Ideology over Facts: MHPC Does It Again

April 26, 2012 by

In a piece that appeared Tuesday on its website, The Maine Wire, the Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) argued for the elimination of the state’s personal income tax. It’s not hard to infer from this piece MHPC’s ultimate goal: To transfer control of our infrastructure, our schools, our natural resources, and our health care system for poor, elderly, and disabled individuals to private interests. The first step is to … Read the rest

Bonds: A Prudent Investment with a Big Payoff

April 24, 2012 by

If your roof were leaking, would you delay repairs while the problem worsens? With Maine’s roads and bridges crumbling, doesn’t it also make sense to invest in fixing them before the deterioration becomes even more costly?  

Maine needs a bond package this year. Not since 1962 has Maine gone an entire biennium without a bond package for capital investment in the infrastructure that supports our businesses, fuels economic growth, creates … Read the rest

Earth Day Reflection and Maine’s Farming Future

April 22, 2012 by

Sunday is Earth Day.

We’ve come a long way since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Forty-two years ago, Maine’s rivers foamed with chemicals and raw sewage. Roadsides were littered. The air stank from burning garbage. Our state’s health has changed dramatically due to farsighted public policies like recycling, sewage management, and pollution control programs.

Today the problem is not so much that we pollute our lands, but … Read the rest

Reflections on Tax Day

April 19, 2012 by

Tuesday was Tax Day. Paying taxes affirms our commitment to society and to our fellow human beings. Tax dollars pay for the physical foundation of our nation: national defense, public safety, roads, bridges, drinking water, wastewater, solid waste facilities, airports, railroads, etc. Taxes also pay for the institutional foundation of our nation: public education, health care for the elderly and indigent, and help for those in need.

Fierce debate over … Read the rest

Recessions are Budget Busters

April 13, 2012 by

It’s been almost three years since the Great Recession officially ended, but the recovery has been slow to materialize. There are still 50,000 people in Maine who want work but can’t find it and thousands more who have some work but want more and can’t find it. Real income growth is anemic, especially for low- and middle-income families who are disproportionately dependent on wages and salaries as opposed to property … Read the rest

Legislature Rejects Fiscally Irresponsible, Poorly Targeted Pension Tax Cut

April 11, 2012 by

Despite evidence that Maine’s employment picture remains bleak, state policymakers continue to pay little attention to steps that would boost the economy and create jobs.  After rushing forward on yet another budget-crippling tax cut earlier this week, this Legislature finally found a tax cut it could not embrace.  Word came late yesterday that the $40 million supplemental budget bill approved by the Appropriations Committee “set aside” the Governor’s proposed Read the rest

A More Constructive Way to End the Legislative Session

April 10, 2012 by

Recent unemployment figures remind us that Maine’s jobs problem continue.  In their rush to pass more budget-crippling tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy before the session ends, Maine Legislators seem to have lost sight of a much more economically sound priority-passage of a robust bond package to fund infrastructure, R&D and other investments to spur growth, create jobs and make Maine more competitive.

In 2011, legislators bowed to Governor … Read the rest

Day of Action

April 2, 2012 by

Today MECEP participated in a “Day of Action Briefing” hosted by Engage Maine.  The briefing highlighted a number of irresponsible proposals being rushed through the Legislature and urged Maine people to appeal to their Legislators to support more responsible solutions to the issues.

One proposal that I’ve written about before is LD 849.  The Maine House is set to vote on an amended version of this bill … Read the rest