It’s rumpled and wrinkled from forty years of over use, yet Democrats are determined to drag their tired, tattered cloak of fiscal policy out once again…tax the rich. While Liberals can garner points for predictability and zealous adherence to dogma, the results of their forty-year tenure is not a lesson in productivity. We have less rich to tax, more poor to redistribute to and not much wealth left to spread around. But the Democrats are shining example of redundancy and once again they wield the “millionaire tax” heralding its financial curative powers. Unfortunately for Maine, the amount of individuals whose income broke the million-dollar mark in the last decade has fluctuated from 400 to 750 people. This means the millionaire tax “healing” money stream would have a varied flow of somewhere between zilch and not so much.
So how do we pay for the Democrat big government template with so few rich to tax? What if poverty was the new wealthy? Thanks to our liberal friends, Maine has a very low threshold for what is considered rich. It’s around $20,000 and just under $40,000 for households. Through that prism, I guess we’re all rich….who knew? While Democrats manipulate definitions and look for more ways to increase taxes on a cash strapped State (that’s code for wealthy to Democrats), let’s look at the facts of Governor LePage’s budget proposal.
Tax relief; yes that is a concept, of $203 million across the board not just for the rich. Well, I guess we’re all rich now, so tax relief for all of Maine’s “rich”. Gas tax indexing will end in the second year. Tax deductions and exemptions will be brought up to the federal level and bonus depreciation will help in job creation.
The Governor will increase education funding by $63 million. It would seem the Governor has his priorities in order. He is cutting back on frivolous things and concentrating on important things, a somewhat unique and foreign concept for Augusta.
Welfare will get some much-needed reform. A common sense five-year limit will be set in place with the elimination of instant eligibility. This is absolutely necessary to encourage lifestyle changes for those who have become accustomed to government as their primary provider. This will also help to stem the flow of out of State opportunists who travel to Maine to capitalize on its exorbitant welfare system. This has reached epidemic proportions.
Our pension system is now $4.3 billion in debt. It is simply unsustainable. We must make drastic changes now before our children are faced with ballooning out of control payments that destroy their livelihoods.
Democrats claim that a millionaires tax will save Maine, but they fail to acknowledge the devastation such a tax has had on the economies of other States. Research by the Maine People Before Politics’ executive director Jason Savage shows that there are thirteen States who now impose a top marginal tax rate for higher income earners. These States are also responsible for 53% of the $112 billion in State deficits nationwide. So for Democrats, not only is poverty the new wealthy but fiscal apocalypse is the new fiscal solvency.
There is a way we can help. The aforementioned Maine People Before Politics has established a link that connects you directly to all the members of the Appropriations Committee that is debating the Governor’s budget. The link is http://www.mainepeoplebeforepolitics.com/contact-the-joint-standing-committee-on-appropriations-and-financial-affairs/. Please take the time to support the Governor and send a message to Augusta.
While others are playing word games, this Governor is working. While some hide behind diversion and deception, this Governor is starkly honest. Perhaps the Democrats should see to the job at hand rather than throwing temper tantrums such as desecrating memorials to Maine’s hallowed fallen heroes.
Thanks for your article, I look forward to reading more of your articles regarding the same and similar subjects.
I suggest writing an artilce on why residents can be on Maine Care,
while having assests exceeding $250,ooo, 2 cars, and other assests. Why shouldn’t it include a formula of income and assets rather than just income?
Thanks for the comment, Adreth. Maine’s whole fiscal situation is such a convoluted mess I think really by design to discourage anyone from trying to fix it. With our private sector so over-regulated many people’s incomes drop to nearly nothing during the winter months especially in the construction and forestry trades in rural areas. Healthcare reform and regulatory reform will need to work hand in hand until we see Maine people functioning in a full 12 month work cycle. Many hardworking people who would rather stay away from government assistance are herded like cattle into the system because of our anemic work environment. It’s a great point and I have written in the past on the subject. There are facets as always to the issue that do not have easy answers. but reform is never easy.