Bob Stone’s letter titled “”Predictions,”” (Jan. 13) tops any editorial page letter in the last year!

Based upon Democrat doings, several of Stone’s prognostications will, unfortunately, occur in 2003. Hang on to your wallet!

Stone visualizes that Maine’s sales tax will return to the 6 percent level; that a local sales tax of 1 percent will be authorized by the Legislature and adopted in several of our major cities; a universal, single-payer health plan will pass, increasing employer payroll taxes “”big time””; and the Legislature will expand the sales tax to services.

I agree with these and other of Stone’s predictions, but these are the scariest!

These, and other fiscal frightening, will come to pass at the State House simply because Democrats have only reluctantly and recently joined Republicans in reducing the sales tax, and have been embracing the idea of applying the sales tax to all goods and services. And a Democrat or two, attired in Republican clothing, remain pastured in Augusta who relish an across-the-board-sales tax as a way of making Maine’s tax revenues less affected by a weak economy.

Stone makes two other forecasts that, again, will occur, one this year and another in the next two years.

Yes, Gov. Baldacci’s salary will go from $70,000 to $129,000 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2003, because Democrats voted to do that with Gov. King’s salary and it is fact that Baldacci’s present salary is about half what he got while in Congress.

And, yes, Rep. Mike Michaud’s spending of taxpayers’ moneys will rival Congressman Baldacci’s liberal record.

Don’t get me wrong. I served in the Senate with Mike for six years and I like him personally. He’s a decent guy. But, like most Democrats working to expand government, price tags don’t mean much.

Bob Stone resides in Lewiston and I’ve never met him. Even so, his financial concerns for the state of Maine reflect well upon him and I share those concerns. All that he and I can do is pray he’s wrong.

John Benoit, Rangeley



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