Maine People's Alliance rallies with and for veterans in Lewiston

LEWISTON — Standing before a monument etched with the words, "The Price of Freedom," about a dozen Maine People's Alliance activists and several veterans rallied Monday on Main Street.

Scott Thistle/Sun Journal

Doris McNally of Leeds and Kyle Smith of Auburn hold signs during a rally in front of Lewiston's Veterans Memorial Park on Monday. Smith was among a small group of veterans who joined with the Maine People's Alliance to call on the U.S. Congress to repeal tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000 a year. McNally said she came to the event for her brother, a Vietnam-era veteran, who died recently.

They are urging Congress to act in the final months of the year to eliminate tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. Those tax cuts, the group said, benefit only the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. 

Doris McNally of Leeds stood holding a sign that read "Keep promises to Vets." She said she was there for her recently deceased brother, a Vietnam-era veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle Smith, a U.S. Army veteran from Auburn, said they are asking Congress and, in particular, Maine's U.S. senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, to support eliminating those tax breaks that apply to people earning more than $250,000 a year.

"Sens. Snowe and Collins have to decide who's going to pay more for deficit reduction," Smith said. "The richest 2 percent of Americans who have enjoyed years of tax breaks, or the rest of us who have been struggling to get by as wages stagnate, our jobs get shipped overseas and the costs of health care and education skyrocket. This is a question of fundamental fairness."

Bettyann Sheats of Auburn, a recent candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, said the amount of new revenue from rolling back those tax breaks would be enormous.

"To give it more perspective, you could buy every single homeless veteran in this country a home with just 93 days of revenue that would come from ending the Bush tax rate for the top 2 percent," Sheats said.

She also urged Snowe and Collins to "stand with veterans and working families and seniors and support" letting the Bush-era tax rates expire for the top 2 percent of earners.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Jeff Johnson's picture

Salaries

The base pay in 2011-2012 for a rank and file Congressman and Senator is $174,000/year. For every committee they join or lead, they are paid more. Add that to whatever salary they're pulling down from chairmanships, honorary chairs, jobs or compainies they own at home, and the vast majority are making well over $250,000 per year. Do you think they want to pay taxes any more than we do? This law will never be repealed.

10 wealthiest members of congress:

10: Dianne Feinstein - Democrat, CA
9: Jay Rockefeller-Democrat, WV
8: Michael McCaul- Republican, TX
7: Vern Buchanan- Republican, FL
6: Herb Kohl- Democrat, WI
5: Jared Polis-Democrat, CO
4: Mark Warner-Democrat, VA
3: John Kerry- Democrat, MA
2: Jane Harman- Democrat, CA
1: Darrel Issa- Republican, CA

Total net worth of Republicans in the top 10: $291.1 Million.
Total net worth of Democrats in the top 10: $937.5 Million

The democrats are pushing back just as hard to save their money, and not give it back to the government.

Diana Currier's picture

shame

Shame on you people, using VETRANS DAY to do your dirty deeds, they should have kicked you out of that area.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

It is easy to say others

It is easy to say others should pay more, but that is not entirely correct. We should all expect to pay more if we make more. This is, or should be, more the American way than saying only those who make over a certain figure should pay more. If we feel that more taxes are necessary then we should all bear the burden according to our ability to pay. A graduated tax system is a fair system, but to say a family making $249,999.00 should pay a lower total tax rate than one that makes ONE dollar more annually is not fair and divides our country. Mr. Obama is totally wrong in this regard. Everyone's taxes should be equal, all earnings should be taxed the same with none of this earned and unearned income division except for capital gains which should be indexed for inflation and then treated equally. Also any money paid by a corporation as dividends should be treated the same as interest paid out and be tax deductible to that company. Under the current system, the owners (stock holders) pay income tax as the corporation and then again as individuals when they distribute a part of that income to themselves. Double taxation is not right. This was the basis for a lower tax rate on unearned income, but was still double taxation.

Zack Lenhert's picture

"A graduated tax system is a

"A graduated tax system is a fair system, but to say a family making $249,999.00 should pay a lower total tax rate than one that makes ONE dollar more annually is not fair"

This is not entirely correct.

The family that makes "ONE dollar more annually" only pays the higher rate on that one dollar, NOT their entire income. We all pay the same rates, most of us just don't make enough for any portion of our income to be taxed at that higher rate.

I leave you with a quote from Abraham Lincoln-
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

The GOP mantra of the investor class being "job-creators" flies directly in the face of Lincoln's beliefs.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

Not sure if your statement

Not sure if your statement that only extra dollars taxed, but if this is so, brackets should be changed. The way I read the news articles on it is the Bush tax cut would only be continued for those making less than, thus if you make more than you do not qualify for cuts. In either case probably will not affect either one of us, but it is wrong to punish people for being successful and it further divides an already divided nation in need of healing.

As far as your quote on labor and capital, both are dependent on the other and neither can exist without the other.

Regards,

Ray

Zack Lenhert's picture

I am sure, this is how a

I am sure, this is how a progressive tax system works.... the RW media outlets purposefully blur this detail to frame the argument as "class warfare" when in reality the rich pay the exact same rates you and I do for their first $250k.

...and as far as the quote goes, you'll have to take that up with Lincoln.... I tend to believe him.

KATHRYN PENDLETON's picture

Not appropriate

at ALL.

 's picture

As a Veteran, I find the

As a Veteran, I find the Maine People's Alliance to be nothing more than despicable scumbags. The truth is not one of their strong point.

 's picture

Sick

That these people would try to use this solemn day, Veterans Day, to express their envy and class warfare is beyond words for me.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Fair taxes????

Seriously...the left wants anything BUT fair taxes.

If that was true we would have implimented a flat tax long ago; equal under the tax laws; but of course that doesn't help the left fill the ballot box.

We of course must punish those who produce with higher and higher taxes, the harder they work the more taxes they should pay! Amazing! Business owners will soon be voting with their feet in greater numbers, in this global economy. Many already have. Who will hire workers then???

Also, I take issue with the use of veterans to protest US tax policy and find it dispicable expecially on Veterans Day. I hope other veterans who saw this do as well.

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