Thanks for golf support

The Northport Golf Club reports a highly successful fundraiser, the Mid-Winter Fling, recently held at the Waldo County Shrine Club.

The annual even consists of a potluck dinner followed by an auction of items donated by local businesses, club members and friends. Proceeds are totally dedicated to promoting youth golf in Waldo County.

They even finance college scholarships and weekly clinics for beginning golfers, as well as financial assistance to the Belfast High School golf team. The event also finances major reductions in Northport Golf Club memberships for junior (18 and under) golfers.

Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who supported this event for junior golf.

Phil Bowen


We'll be watching

I’d like to thank everyone who worked to help get ranked-choice voting on the ballot last November and everyone who voted for it, too.  As of Jan. 7, it’s now state law. We need the secretary of state to begin work immediately on an implementation plan for ranked-choice voting so that we can have a smooth and successful election in 2018.

Right now, opponents are resisting implementation of the law, claiming that there are questions about its constitutionality. The first delaying tactic has been to ask the Maine Supreme Court to review the law via a “solemn occasion.” In 1996, the court declined a similar request concerning the constitutionality of the Maine Clean Elections Act. Law professors at the University of Maine and other prominent Maine attorneys have already stated publicly that “the legislation is constitutional.”

If the constitutionality isn’t really in question, one must suspect that this is an effort to block the implementation of the law that we, the Maine electorate, voted in. We’ve seen this in Augusta with other ballot initiatives from last year’s election, too. I ask all our legislators to respect the will of the people as expressed this last November. Implement ranked-choice voting now. We’ll be watching and expect you to represent us well.

Colin Sarsfield


Trumpcare and tax reform

It's no surprise that "Trumpcare," aka the American Health Care Act, is facing severe headwinds in Congress as well as from citizens at congressional "town halls" across the nation. And still not a whisper from the DNC and RNC about the Comprehensive Tax Reform Amendment (CTRA) and its very sound changes to tax and entitlements policies, a copy of which can be found at See case 15-CV-414, document 162-5.

As always, "pennywise economics" affects both microeconomics and macroeconomics, thus also incomes, spending and tax revenues. The CTRA sets strict obligations and limits on income tax polices plus also mandates a national sales and services tax to ensure that lowered income tax revenues will be balanced by increased consumption taxes.

Both incomes and consumption are increased by the lowered income taxes and associated increases in investments and business activity, thereby benefiting everyone.

Substantial changes to entitlements are also mandated by the CTRA. Payroll taxes disappear, and a new miniscule Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) funds five dedicated GRT trust funds, two of which fund health care. Each of those trusts makes its payouts on a per capita basis for the benefit of all legal United States citizens.

Each of those five GRT trust funds pays out quarterly to its beneficiaries. The two dedicated to funding tax-advantaged personal health care and retirement savings accounts pay full shares to each legal adult U.S. citizen, and half-shares to those under 12 years of age. A third trust similarly pays its shares as quarterly block grants to the states on that per capita basis to fund a national preventative health care system for all American citizens as well as for others paying reasonable fees to join. That is UniCare.

Although the CTRA does not concisely detail the national UniCare's system parameters and procedures, it does mandate Congress establish uniform regulations and the individual states the duty to manage their respective UniCare programs. Each state gets the same dollars per citizen as the others, but all are free to add their own money to enhance their services or make up for shortfalls. Actual cost of service for each user is expected to vary from state to state, with wealthier states able to supplement their systems to compensate for their likely higher provider costs.

Because the CTRA provides Congress with the mechanisms for altering the preset income and GRT tax rates, plus the Federal Reserve to also modify the annual income tax rate during the tax year, the states and individual citizens are encouraged to provide rigorous policy feedback. The GRT rate will control, in part, the monies funding both UniCare and citizens' personal savings accounts. Meanwhile, the income tax rate determines overall economic activity and thus a host of tax revenues including those of the GRT.

There is no perfect way to ensure Americans enjoy both good health care plus fulfilling lives in general, but the CTRA is designed to encourage a strong economic activity that then feeds Americans' incomes and spending. From that the GRT funds both health care and future retirement needs while also providing capital to the economic engines of America and the world from those tax-advantaged savings accounts. More is always better, except when the consumer pays.

As far as providing high-quality, cost-effective health care, UniCare should be structured by Congress to allow concierge-type preventative care services. It should set out standardized administrative procedures across the nation, and also control core costs such as pharmaceuticals and service fees for core preventative care needs. But it must also be the underlying framework for all additional health care services whether paid for by cash at the point of service, or by supplemental insurance policies, or government programs.

"Cash" funding is usually the most cost-effective method for paying both minor and major medical services, often half or less of the HMO style insurance programs. Concierge style healthcare is also more efficient and cost-effective, especially where the user is directly involved in making core decisions and thus directly controlling the costs and quality of services. But insurance policies, as well as government programs, benefit from an effcient underlying UniCare system. That is what "Trumpcare" needs to be.

Every American citizen deserves decent health care beginning with free preventative health care. The costs of denying such benefits to Americans far outweigh its actual costs to America on a per capita basis. Lost work and education days, spreading diseases, expensive emergency care, wasted time and resources, plus widespread depreciation of honorable America values, and significant economic harms to us all.

In the end, all of us pay for what Washington, D.C., and the state capitols do in their backrooms and legislative halls. But some pay far more than others, thereby feeding a growing anger across America. It's that anger that elected Donald Trump. What will come of it? Study the CTRA to find part of the answer.

Randall Hofland

Maine State  Prison