How we vote -- does it matter?

By Dale Landrith Sr. | Oct 04, 2018

Maine workers are realizing higher wages. Unemployment in our state is at a record low. The number of folks requiring and receiving government assistance has declined dramatically. The taxes that Mainers pay have been reduced. Maine’s economy, as indicated by its Gross Domestic Product, has increased by double digits in the last eight years. Maine now has a budget surplus, as opposed to continuing deficits. All of the above are extremely positive, staggering results of how we voted in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Some of these results were the fruit of voting in statewide elections, some in national elections, and certainly some in the combined results of state and national elections.

Voting produces results, positive or negative. 2018 is once again an election year with much at stake. How we vote this November will determine if these positive results that we have been experiencing will continue. We will be electing a new governor, state representatives, and state senators, along with a crucial people’s referendum.

How we vote – does it matter? It matters with regard to taxes. The federal tax code was changed last year and tens of thousands of Maine workers received a reduction in taxes. Gov. Paul LePage and conservative Republican legislators attempted to adapt the Maine tax code to parallel the federal code. This would have resulted in Maine workers' benefiting from additional tax reductions. Progressive liberal Democrats defeated that effort. Do you want to retain more of your paycheck? If so, then make sure that the individuals who support revising the Maine code so that it corresponds to the federal code are the ones for whom you vote.

How we vote – does it matter? It matters with regard to rising wages. Do you want to continue experiencing wage increases? Low unemployment not only has the benefit of drawing more people into the work force, it also puts pressure on the ability of employers to hire the workers they need. When there is more competition to find and hire workers, employers offer increased compensation or hiring bonuses to those prospective employees. As employers increase wages for new hires, there is often a ripple effect of increased wages for those already employed. Conservative Republicans are responsible for the current strong economy. Make your vote count for continuing prosperity.

How we vote – does it matter? It matters with respect to regulations that restrict new business startups or strangle existing businesses. A strong economy creates the motivation for folks to start new businesses, which create more jobs. When unneeded or outdated regulations are removed from the business environment, businesses are more likely to expand and again create more jobs. As noted previously, more jobs result in lower unemployment and higher wages. Voting for candidates who have business experience, as opposed to career bureaucrats, provides the leadership to continue the strong economy and better opportunity.

How we vote – does it matter? Mainers will be faced with another out-of-state-sponsored referendum in November. This is a feel-good referendum that purports to provide quality care for all the elderly folks in Maine. When out-of-state money pays folks to gather the signatures on a petition because they know better than actual Maine people how to care for our elderly, we should beware. The increased taxes required to pay for this “scam” will drive those who pay the taxes to leave the state.

The “board” created to oversee this program will not be accountable to the voters of the state. It is claimed that they are only taxing the rich. However, the measure combines married couples' incomes to determine who pays the higher taxes. Two different Maine nonpartisan government agencies have projected that the tax revenue collected would not begin to cover the costs. This referendum could very well send Maine back to the edge of bankruptcy. Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor have decided not to back this measure. Your vote matters. Vote to defeat this “scam."

How we vote – does it matter? Each of our votes matters a great deal. Choose your candidates wisely. Vote to keep Maine’s economy strengthening. Vote to send out-of-state money back to where it came from.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Harold Bryson Mosher | Oct 08, 2018 08:57

At the candidate's forum in Union on Oct. 4 Paula Sutton saying that the solar lobby is very powerful would be laughable if it was not so craven.  It wasn't so powerful that it overcame the Governor's veto of solar bills that received a clear majority of votes in the Legislature.  These were bills that were hammered out by all the players, including CMP.  Rep. Sutton and the Governor would also have us believe that ratepayers have to pay more because of their "rich" neighbors with solar panels.  This flies in the face of reports one can access at the Public Advocate's Web Site, which indicate a neutral or slight benefit on the power bills of customers without solar panels.  Government subsidies massage the bottom line of fossil fuel companies tens of times more than they do renewable sources of energy.  This is due to the efforts of powerful lobbies such as The American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization, funded by the Koch brothers, that finances the campaigns of like-minded state legislators.  Rep. Sutton was not a clean elections candidate.  Did ALEC help her out?

Yes, how we vote matters.  Instead of voting for the District 95 incumbent, Paula Sutton, it is important that we elect Bill Pluecker for State Representative.

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