AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage on Friday released his weekly message, which stressed the need for Maine to implement pro-growth, job-creating policies. Read the full text of his message below:
Job creation and economic growth are top priorities in our Administration, and Democrats claim that it is their number-one issue. But there is a stark difference in how we would support businesses and strengthen the economy.
Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.
Democratic policies over the past three decades have hindered economic stability in Maine. Bad public policies are the direct result of why many businesses are struggling to expand and why it is challenging to attract new business.
We are watching our young people move out of state to find good-paying jobs, and Maine has an aging population that is leaving the workforce.
Bad policies have created a climate that is adverse to business and drives Mainers out of state. But don’t take my word for it.
I received a letter in June from Michael Leslie of Belfast, who just moved to Tennessee. By living in that low-tax state, he will be saving enough money to pay for 85 percent of his daughter’s college education.
In Tennessee, he will pay no income tax, and he will pay 50 percent less in property taxes. He will pay a lot less to register each car, and he will pay much less for gallon of gas than in Maine.
Tennessee is a pro-business, right-to-work state with lower electricity costs than Maine. Tennessee’s economy grew 3.3 percent in 2012, while Maine’s economy grew by half a percent.
By enacting low-tax, pro-business policies, Tennessee has made itself competitive in terms of attracting jobs and residents.
Our plan to make Maine more competitive and more prosperous includes some of the very same initiatives that have made Tennessee and other states successful.
My vision for Maine is to create a state that has a lower overall tax burden for residents and businesses; a smaller, more efficient government that we can afford; and a manageable welfare system that is a safety net for the truly needy – not a free for all.
Many Mainers and the business community are aligned with us on these kinds of initiatives.
Unfortunately, Democratic leadership keeps pushing the same failed tax-and-spend policies that continue to grow government, increase taxes, expand welfare and drive business out of Maine.
Maine will succeed only if we can attract and retain more businesses and make the state more affordable for businesses and residents alike.
Instead of doubling down on the same failed policies of the past three decades, let’s try something different.
Let’s try the same good policies that have succeeded in other states. We must enact these policies to keep Mainers like Michael from moving away.
Let’s lower taxes, reduce energy costs, right-size government and create an affordable welfare system.
Gov. Paul R. LePage is the 74th Governor of Maine