Twin City Times-
Mayor's Corner #187
Once again Maine Municipalities take it on the chin from the Maine Legislature as it praises itself in balancing its budget. Yup! It matters not if it has been a Democratic Legislature or a Republican Legislature, the story is similar. The governors and legislators do not want to raise taxes in their budgets and so as “excrements” roll down-hill, it befalls on local municipalities to balance their budgets by eliminating positions and raising local property taxes in order to provide essential services such as education and other public services.
We saw it in the Baldacci administration and even more so in the LePage administration by now adding the cutting of income taxes when the state needs revenue to balance its budget and takes it out on municipalities and public employees with furlough days, and retirement pensions especially from former teachers. When we need good teachers here in Maine, what incentive do we give them to want to work here when they can earn far more in other states?
My column last week was entitled “What did 10 years of Bush tax cuts for the rich get us? Apparently it struck a nerve with one reader from Auburn who wrote an e-mail to me. It read: “Larry, it is incredible how much of a far left tax and spend liberal you are. I like capitalism. I like less government. I think that if you raise taxes on oil companies that it is not much of an incentive to lower the price of gas. Companies don’t pay taxes, people buying products pay taxes. Can’t wait for you to be out of office so I don’t have to see your ‘Mayor’s Corner’ each week. It should be a column about City issues and not you’re ranting about more taxes and spending,” signed: KCG.
Well, Mr. G, I couldn’t disagree with you more! My ranting about the federal and state governments passing the buck onto municipalities and local property taxpayers has everything to do with the city and it is the city’s taxpayers that feel the impact and most especially our seniors on fixed incomes who cut their medicines in half and fear losing their homes after working hard throughout their lifetime. They don’t qualify for corporate welfare and they don’t get big bonuses for screwing up our economy. As a city mayor, these are the folks I care about.
Mr. G, in light of your disappointment in my writings, you have several options. Don’t read my column and instead watch Fox News for a steady diet of right wing propaganda that has apparently influenced your thinking. I do, appreciate hearing from you as it is testament that I have more work to do. You could also read the rest of the right leaning TCT articles. Thankfully, the editor of this newspaper, a person I consider a friend in spite of our differences in political philosophies on most subjects, allows me as a token liberal to write a column on a weekly basis to strike some sort of balance. Don’t get me wrong. This newspaper is much more than a political rag; it is a community newspaper providing a wonderful community service.