Broken Bootstraps

February 28, 2013 by

We all know the saying, “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. It means that you improve your situation by your own efforts. It is lauded; if you pull yourself up by your bootstraps (your shoe laces), that is a good thing. You are hardworking and you persevere. It is the definitive expression of American self-reliance and individualism.

It is also impossible to do.

That’s what a new report tells us … Read the rest

Sequestration: A Disaster for Maine Working Families

February 21, 2013 by

Close to 7,000 Maine jobs are at risk if federal budget cuts slated to take effect on March 1 occur. That conclusion is based on a report authored by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, a professor at George Mason University.

The Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) has also conducted an analysis of the projected impacts on Maine from federal budget cuts known as sequestration. CHN notes that these “indiscriminate cuts come … Read the rest

A Capital Gains Tax Cut Would Worsen Maine’s Budget Gap and Make the Tax System Even More Unfair

February 19, 2013 by

Just when you thought that Maine lawmakers might be getting the message that a majority of Mainers want the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, the legislature’s taxation committee voted Friday on a bill that would yet again cut taxes for the wealthy and stick everyone else with the tab.

Last week, the taxation committee heard public testimony and voted on legislation that would dramatically cut the tax … Read the rest

How the Fiscal Cliff Deal Could Make Maine’s Budget Gap Even Bigger than We Thought

February 14, 2013 by

We already know that Maine faces an $881 million shortfall over the two-year period beginning July 1st. State lawmakers are also working to close a $153 million hole in the current fiscal year, which ends in June 30th. Both of those budget gaps will grow larger if Maine policymakers choose to conform Maine tax law to changes in the federal tax code resulting from the recent … Read the rest

Beware of legislative tax cuts that promise heaven and earth

February 13, 2013 by

You may never have heard of ALEC–the American Legislative Exchange Council–but you have experienced its long reach as out-of-state corporate giants manipulate state tax policies right here in Maine to reap huge profits at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.

ALEC’s members include state legislators along with some of the country’s biggest companies from ExxonMobil, Phillip Morris, Enron, and Corrections Corporation of America to Koch Industries, one of the richest privately … Read the rest

Don’t blame the schools

February 11, 2013 by

Every time the governor talks about them, he says our public schools are failing.

He bases this on test scores and student performance. He cites Maine students’ low proficiency scores. And then he blames the public school system, school administrators, and school unions.

Test scores may be going down, but let’s look at what’s going up.

The number of students in poverty is growing.

According to the US Census Bureau, … Read the rest