Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette

Sep 11, 2014

Fact-free column

Perhaps we might examine some real facts from the foundational sources of information? Mr. Reichard’s opening claim that the $14,387 figure, “each illegal immigrant household costs U.S. taxpayers in government benefits and services”, “…it’s a lie”, is itself a lie. The $14,387 estimate comes from the following Heritage Foundation report on the costs of illegal immigration: heritage.org/research/reports/2013/05/the-fiscal-cost-of-unlawful-immigrants-and-amnesty-to-the-us-taxpayer. It is not hard to find online, and the credibility of its source material is unimpeachable as compared to Mother Jones and Alternet.

Mr. Reichard’s statement willfully ignores that there are 117 data sources or references footnoted in this specific Heritage Foundation Report, such as the US Census Bureau 2010 Population Survey, White House.org, National Research Council, US Dept of Labor- Bureau of Economic Analysis, and so on. Hardly “factoids” as Mr. Reichard claims. It is tedious reading, but if you want to know the truth about these things you have to be willing to consider facts and statistics.

The claim of “immigrant bashing” is as specious as his suggestion that Republicans are the root of all legislative evil. From the 1800s through the early 1900s the legal immigrants he refers to (my great and grandparents included) arrived largely impoverished, had no governmental welfare system to latch onto, learned English and valued education, and assimilated by virtue of necessity to survive and prosper. This is most certainly not the case today.

We are under siege from illegal immigrants overwhelming the “system” at the southern border—and they are not all “unaccompanied minors” by far. Look at the following chart from US Border Patrol itself: cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/SWB%20Family%20and%20UAC%20Apps%20thru%208-31.pdf

Just consider that “family units” apprehended illegally crossing into the US in two of these border regions, Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley, have increased since 2013 by upwards of 500 percent. That does not factor in the ones not apprehended, of which there are likely many.

For those readers who wish to see what the US Census Bureau in 2010 had distilled, please examine the following—but remember this was before the Obama executive order known as DACA prompted the current illegal immigrant surge: heritage.org/~/media/images/reports/2013/05/sr133/updatedphotos/srimmigrationcosts2013appendixtablea8revisedp1900.ashx

Reichard’s suggestion that Pew Research’s “73 percent of Americans agree that immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements should have a way to stay legally” is representative of a majority of Americans is statistically absurd. If he had continued to read their explanation of how the “survey” was conducted, perhaps he would have seen this from the Pew Newsletter of March 29, 2013 outlining the source used for their survey:

”The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults, finds that overall attitudes about immigrants in the United States are more positive than negative, despite the nation’s struggling economy.”

The reliably liberal Pew Research Foundation finds 1501 adults to answer their questions about illegal immigration and you think this is representative of America? I think not.

Paul Ackerman

Tenants Harbor

Pen pal props

I wish I could vote for Paula Sutton for state senator for the 12th District but I live in Washington state. I have known Paula since we became pen pals in the 5th grade. Throughout the 40 years that I’ve known Paula she has been a friend that listens and cares and has thus helped me solve problems and has been open-minded when we have discussed a variety of issues.

The last two times that I have visited Paula, I have gone door-to-door campaigning with her as she handed out literature while working as a volunteer on other campaigns for political campaigns. I did this even though I was on a vacation as I enjoyed helping Paula as we both think volunteering is important thing to do. It was encouraging for me to see how she interacted with the citizens of Maine. She was very approachable and listened to their concerns and was knowledgeable about the issues so she could interact with the people.

Paula is an entrepreneur and a hard worker who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. On some visits, Paula showed me homes that she had renovated and sold. She has also owned and operated restaurants. She worked long hours when she owned her restaurants and would send me pictures on how she was able to improve the inside and outside of the restaurant and would tell me how business sales improved over the years. When she had her restaurant and I was getting married, as a supportive friend she flew out for the wedding for the weekend but then had to get right back to her business.

So Paula understands what it is like to own a small business and we both agree that there is excessive government regulations that hampers a small business from being as successful as possible because the regulations are burdensome and wastefulness.

The 12th District in Maine would benefit from having Paula Sutton as their next state senator. They would be getting a senator who is hard working, who is looking out for them, who understands what it is like to be a Mainer, and thus someone who will represent them well.

Donna Hougnon

Ellensburg, Wash.

Be safe

Goodbye summertime and hello school days. What a grand summer, we all enjoyed traffic bumper-to-bumper and now perhaps the motorist can go on the main highways from a side street and not have to wait there three to four minutes to enter.

But us Maine residents welcome all the summer visitors each year — now we must remember the school children and stop when we see the red lights flashing on our school buses in our travels each day.

Gordon Wotton

Thomaston

They never mention democracy

For many years and especially since election year 2010, Maine and many other states have been experiencing an extreme (right wing) and deliberately devious conservative influence on state and local governments that far too many Americans are unaware of.

The following “Right Wing” political organizations such as; the Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works, Americans For Prosperity and Alec (American Legislative Exchange Council) are all National Organizations representing some of the wealthiest and most greedy dynasty’s across this country intent on greatly diminishing or even possibly destroying our great Democracy in order to have their way. Does this all sound extreme? Well maybe but all of these highly funded and staffed organizations are actually in Maine and are hard at work using their particular brand of propaganda in an attempt to influence the thinking of people especially at the local level. Why the local level? Because professionals with a purpose know that to be effective in this case they must influence and convert at grassroots the politically uninformed.

A perfect example of their efforts is a political column, Another View, published weekly in the Courier-Gazette. A week ago it was something about “Straw Men” and this week it was about “Biscuits." Every week I read these diatribes or rants, which are obviously aimed at liberals and Democrats with great effort. Last week’s article “Biscuits,” written by Ken Frederic, apparently a frequent “Another View” contributor, was mostly another rant against liberals, but in one paragraph he did attempt to define what his weekly group really believed in. And sure enough in so many words the four points of Political Paranoia being advanced and shared nationally and locally by the Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity and Alec came to the forefront, which are; A smaller government, less taxes, freedom from regulatory restraint, and individual responsibility.

In another paragraph Mr. Frederic mentioned that when his group meets they only talk about ideas and not people. And that is exactly what it’s all about, ideology. The ideology being, making the case whereby the democracy of all the people would be replaced by a ruling class made up of the wealthy and privileged. So it’s not surprising in all the rants I have read so far, including Mr. Frederic’s, that not once was the word Democracy ever mentioned.

Despite the disdain of liberals by Mr. Frederic and others of his ilk, I am proud to admit being one and I’m also proud of believing in the democracy in which I live. The writers of “Another View” and other conservative articles constantly paint liberals as being haters and the cause of all the world’s problems. This is simply not true. The fact is liberals know the truth which makes them a threat to their adversary’s intent.

So the material for your ponderous articles is coming from elsewhere Mr. Frederic and I suspect that to be from your organizers and benefactors. You know, like the Maine Heritage Policy Center. I also suspect they might actually be writing some of them for you.

Raymond Ludwig

Thomaston

Find out for yourself

When I vote to elect our state legislators I always look for the person who can best represent all the people in our district. In November, I will vote for Dave Miramant to represent State Senate District 12

As our state senator Dave wants to change the economic stagnation brought on by the current governor and his policies. He knows it’s time to support local businesses not big out of state corporations that leave when their tax breaks end. Dave has personal experience running a small business and he understands the problems small business owners face on a daily basis.

Dave will stand up for quality education. He knows the importance of education and the sense of community that comes from sending our children to local schools. He understands that supporting education means improving the quality and effectiveness of our schools and that includes involving all the local communities in achieving that.

Finally, I’m voting for Dave because I want someone who is committed to Maine and the people of Knox County, not to some extreme national movement. Dave’s involvement in our local community shows that he cares about what is going on and is willing to do something about it.

Dave is traveling around the district, and I urge you to take the time to talk with him. Find out for yourself who Dave is and for what he stands. If you do I think you’ll join me this Nov. 4 to vote for Dave Miramant for State Senate.

Bruce Hodsdon

Port Clyde

Comments (1)
Posted by: Lawrence Butler | Sep 13, 2014 19:51

Saddened to read commentary that rests on a discredited Heritage study. One of the authors was forced to resign shortly after this study, which was roundly trashed by Republicans and Democrats alike, due to his Harvard dissertation that claimed Hispanic immigrants have lower IQs than white counterparts. Which informs the analysis that illegals are welfare kings and queens.  If you read the study, you would also learn that per Heritage and the authors, heads of American households without high school diplomas cost tax payers 46k per year.  Suggest that we should deport those guys and import cheaper illegals. Except the study is bogus from top to bottom. Feel free to google the debate in this study and the disgraced author.  And how did Harvard grant a PhD to this guy?



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