My career has been spent in the private sector. I believe the private sector should drive job creation, not state programs. For far too long our tax dollars have been spent on “Job Creation” schemes producing paper pushing, rubber stamping jobs that are unfulfilling, unsustainable, and costly. I’m tired of Augusta spending more money on these tired ideas, in hopes they’ll find a way to create more jobs.
Creative and hard-working people create jobs! They know how to do it! They are being held back by regulatory strings attached to expensive, ineffective state programs. My experience suggests that Maine business owners know how to create jobs – the best thing Augusta can do is get out of the way!
My job as a licensed health insurance agent puts me in touch with the poor every day. I take personal offense to politicians who refer to Welfare Reform as a “war on the poor.” I firmly believe that nobody really wants to live on Welfare. Of course, there are those who are unable to support themselves, and deserve the support of the community. There should always be programs to ensure Maine citizens who find themselves in unfortunate situations get the help they deserve. However, state politicians have created a Welfare System that treats anyone who qualifies for short-term assistance as if they are permanently disabled. The incentives to stay ON Welfare are greater than the rewards of getting OFF welfare.
This costly trap has resulted in nearly a third of Maine people receiving state assistance. This is wrong on so many levels:
1. It’s not fair to able-bodied people.
2. It’s not fair to dependent children who grow up knowing nothing but state dependency.
3. It’s not fair to the hardworking taxpayers in Maine.
How many people do you know who love Maine but can’t afford to live here anymore? Our parents, children and grandchildren are leaving Maine for a number of reasons – and the high tax burden is at the top of the list! Taxes impede job creation – making it hard to find a job here; taxes are eroding retirement incomes – from young to old, Maine’s taxes are literally chasing people out of the state! We can’t cut taxes without lowering spending; and I want to do both for you in Augusta!
Maine’s cost of energy is another key reason Maine has trouble attracting businesses and the jobs our people need. Heating our homes through the winter is getting more expensive each year; these energy bills are regressive cost of living expenses that has the most impact on the people who least can afford these costs.
The truth is Maine no longer is a significant producer of energy; rather, we rely on the import of oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, gasoline, etc from across our border.
For the short-term, Augusta should pursue lower costs and regulations on companies bringing energy resources into Maine.
The long-term solution is to encourage private investment on energy plants and energy importing facilities in the state – without heavy subsidies that double-bill Maine citizens through higher taxes and higher energy costs. And, of course, environmental concerns should always be addressed to safeguard our beautiful state without undue burden on Maine people.