Keeping Mainers out of Poverty: Let Me Count the Ways

September 25, 2012 by

Too many Maine families struggle to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads. That our neighbors suffer in this tough economy is shameful, particularly since we know there are specific programs that can boost people out of poverty, making them bill-paying, tax-paying, and consumer-goods-buying citizens once again.

U.S. Census data released last week reinforce what we already knew –that Maine has a poverty problem, especially … Read the rest

Maine Should Be Adding Jobs. Our Population Growth Doesn’t Matter Right Now.

September 21, 2012 by

Maine’s population declined in 2009 and 2010. It barely grew at all in 2011. So it makes sense that we don’t have any job growth right? Wrong. We still have to recover 25,000 jobs lost during the recession before population growth matters at all for job growth.

We’ve got about the same number of people we did in 2007, before the recession.

Over the same time period, we’ve lost about … Read the rest

Maine Has Too Many Children in Poverty and it Would Be Worse Without Government Intervention

September 19, 2012 by

It’s an exciting time of year when the US Census Bureau releases lots of great new demographic and economic data about Americans. Last week, we learned from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) that poverty in Maine is on the rise and that the typical middle class family’s income is no higher now than it was a decade ago. At the national level, we … Read the rest

What New Census Data Say About Maine’s Economy

September 12, 2012 by

Today the US Census Bureau released data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) on income, health insurance coverage, and poverty. Maine ranks in the middle of the pack among states but at the bottom in New England in median household income and poverty. And while we are near the top in health insurance coverage, the 125th Maine Legislature’s decision to take away health insurance coverage for thousands of Mainers … Read the rest

Reordering Legislative Priorities, Step One: Middle Class Property Tax Relief

September 10, 2012 by

As I wrote in yesterday’s Lewiston Sun-Journal, lawmakers in Augusta have made their priorities clear: tax relief for the wealthiest Mainers is more important than tax relief for low- and moderate-income Mainers.

Here’s how our legislators can reset their priorities and begin helping hard-working low-income and middle-class folks who deserve better:

Restore funding to the Property Tax and Rent Refund Program (aka “Circuit Breaker”). This is an easy way to … Read the rest