U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, a Democrat, espoused a view of federal deficits and taxation in 2002 that most voters would associate with today’s tea party movement, according to his first congressional campaign website.
“[A]ll the economists you could fit in the second district could not convince me that on going large federal deficits are good for the economy,” Michaud wrote in his 2002 Economic Development Plan for Maine’s Second Congressional District.
On taxes, too, Michaud toed what would become the tea party line: “It is important that the tax burden faced by American consumers and businesses not restrain the growth of business,” he wrote.
Michaud even bragged about an accomplishment on the tax reform front similar to what his Republican opponent, Gov. Paul LePage, has touted during the current campaign: “In Maine I have worked to create budgets which have lowered taxes by 450 million [dollars] a year and last year opposed tax increase which Governor [Angus] King wished to impose. At the federal level I will work to lower taxes on people in the Second District.”
Michaud, who once voted with conservatives on social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, has recently changed his mind on those issues as part of what his campaign calls an “evolution.” His early statements on taxes and deficits, recovered here for the first time, show just how much the Democrat has also evolved on fiscal issues throughout his 12 years in Washington, D.C.
Despite his espoused belief that persistent federal deficits are not a boon for the economy, Michaud went on to vote for myriad big-ticket spending bills such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — a massive $840 billion experiment in deficit spending that delivered failed green energy projects like Solyndra.
Michaud has also eschewed his campaign promises on raising taxes. According to a count by the Republican Governors Association, Michaud has voted more than 99 times to increase taxes.