Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nice day, lousy tax

It’s a sunny beautiful day today and so Momma Gator is outside working in her garden areas in the back of the house. She has the front completed. Later on, if time permits today or one day next week, she’ll tackle the rose garden along our driveway. Of course pup gator is out there with her having a great time. The pup has a small soccer ball toy that is the treasure of her outdoor life. MG occasionally gives it a kick and the dog just loves that. She has figured out how to carry that ball in her mouth and parades all over the yard with it.

As usual on Tuesdays and Thursdays my day began at my senior fitness class at a physical therapy center. I got introduced to that place early last year when I needed physical therapy and to learn how to walk with a couple of diseases. The therapist was outstanding and in only two sessions I had stopped using a cane to walk short distances. I still need it for long treks and the therapist told me that didn’t surprise him.

After my Medicare ran out, he invited me to join his senior fitness group which I did. It is a great bunch of people who are more or less on their own in exercising. The therapist has set up a routine and there is at least one therapist on duty all the time we’re there, but basically we go from element to element on the honor system. I know of no member of the group that doesn’t follow his or her personal routine set up by the therapist.

This is called a topic change. The Republicans are literally up in arms over the Democrat taxes passed at night without any debate or public input to raise the cost of beer, wine, and soda. I suspect it will become a rallying cry for the November elections after the full impact of the new taxes sink in to the populace. Living in a very expensive state will just get much more expensive when the new taxes take effect 90 days after the close of the legislative session.

This insidious tax will hit the Democrat base very hard as teenagers, young and old adults, the poorer members of our society, and everyone already faced with the highest taxes in the nation begin to realize what the Democrats have done to them. And this is one the Democrats won’t be able to duck. The vote was 18-17 in the Democratic controlled state senate with all Dems voting in favor and all non-Dems voting against.

It is designed to help fund the state’s failing miserably Dirigo universal health plan. It is a failing example of a poor governor’s plan to give single payer, universal health insurance to everyone. When the plan was proposed, it promised that 33-thousand uninsured Mainers would be part of the plan in the first year and by the third year that number would in about 167-thousand. Now in its third year there are 14-thousand members of the plan, although the leading Democrat proudly claims there’s 18-thousand. 10-thousand already had their own insurance before joining Dirigo, so that leaves fewer than 5-thousand of the promised 167-thousand enrolled in Dirigo.

It is costing Maine taxpayers into the millions of dollars, at least 167-million but the secrecy of the plan keeps the real numbers from being known. And it is growing.

The Republicans are talking about starting a “People’s Veto” to get the tax repealed or stopped. Some Republicans feel that instead of the People’s Veto, the energy should be put into the upcoming primaries and the November elections. I think anything the Republicans do to keep the Dirigo failure before the voters will be a worthwhile effort.

And this is the signature plan on which our governor is counting on for his legacy. If his signature insurance plan is a failure, then I guess the governor will end up being a, well, you fill in the blank.


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