Talking points

Letters to the Portland Phoenix Editor, April 22, 2011
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 20, 2011

IT'S THIRD PARTY TIME

Maine has had a favorable history when it comes to third parties in chaotic political times. Two independent governors have been elected inside this state and we even once had the highest elected Green Party candidate in the country. Not since the days of Ross Perot during the 1992 presidential election has this state needed a party from the "outside" to make the changes needed for future prosperity.

The days of the two-party system working together through compromise to move the country forward seem long gone. Now, the Democrats and the Republicans only want to use their talking points to say that they are right and the other party is wrong. No matter the issue. Is it more important for our country that they are right than moving ourselves forward? Take the latest budget processes as examples. While our country is drowning in debt without a life raft of any kind, the two parties are now playing the "Who is right?" game instead of compromising. It has taken decades to get us at this level of debt, and it will take several decades more to get us out of it. But, instead of working on a compromise to take a stroke in the direction of the safe shoreline, we are stuck with political parties that would rather flounder in the water taking in water while holding up a sign: But I was right.

This kind of behavior from elected officials is not what our country needs.

Our country needs to take steps to lower the national debt as its first priority. Instead of raising taxes across the board, let's close all the loopholes that corporations use to avoid paying taxes. Loopholes such as off-shore tax havens. Instead of cutting federal assistance programs as deeply, let's go after those that are abusing the system under fraudulent circumstances and work to recoup that money. How about making all Washington politicians pay their own ways like any other "company employee" instead of letting them charging all of their travel, meals, and vacation expenses to our citizens? Will these things cut out all of our debt? Of course not, but let's work on cutting out the frivolous and the fraud before cutting into the barebones of education, small business development, and other sectors beneficial to economic prosperity.

Our current two-party system has the wrong priorities. Instead of spending billions of dollars on developing alternative energy capabilities, we are spending billions of dollars on wars overseas to protect our continuing dependence on foreign oil. Instead of pooling their money into new and innovative education programs or programs to help end our countries homeless problem, members of these parties are pooling their money for Political Action Committees to ensure that they "stay in business" each election cycle and keep everyone else, including third parties, out.

In any other business, if you are not doing your job well you do not stay in business. You are let go. It is time for Maine to let the two-party system go.

It's Third Party Time.

Bruce Alan Fleming
Brewer

EDITOR'S NOTEThe author was an independent candidate for governor in 2010.


AMERICAN REALITY NOT SO ROSY

I had my clipping scissors out early in reading "This Trickle-Down Stinks" (by Jeff Inglis, April 8).

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