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LETTER: Privileged class consists of “layabouts and refugees”

To the Editor:

It appears that when it comes to American History, Lewiston has its own Sarah Palin: Mayor Larry Gilbert.

In his TCT column on June 9, 2011, “Gov. Lepage puts (Rich) ‘People before Politics’,” Gilbert attempts to make his case through testimony given before Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation by Dan Coyne from the Maine Center for Economic Policy. The problem is that this organization adheres to policies of restrictive European Socialism.

Was it not the economic climate in 1600-1700 Europe that was responsible for the mass migration to North America? Here in America, hard work offered financial gain and upward mobility. I believe these are the same philosophies set forth by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

Gilbert’s dislike for Governor Lepage parallels the hatred of Jamestown’s John Smith by the privileged and dandies of that colony for making them work along with the laborers and indentured servants. Today working people of this state are forced to support the new privileged class consisting of the under-educated welfare layabouts and refugees. Like the dandies of Jamestown, Gilbert objects to our John Smith, Governor Lepage, who expects these people to step up and show responsibility by supporting themselves.

In his testimony Coyne is like a pirate marauder, calling for the pillaging and robbing of between 550 to 600 estates in Maine. These are the estates of people who through decades of hard work and sacrifice achieved the American dream. Their estates represent what is left over after years of paying confiscatory taxes in order to “maintain critical investment in our people” (translation: continue to support layabouts in the manner in which they have come to expect).

Coyne’s testimony also reads as “please save our non-profit, taxpayer-supported jobs.” Coyne states that “estate tax revenues accrue to the General Fund … loss of such revenues will likely force the state to cut vital services … shifting the cost to municipalities and property taxpayers.” Translation: the policies adopted by our local elected officials packing Lewiston with unemployable immigrants and welfare recipients may force higher taxes on already struggling Lewiston taxpayers. This while communities like Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and Yarmouth look north and laugh.

When our country was founded, slavery—which ran counter to our founding principles—was left untouched because it was the economic engine that drove South Carolina and Georgia. The framers feared that if slavery were dissolved, Georgia and South Carolina would break away and form their own country.

Today, Lewiston’s economic engine seems to be driven by Federal grants for housing, healthcare, education, new programs, added social services, etc. For every new business to the area, we hear about 10 federal grants coming to save Lewiston. A recent business fair at the Colisée put on by the local Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council included several nonprofits. What role do nonprofits play in economic development?

Lastly, if you’re a Lewiston taxpayer, does Gilbert really represent you? Look around the city. Dirty streets. Abandoned properties. Homeless people wandering the streets. Shootings and gang activity in Kennedy Park. A school system labeled as flunking, although a number of successful graduates are on their way to highly rated colleges.

If that’s not enough, Mayor Gilbert sees no problem in supporting any undocumented (read “illegal”) alien that should show up. Governor Lepage has been in office for six months, Gilbert for three-and-a-half years. Who bears responsibility for our current mess?

When I arrived in Lewiston, I found Franco Americans to be hardworking and industrious people with a good work ethic—not a welfare mentality. I think Mayor Gilbert has forgotten his roots.

Soon Gilbert can take his State and Federal pensions and head West. Let’s hope he doesn’t befriend any border jumpers and steer them toward Lewiston.

Robert Macdonald


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