, Mark

Once again, well stated, Mark

MARK GRAVEL's picture

what --> want

what --> want

 's picture

I'm glad you are in favor of dumping ...

... both Michaud and Pingree, neither of whom would know a compromise if one bit them on the Foggy Bottom.

I am not glad that you favor keeping our RINO senators who do nothing but compromise. Replacing Olympia with Angus won't change that one iota.

The time for compromise is over. Either start repairing the damage ASAP or, comrade, get in line and march into the glorious socialist workers' paradise, USA style.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

When you've compromised with

When you've compromised with a democrat or a liberal, what you've really done is capitulate.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

The house of cards will fall...

Here is a short list...which of course the leftists will rationalize and ignore:

The economy is stagnant...

Inflation in the price of food...tightening our belts...(due to oil, btw..although now the left will start yelling drought...)

The price of gasoline and oil are rising steadily...everytime even the slightest breath of recovery...fuel prices rise again and kill it!

Housing forclosures continue...

Failing businesses in our communities...

VFW Halls closing because they can't afford the price of heating oil....

The only one buying new cars is the federal government...

The price of power is through the roof....

Heck yes...sign me up for four more years of this...NOT!

Conservatives and Republicans understand this...the left does not!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

VFW’s are in trouble because

VFW’s are in trouble because their clientele is dying out.

RONALD RIML's picture

And you can't...

Sit around in the VFW Hall, drink all day and half the night complaining how the world has gone to shidt, then drive home.

It's simply not accepted any longer.

But I do 'Remember those Times' and driving those old guys home in my squad car.... :)

RONALD RIML's picture

VFW halls closing why????

The price of oil???? Look at dwindling membership rolls, Col. That's what the problem with the VFW is. Not enough of us old Geezers sticking around and not enough new war veterans joining.

http://www.vfwkc.org/memstats/SiteMoved.asp

As 'Life Member' - I'm not going to 'out' the statistics which are now available only to us members.

- But hey, knock off the propaganda and quite blaming liberals. It's a world market now, and you've got to compete with billions to buy gasoline.

And BTW - I bought a new car this year.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I hope you did not buy a

I hope you did not buy a Prius!

RONALD RIML's picture

God No!!!! - Not in Maine!!!

Nowhere near enough road clearance under the chassis and body. A friend of mine bought one to save on fuel, but has manged to get it stuck in snow and slush.

Wife wanted a Suburu Forester AWD - so I merely had to pay for it. That took all the guess work out of it!!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Subaru Forester AWD is a good

Subaru Forester AWD is a good car for the Maine winter. However, surveys show that most Subaru Forester owners are liberal progressives – perhaps there is something to that survey.

Anyhow, back to cars, do newer car models rust out as quickly as they did 20 years ago. I remember owning a new car that rusted through in the lower quarter panel within 4 years of buying it.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not the pieces of crap they used to be.......

Traded in a 2002 Dodge PT Cruiser. Absolutely no rust whatsoever; she got that simply because she wanted it. - Like my 6'3" frame enjoyed long road trips in it.. ;)

Cars used to be a 'planned obsolescence' thing back in the 70's, for sure. At least the way they salted the roads in Illinois. I had an new '70 Ford Fairlane, than a '73 Buick that each rusted out within three-four years.... Kept a '50 Chevy Coupe from '65 to '75 that just fine....

Don't reckon too many 'Good 'ol Boys go road-loadin' in Foresters...... And I don't have my ra-didio set to Waylon Jennings. But I do have the obligatory Jimmie 'pick-em up' to make my weekly dump runs in....... Listening to NPR

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

With all due respect, every

With all due respect, every mention I've ever seen of a PT Cruiser was as a Chrysler not a Dodge. If your '02 was indeed a Dodge, you probably erred in trading it since it may have been one of a kind, making it a collectors' item.

RONALD RIML's picture

You caught my error for FY13

Congratulations, Professor Higgins!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hey, we're here for you.

Hey, we're here for you. Don't want you driving around not knowing what the hell you're in.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Since when do liberal

Since when do liberal progressives know what is going on around them half of the time? Half of their brain is fixated on the evil rich and evil corporations; where else do they store all those talking points – squawk – tax the rich, tax the rich.

RONALD RIML's picture

Hey there were times in my past......

I didn't even know the 'F*' I was driving - much less what I was driving in.

My Guardian Angel's had a long, interesting, full-time career......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I just hope you do not want

I just hope you do not want me to pay more taxes to pay you GA overtime! Squawk - tax the rich; tax the rich.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

That does it! You had to

That does it! You had to throw in NPR. I almost lost my morning coffee. Survey confirmed.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Where else you gonna get

Where else you gonna get Klick and Klack?

Jason Theriault's picture

Yup

"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

Yup.

But there is no point in debating Mr Shields. Anyone who blind accepts either party is a fool.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Hello fool!

Hello fool!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

20 agrees on that one.

20 agrees on that one.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If you're better off now than

If you're better off now than you were four years ago, you must have been in one hell of a funk four years ago.

I just paid $500 for 150 gallons of heating oil. I know darn well I wasn't paying that four years ago.
There are 17,000,000 more people on food stamps today than there were four years ago. How can that be better?

RONALD RIML's picture

How Can it be Better????

Ask the 'Businessmen' who've been outsourcing jobs out of the country.

See what it did for their 'Bottom Line"

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How about all those federal

How about all those federal bridge projects that POTUS has been outsourcing to Chinese contractors, as reported by ABC's Diane Sawyer? Nooo; Dubya had nothing to do with it.

RONALD RIML's picture

Looks like Pirate is 'Outsourcing' the Truth for Lies...........

Did Obama ‘Approve’ Bridge Work for Chinese Firms?


Q: Is President Obama responsible for Chinese companies building U.S. bridges with stimulus money, as reported by ABC News?


A: No. A viral email distorts an ABC News report. California officials hired a Chinese contractor and rejected federal money to avoid federal “Buy American” laws.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Obama did approve a new trade

Obama did approve a new trade agreement with South Korea. What will that do to jobs? I heard the Sought Korean labor is very cheap.

RONALD RIML's picture

And as you research - you'll find the agreement was first

reached in 2007. Congress has simply held up final approval to now.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Background - see the key word - NEW

The United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007. On December 3, 2010, the United States and Korea concluded new agreements, reflected in letters signed on February 10, 2011, that provide new market access and level the playing field for U.S. auto manufacturers and workers. Congress approved the agreement on October 12, 2011, and Korea’s National Assembly approved it on November 22, 2011. The United States and Korea completed their review of the measures both sides had taken to implement the FTA and exchanged diplomatic notes on February 21 agreeing to bring the agreement into force on March 15, 2012.

RONALD RIML's picture

See other key words:

"The entry into force of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement on March 15, 2012 means countless new opportunities for U.S. exporters to sell more Made-in-America goods, services, and agricultural products to Korean customers – and to support more good jobs here at home."

Korea greatly reduced import tariffs for U.S. goods. You neglected to mention that.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Here is what I said

Here is what I said previously. The first sentence addresses your criticism. Does it not?

"Like all these free trade agreements, all the text I read focuses on the U.S. export of American goods and services. Ultimately, jobs tend to be one of the American services that are exported. That said, I’m not sure what jobs we can off-shore to South Korean that are not already off-shored."

RONALD RIML's picture

You haven't yet referenced the actual agreement.

But tell me who doesn't dress their hog up presentable for the prom???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The chicken farmer in

The chicken farmer in Wisconsin.

RONALD RIML's picture

And if you can't - then you just don't release it

(Like those tax returns)

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ronald, I gave you what I

Ronald,
I gave you what I have, so that is it; if you really want to read the actual treaty, you can find it yourself. I do not have time to read all but the summary.

The takeaway for you though is to quit asking because you are not going to get it – that includes Romney’s tax return too.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Squawk – tax the rich; tax

Squawk – tax the rich; tax the rich.

RONALD RIML's picture

Who else would you have the govt tax - the Church???

Pardon Moi.....


MARK GRAVEL's picture

Now Ronald, that is a bit of

Now Ronald, that is a bit of a stretch.

Faith and the financial health of this country are two separate and mutually exclusive topics.

RONALD RIML's picture

The Mormon Church is run as a 'Business' not a 'Charity'

One needs to read the entire article - all six pages - in Bloomberg Businessweek

How the Mormons Make Money

"It’s perhaps unsurprising that Mormonism, an indigenous American religion, would also adopt the country’s secular faith in money. What is remarkable is how varied the church’s business interests are and that so little is known about its financial interests. Although a former Mormon bishop is about to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and despite a recent public-relations campaign aimed at combating the perception that it is “secretive,” the LDS Church remains tight-lipped about its holdings. It offers little financial transparency even to its members, who are required to tithe 10 percent of their income to gain access to Mormon temples.



According to an official church Welfare Services fact sheet, the church gave $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid in more than 178 countries and territories during the 25 years between 1985 and 2010. A fact sheet from the previous year indicates that less than one-third of the sum was monetary assistance, while the rest was in the form of “material assistance.” All in all, if one were to evenly distribute that $1.3 billion over a quarter-century, it would mean that the church gave $52 million annually. A study co-written by Cragun and recently published in Free Inquiry estimates that the Mormon Church donates only about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity; the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent."

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why should we give a rat’s

Why should we give a rat’s ass if these are private donations?

RONALD RIML's picture

Tax Deductions taken for Private Donations

Given for Business Purposes.

Sure thing.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Sorry Ronald, I’m not sure

Sorry Ronald, I’m not sure that I’m following you. Let me guess.

A non-profit can accumulate assets, and it can invest donations and any financial gains from those assets. All they are responsible for is reporting capital gains, interest, and dividends from the investments.

I was a treasure of a non-profit for four years, and I routinely recommended how to make investments on our assets.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. You may not like it,

P.S.

You may not like it, but it is legal.

RONALD RIML's picture

Is this truly a non-profit???

???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Another way to look at it is

Another way to look at it is that the non-profit is saving some donations to spend at a later time.

IRS may have some limits on investment types; I don't know that. I stuck to simple investments that returned more than a passbook savings account. I was limited to what I could invest in by the Board of Directors.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Legally yes. Non-profit does

Legally yes. Non-profit does not mean you cannot accumulate assets. You are not allowed to distribute those assets to individuals; they can only be spent on the non-profit, and like I said, profits from investments on accumulated assets are taxed.

That is how all non-profits work.

RONALD RIML's picture

Did you by any chance research the agreement??

If not, why not?

If so - what did you discover?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Like all these free trade

Like all these free trade agreements, all the text I read focuses on the U.S. export of American goods and services. Ultimately, jobs tend to be one of the American services that are exported. That said, I’m not sure what jobs we can off-shore to South Korean that are not already off-shored.

http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/korus-fta

RONALD RIML's picture

Business has never been at a loss to off-shore jobs.

And a Romney Administration will blow the roof off.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

While we may not know what a

While we may not know what a Romney administration will do, we certainly know what the Obama administration has done.

Globalization is an irreversible phenomenon with off-shoring jobs being a downside for the US. At least we have a chance to make the necessary policy changes to make the US competitive to on-shoring jobs with a Romney administration, something Obama’s tax and regulatory frenzy has no chance of accomplishing.

If Romney does not make positive change in that direction, then we recycle him too in 2016.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

That is South, not Sought

That is South, not Sought

RONALD RIML's picture

Link??

Link??

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

With your vast network of

With your vast network of resources, you want a LINK? The video is out there for all to find. Diane and all. It is what it is. Paint it any way you wish.

RONALD RIML's picture

Your Claim, your Game....

Geesh.... you come in, let a fart, then disavow any connection or responsibility.

Is that what a 'Conservative' is???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Actually, that's exactly what

Actually, that's exactly what the liberals do; blame every bomb-every wrong on the conservatives, holding themselves blameless in all matters.
I made no claim. I referenced a video that was very clear in its content and put out by ABC for all to see. You might try shooting the producer rather than the messenger for a change.

RONALD RIML's picture

Sorry, Pirate: You did make a claim:

Pirate wrote: "How about all those federal bridge projects that POTUS has been outsourcing to Chinese contractors," as reported by ABC's Diane Sawyer?

You claimed POTUS was outsourcing the bridge projects to Chinese contractors, and that it had been reported to Diane Sawyer as to legitimitize your claim.

Now you're blaming her.

Sorry. Doesn't work that way. You throw shit out, you have to stand by it.

Now if you make the claim she's throwing bum crap out, that's another thing. But you didn't.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hey, remember me? I'm the guy

Hey, remember me? I'm the guy who had to enlighten you on what kind of car you've been driving for the last 10 years and you're gonna give me B.S. on a video of a Diane Sawyer report that was aired on ABC? It's out there. Why don't you view it and draw your own conclusions instead of feeding off of someone else's ? The parrot sez you're acting like a freakin' bully.

RONALD RIML's picture

Why mention a video without linking to it????

That's the lazy way out.

Your drop a 'Third-hand Information Bomb' then get your Parrot's feather ruffled because I go right to a source to get the Truth.

Pull the kind of crap you're pulling here in court and a judge would throw your 'hear-say evidence' out in a heart-beat.

You haven't been 'Bullied' - but caught in your own B.S.

You should know better than that.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yeah, but we're not in court

Yeah, but we're not in court are we? None of us is under oath nor obligated to feed your lustful appetite for unfailing accuracy all of the time. You want the truth? Find it and tell it. That's your gig. The rest of us are perfectly free to be accurate, inaccurate, or just flat lie any time we choose. We live in a free country.
You talk about lazy? What do you expect from a Pirate?

RONALD RIML's picture

You live in your 'Bubble'

- Easily burst.......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Don't be fooled by what you

Don't be fooled by what you think you see.

AL PELLETIER's picture

BANG, Ron

You just shot the parrot in the other wing. He better walk away from this thread before his legs get shot off.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

In your dreams, Al. What are

In your dreams, Al. What are you now, the left wing cheerleader?

AL PELLETIER's picture

LOTS MORE FUN

Paul, reading you and Gravels posts makes being a cheerleader a lot more fun then being a participant in foolishness.
I have a life outside this forum and will give my opinions when it's really warranted. I'm opting out of pissing contests with people who can't look at two points of view and walk down the middle of the road.
If republicans and democrats shared my views we'd all be better off. You and Gravel are uncompromising republicans, Riml is an uncompromising democrat. I try to swing both ways but these days mostly towards Riml. Put you three in congress and we'd have gridlock just like we have now. THAT'S WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA----DAH!!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Spoken like a true patriot. I

Spoken like a true patriot. I agree with practically everything you said. You and I undoubtedly share the same level of frustration with what' going on in our country. We just express our frustrations in different ways.
One correction I would make, though. I am not a republican and never have been. I am a registered independent with libertarian inclinations, and have conservative values, none of which makes me a bad person anymore than your moderate/liberal democrat values make you a bad person. We disagree on many things and even agree on a few, but that doesn't make any of us bad. That sure is easy to forget, though.
Shoot the legs and wings off of an innocent (liberal) parrot. Shame on you. 0O:-)

Jason Theriault's picture

Wha?

Why are you buying oil? It's the summer...

And you right, you weren't paying $3.339(cash energy) for oil in 2008.

YOU WERE PAYING MORE

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=W_EPD2F_PRS_SM...

They didn't track it over the summer, because who needs heat durring the summer, but the price went from 3.791 in March of 2008 to 3.527 in October of 2008

So, you are better off than you were 4 years ago. You would have spent $568 in 2008 for those 150 gallons.

Thank you Obama!

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Jason

Home owners with hot water heating systems or oil fired water heaters buy oil in the summer.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Also, replace your existing

Also, replace your existing tank with a larger capacity tank or add a second tank to take advantage of off season prices.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha--You ARE quite droll.

Hahaha--You ARE quite droll.

Jason Theriault's picture

I am droll

I am droll, but I'm also correct.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your correctness seems to be

Your correctness seems to be lacking something. You haven't even been able to figure out why someone would purchases heating oil in August.
Clue: Have you ever seen a squirrel burying acorns in January?

Amedeo Lauria's picture

There is a difference..

As always Dr. Shields you are direct and to the point. It saddens me that we have voters who can't make up their minds between such clear polar opposites. I've heard some say they make up their minds in the voting booth.

A solution to that is to become involved, meet the candidates and you will find the choice is clear. Don't pay too much attention to the smoke and mirrors of the left.

Everyday in the news I see such ridiculous sniping by the left, and won't dignify them by listing them, but if it does not do with improving the economy, jobs and curtailing run-away spending, spiraling give-aways of our hard earned tax dollars by the current administration...it is just bread and circuses.

I know who I will be voting for, I've met them, looked them in the eye and asked hard questions and they are true conservatives who will put American back on the right path in 2012.

RONALD RIML's picture

You 'See?'

Sniping by the left??

And what is it you hear on Fox, or from Rush, or that 10-96 Glenn Beck???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Heroes and Patriots, all of

"Heroes and Patriots, all of them!!", screamed the left wing liberal radical kool-aid drinking parrot.

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