Following is a press release from The Maine Heritage Policy Center:
MHPC to GOP: TAX INCREASE IS UNACCEPTABLE
Republicans Proposing a $5 Million Tax Increase to Sustain Out-of-Control Welfare System
PORTLAND – Lance Dutson, Chief Executive Officer of The Maine Heritage Policy Center, today issued the following statement on the current supplemental budget debate in Augusta, and the proposal to stop the scheduled drawdown of the Dirigo Assessment:
“For decades, the people of Maine watched as the Democrat majority in Augusta used gimmicks and double-talk to heap an unbearable burden on the backs of taxpayers, while extending the hand of government into every sector of our lives.
“The people of this state finally said ‘Enough!’ when they elected a new majority to run this state government. The expectation was that Republicans would march into Augusta and turn back the tide on the crushing regulation and tax burden that had amassed over the years. In many ways, the new leadership has done just that.
“However, the budget process has fallen prey to a troubling dynamic. Instead of being driven by the principles of lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, legislative leaders seem focused on decorum and consensus with a group of individuals that have already proven themselves poor stewards of Maine’s economy. Republicans were not sent to Augusta to coddle the likes of John Martin or Peggy Rotundo. They were sent to Augusta by the people of this state to clean up after them.
“Now it appears this dynamic of cordiality has so blinded members of the Appropriations Committee that they are considering the unthinkable – using a tax increase on working Mainers to avoid making common-sense changes to Maine’s welfare system. This is an outrageous dereliction of the GOP mandate, and one that will not be suffered lightly by the already-suffering taxpayers of this state.
“This effort to fund the continuation of an out-of-control MaineCare system on the backs of health insurance ratepayers is unacceptable. The Maine Heritage Policy Center stands strong with Governor LePage in his efforts to roll back decades of irresponsible growth in our welfare system, and will work in the coming days to ensure the voice of Maine taxpayers is not ignored through this process.”