USDA reports progress on child hunger, but still a long way to go to eradicate food insecurity for all Mainers and all Americans

October 28, 2015 by

Congress is currently deliberating over reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is crucial to protect school kids in Maine where the child food insecurity rate is the highest in New England.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued an encouraging update on October 26th about implementation of the bipartisan law passed in 2010.

No Kid Hungy logo‘The numbers released today . . . [reflect] the commitment by thousands of … Read the rest

Allowing working family tax credits to expire will make it more difficult for these families to make ends meet

October 22, 2015 by

Congress has the opportunity this fall to prevent key federal working family tax credits from expiring, resulting in cuts for 50 million working Americans, 16 million of whom will slip into poverty.  In Maine, these cuts to the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit (CTC) will affect 37,000 working families, including 64,000 children. More than 34,000 working Mainers, including 16,000 children will fall into or Read the rest

An agenda to give American families a much-needed raise

October 15, 2015 by

EPI Agenda to Raise America's Pay 10-15-2015FBOur colleagues at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) note that “wages for the vast majority of American workers have stagnated or declined since 1979—and wage stagnation’s reach has broadened over the last dozen years to include college-educated workers.” To address this extensive and growing income inequality EPI has proposed The Agenda to Raise America’s Pay. EPI identifies 11 steps for policymakers to consider:

  1. Raise the minimum wage.
Read the rest

Time to turn off Maine’s wasteful tax expenditure “faucet”

September 2, 2015 by

One of the most fundamental obligations of the governor and legislature is careful, vigilant stewardship of how the state spends taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. There are many competing priorities: education for our State House tax expenditure faucet FINAL blogkids, health care, public safety, investments in infrastructure for good roads and clean water— the list goes on. It is especially troubling to discover that the state has failed to account for tens of millions of dollars annually, hundreds … Read the rest

Medicaid works in Maine

August 11, 2015 by

Here are just a few examples of how. Maine children, the elderly, and people with disabilities derive the greatest benefit. But we are all better off when kids get a healthy start, when our parents and grandparents receive proper nursing home care, when people don’t have to rely on emergency rooms but can see a doctor before they become sicker and require more expensive care. Medicaid isn’t just good for … Read the rest

Medicare: 50 years old and, since health care reform, more fiscally fit

August 4, 2015 by

You know there’s an election coming when you start hearing politicians claiming that Medicare is on the verge of bankruptcy. And with the first presidential debate scheduled for Thursday, the Doomsday Dirge has begun. Before we bury the body, let’s check the vital signs. Last week, Medicare trustees weighed in and to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Medicare’s death are greatly exaggerated.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Read the rest

Medicare at 50

July 30, 2015 by

Medicare at 50 7-30-2015 bannerHarry Truman was president when I was born. I was 13 years old on July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson traveled to Independence, Missouri to sign the new law creating Medicare, in the presence of former President Truman, one of the law’s greatest advocates and the program’s first enrollee in 1966.

The data since the law took effect reveal stunning results:

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The day health care in America changed forever

July 29, 2015 by

Tomorrow, July 30, is a date of historic firsts.

In 1619, the House of Burgesses, America’s first elected governing assembly met for the first time in Virginia, just 12 years after the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.

In 1792, 500 Marseillaisians sang France’s national anthem for first time, Allons enfants de la patrie . . .

And in 1965, July 30th was the day health care in America changed … Read the rest

#BetterDeal4ME is a big winner in Maine’s major newspapers

April 14, 2015 by

261351869-A-Better-Deal-for-MaineWhen the Democratic leaders in the legislature announced their Better Deal for Maine (#BetterDeal4ME) plan on April 9, the Bangor Daily News was bullish on the proposal:

“Democratic leaders in the Legislature have put forward something more than opposition: They’ve released a tax plan of their own that moves the entire conversation about tax reform in a promising direction.”

Noting that “the tax burden in only five other states … Read the rest

Federal grants now available for local food initiatives

March 17, 2015 by

Local Farms-Local FoodsFBCongresswoman Chellie Pingree today announced the availability of new grants to support local agriculture under legislation she sponsored, the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, enacted as part of the recent farm bill legislation.

“This is money that is going to help the local food economy grow and expand in Maine and around the country,” Pingree said in a press release. “And every dollar that is spent locally is a … Read the rest

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