I don’t think there is a person in Maine who would want an inefficient or ineffective government. The difficulty comes when one tries to identify appropriate changes and when ideology conflicts with common sense.

Reducing state taxes just to shift them to a community is not a tax reduction; it sounds good, though. So far, I have not heard of any significant welfare fraud other than a badly run screening process.

I do have some concrete suggestions for saving money, but first let me say that I think that any reductions in government should be by attrition and by moving affected workers to the most appropriate empty positions.

After that is done, here are some other suggestions:

• Licensing: Why do we require license renewals of beauticians if they have successfully passed the test? I don’t think they are retested annually, and it seems to me that the shop’s relicensing would take care of health concerns. Why do we require license renewal for both audiologists and the agency if the staff is properly accredited? Why inspect newer cars every year? Why do we need a new driver’s license if the person has not changed their appearance? If they dye their hair pink or grow a Santa beard then they should get a new license. Driving offenses would be a separate issue, though.

Programs: Programs should have clear and measurable goals. If those goals are not met, the programs should be closed or significantly changed. I think our schools need to teach young people to cook healthy, budget-based meals on real-world costs, basic child care and to think. If everyone could think for themselves, we would have statesmen rather than politicians running our state and nation, and we would be much smarter consumers.

Peter Swartz, Farmingdale