A view from the other side of the fence

By Robert E. Heath

The Ellsworth American is a paper I have enjoyed for many years now. We have property in Milbridge and when visiting this property, I always pick up an EA and read cover to cover. I particularly enjoy the picture/poem on the editorial page.

The actual letters to the editor and the editorials are not always interesting to me, as they relate to opinions of the area. I am not in residence enough to relate to most. This past weekend I read the editorial “Envy thy neighbor,” followed soon after by the commentary “The presidency is in dangerous hands” by Hugh Bowden.

Since I was born, raised and live in New Hampshire, I found the “Envy thy neighbor” column very informative. I believe it says a lot. I also get to compare taxes in the two states, as I own more than one piece of property in each and not all in the same town in each state. I find my taxes in Maine on relatively equal assessments to be more than the New Hampshire properties for equal evaluation. I had always been told New Hampshire had high property taxes to offset the sales/income taxes in other states. Was I surprised when I received my first Maine real estate tax bill! I make no income in Maine, and therefore pay no income tax in Maine, but the Maine tax authority tries to assess one every year and in some past years it has taken several letters from my CPA to rectify this. I do pay sales tax on all my purchases, in Maine and some outside of Maine! (I purchased two tractors here in New Hampshire. Maine somehow found one is housed in Maine and under threat of court I had to pay a sales tax! I did.). Look at the facts in this article: New Hampshire is rated 15th in business, Maine 34th (the only worse state in New England is Connecticut). New Hampshire and Maine are roughly the same population, but Maine has four times as much land as New Hampshire, and of course the median income in New Hampshire is $20,000 more than Maine. I feel the answers to the Maine/New Hampshire situation and reason for it are well addressed in the article. I would also say, stop the left of left (bordering on socialism attitude), Maine. Sure, when governments give most take. The more taken, the more given and always someone has to pay, thus sales tax and income taxes. I love the last line in the article, “Let’s look over the fence … and learn some lessons.”

Mr. Bowden, who wrote the commentary, has to be one of those from the left of left. The author seems to have no respect of the office of our presidency since his candidate did not win. President Trump was voted in; respect him and his ways. You don’t always have to agree, just respect. The author calls President Trump a liar. He needs to look in the mirror, and while looking, look at just about every House member and/or senator. Have they not all lied? Of course they have. Or is it my mistake when I thought I heard “I did not have sex with that young lady, with Monica Lewinsky” from then-President Bill Clinton. Was it not a lie when the head of the Democratic Party saw to it that Bernie Sanders was pushed aside in order to help Hillary? I do not believe that President Trump has shown “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that he cannot be trusted with our nation’s national security. In fact, I feel he has shown that when he “draws a red line in the sand,” unlike President Obama, he means it and therefore we are less threatened by war than in many years. Instead of looking at a piece of a press conference and taking everything said as gospel, look at the track record. Does not the result of sanctions count for more than a press conference? I am willing to bet (and maybe I would lose, but I would doubt it) that the author did not listen to the entire press conference but is spouting from what he heard on his favorite left leaning media. I listened to the entire thing and virtually no left-leaning media covered the entire thing. Don’t tell me you watched Fox, Mr. Bowden! Yes, you are hearing well-known Republican senators disagree with President Trump. Why? First, they are all politicians and President Trump, like me, is a businessperson. Maybe Susan Collins is weighing the pros and cons of all propositions and voting as she feels best and what best represents her constituency. Most politicians are not, especially the Democrats. Remember, Mr. Bowden, “demos” is “people” and “kratos” is power. Translating to power of the people. Do you really feel that Nancy Pelosi (only in power because she knows how to get money), Maxine Waters and Chuck Schumer really represent the “people”? What about the abolish ICE statements, or fall on your sword and defeat Kavanaugh, even if your constituency (those who elected you and who you represent) want you to support him? Let’s do anything and everything to defeat that Trump appointee and the Republicans, to heck with all the USA principles and the Constitution. Are these the mantras of the real Demos Kratos? Mr. Bowden, you call the people at Fox News the media lackeys, but I also listen to CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC and, yes, ABC, who all give the other side and seldom talk about the real progress of this nation. I know my 401K likes the President Trump way, as does the 4.1 percent growth. I recall when the Obama administration said it was “impossible” to get to 3 percent. You, Mr. Bowden, were a journalist, and I always thought they were taught to look at both sides of every story. Editorials are for the biased, but since you are retired I have to believe the truth is you did (or was that a lie?).

I am sorry I will probably be unable to see my letter and the reactions to it, printed, but I do hope a few Maine people read it and maybe, just maybe, look at some of the positives of President Trump, respect the office a little. (I did not like anything about President Obama, but I respected him when he was in office.) You did not see me in a march protesting. There is hardly a left-wing protester who really knows what he or she is protesting, except that they are against our President Trump. How about looking over the Trump fence a little as well as looking over the fence at your New Hampshire neighbor and learn a lesson or two. You do not have to change your vote; just be fair and look at both sides.

I only get to Mibridge a few times each summer and therefore I am asking that The Ellsworth American set me up for a three-month subscription and bill me when it receives this letter, so I can see what Mr. Bowden and others have to say. I want to hear both sides.

Oh yes, I am a retired businessperson whose business is still being run by employees! The above is my opinion and I am sticking to it.


Robert E. Heath, a resident of Center Harbor, N.H., is also a part-time summer resident of Milbridge.

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