Saturday, August 6, 2011

Death by a Thousand Tax Cuts

Why has the Governor of Maine ordered $100 million in cuts to state services? So he can finish what he started back in January.

Governor LePage and Grover Norquist don’t believe in government and they want to starve it of revenues by cutting taxes, and then telling everyone we are broke and have to cut spending.

Our Tea Party Governor began starving the beast when he proposed his draconian budget. There was no way to go but left for the Appropriations Committee, who took steps in that direction until Stockholm Syndrome set in.

The hypocrisy of now applauding the state budget that puts Maine in debt, while escalating the rhetoric about our national debt problem is nauseating.

It’s time to stop slapping each other on the back and start looking each other in the eye.

Yes, the budget just signed in to law by Governor LePage lowers income tax rates, lines up state deductions nicely with the feds, gives businesses big tax breaks and incentives, and increases the exemption for big estates by a million dollars.

This sounds really awesome! But there’s just one thing. IT IS NOT PAID FOR.

All these wonderful tax decreases and reforms create a $400 million hole in next year’s budget -- like that fabulous all-inclusive vacation to Cancun for the whole family! Put on a high-interest credit card.

Even the Chamber of Commerce is back-slapping and gushing about how wonderful the session was because businesses are getting tax breaks.

We haven’t got one fatherly lecture yet about living within our means. There’s been no angry rhetoric about personal responsibility. Why? Because the future $400 million hole provides the perfect excuse to further shrink government.

Get ready, though. The Governor’s order to cut $100 million in response to Congress’s “deal” about increasing the debt ceiling will be followed by many rants about the need to pay our bills, and run the state like a household. "Living within our means" when we create a big future deficit means cutting programs.

And how easy it will be to make these cuts with a republican majority in the legislature and a republican governor. There will be no need for a two-thirds vote. A simple majority will wipe out the social programs everyone thought were “saved” in the recent budget.

We will pay the $400 million bill created by tax cuts with all the social programs Governor Lepage set out to eliminate in the first place. School budgets will be cut, and public health programs slashed. “Welfare” will be further restricted to only married heterosexual pro-life women. Roads won’t get fixed. Investments won’t be made in technology, or research and development.

Public institutions will weaken, we will continue to decline as a society, but we will keep hearing how “broke” we are, and how we have to pay our bills.


Samuel Gompers said...

Great Article

Gnarly Erik said...

Good analysis.

What does 10 years under a tax-cutting governor look like?

One business web publication even qualifies Texas as the USA’s ‘Ireland’!