Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Roofing Project Begins!

I don’t envy a roofer who’s coming today to at least begin putting a new roof on my house. The one being replaced is somewhere around 25 years old. I’ve found grit from it on the ground around our house. Twenty-five years for shingles installed 25 years ago is a very long time. And now that time has come to replace it.

But today is forecast to be very hot and humid with some pretty strong thunder storms brewing up for later today and tonight. My two major concerns for this day are the poor guy working up on the roof with this kind of weather and what will happen if he gets shingles off the existing roof and the storms come up.

In fairness, the roofer is not a fly-by-night contractor who happened by and stopped in to tell me he had some shingles left over from a previous job and noticed I needed a new roof. This guy owns a company begun by his family many, many years ago and has a terrific reputation for quality work. I’m sure he has seen the same forecast as I and knows how to do his job. But I don’t. So not knowing causes my concern. I guess I just need to keep faith.

Yesterday I mentioned what I called a do nothing Congress. It would appear that I’m not the only one who thinks our Democrat controlled Congress is accomplishing very little. A recent Rasmussen Poll shows only nine percent of Americans approve of Congress’s actions. Just 9 percent. It is the lowest Congressional approval rating since Rasmussen began making these surveys. My comments yesterday were about Congress continuing not to allow oil drilling on American Soil. The Rasmussen Poll released yesterday showed Americans believe only 14% of Congress critters genuinely want to help Americans.

There’s a thread in the Public Square on As Maine Goes this morning that comments about car sales being down and dealerships shutting. The thread is based on a news story in the Kennebec Journal and repeated on Some contributors point out that, in fairness, that the trend nationwide is the same and that Maine actually hasn’t been hit as hard as other areas of the country, so far at least. Some contributors point out that when car sales are down, revenues from both sales taxes and excise taxes are also down. There is some concern that the loss of revenue will result in higher property taxes to make up the difference of the loss on the local (excise) level and eventually higher taxes on the state (sales) level.

One of the contributors, Tony Bessey, echoes a theme I’ve here many times in the past several months, “It is funny how we live on a budget, but the government does not.” All through the latter half of the last legislative session as the legislature was trying to balance the state’s budget with a promised No Tax Increase, I was pointing out, along with many other bloggers and forum contributors, that balancing the budget requires the government to set priorities and fund only those top priorities that are absolutely necessary for the state to maintain the essential services. That would be true for local and county governments, also.

But in the end, the government passed massive tax and fee increases in spite of the calls of Mainers that they simply can’t take any more. Some of those increases are some many of you probably don’t even realize you’re facing. They include increase costs of car registrations, drivers’ licenses, excise tax on car purchases, and many more. They also include those we’ve mentioned here a few times, including the beverage taxes and the insurance claims tax.

As Mr. Bessey pointed out, most of us can’t adjust our incomes on a whim and have to prioritize create and live within a budget. When the state or locals governments want more money, they don’t have to make those priorities; they just raise taxes. In the past, I’ve said I know there are elected officials who would simply ask me where I’d cut government budgets. I’ve pointed out I didn’t create the mess so it’s not my responsibility to correct it. Besides, most government types would not at all like the suggestions I would make.

Tony Bessey, incidentally, is a regular contributor to As Maine Goes. He also has a non-political blog of his own where he displays some snippets of ordinary life in Maine. There’s a link to it on the right of this page. It’s called Ordinary Maine.

Aah! Life in Maine! I’ll sit back now and patiently await the arrival of the roof guy and settle in for a day of scraping and pounding above me. Ooooh! 7: AM and roofer arrived.


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