KeepHealthCare.ORG – Faircloth for governor, no tax handouts for General Dynamics, protect the ‘Dreamers’ — Letters — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine
February 14, 2018 7:12 am
Faircloth for governor
I recently heard gubernatorial candidate Sean Faircloth present his vision for Maine at the Waldo County Democratic meeting. He sealed it for me as the strongest candidate of any party and the leadership Maine needs.
He was forward thinking in his progressivism while calling out current realities in Maine. He laid out details of his vision with pragmatism while addressing the need for economic and social justice. He was unabashed about the need for the Democratic Party to not simply “not be Republican” but to clearly present what it stands for. His legislative experience and down-to-earth business sense make him unquestionably qualified for governor.
He discussed how as governor he would vigorously uphold the referendum process and work with legislative leadership on protecting Maine workers and making prescription drugs affordable. His commitment to environmental health, affordable education and health care for all are clear.
His years-long track record on equality for women and people of color, including immigrants, and efforts to bring respect back to the state’s relationship with Maine’s tribes are long overdue in the Blaine House. Having decided long ago I will no longer hold my nose while voting, what a relief to have a candidate to honestly vote for.
Protect the ‘Dreamers’
I think living in a diverse country makes life richer for all of us. So I’m really dismayed by Congress’ failure to act to re-instate DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) for immigrants known as the “Dreamers.”
The Dreamers came to the U.S. as children, brought here by their parents who were fleeing some of the most dangerous countries in the world. This is the only home they’ve ever known. I have the pleasure of knowing several Dreamers living in Maine. They are smart, motivated and all-around good citizens.
Dreamers are working, going to school and paying taxes. Far from taking jobs from other Americans, they help to fill the lab gap created by an aging workforce and our country’s low birth rate.
The Center for American Progress estimates that losing all DACA eligible workers will reduce our national GDP by more than $400 billion over 10 years.
Of the companies listed on the Forbes 500 last year, 43 percent were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, according to the Center for American Entrepreneurship. And immigrants in general have lower rates of criminality than other populations.
For me, though, this is about common decency. How can we turn our backs on these 800,000 promising young people who call America home?
No tax handouts for General Dynamics
I’ve been struggling to understand why the state of Maine would hand General Dynamics and its subsidiary Bath Iron Works another $60 million tax break in LD 1781. General Dynamics is one of the wealthiest corporations in this country, so cash rich that it is buying back its own stock. There’s even a joke about them in the defense industry that says Lockheed and Boeing make planes and weapons, but General Dynamics makes money. Maine doesn’t make money.
Maine desperately needs money for health care, education, infrastructure and the environment. So why would a poor state be giving money to a rich corporation?
The answers to that question trotted out by by the legislators in favor of LD 1781 — that BIW might leave the state if we don’t support it, that General Dynamics needs support to guarantee BIW jobs and train workers, that the Pentagon might move its shipbuilding to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi — are as absurd as they are tired. One suspects that our legislators are too timid to really stand up for Maine and the welfare of Maine people.
They find it easier to genuflect to corporate might. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could elect a Legislature that represents Maine’s people instead of General Dynamics’ profit margin.
Call your legislators. Ask them whose side they are on.