Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just a little lie!

Somewhere in our great state the weatherman was accurate. Some places are getting some rain this morning. Just before I retired for the night last night, a quickie shower passed through my space, but it wasn’t enough to do any good to my dusty lawn and gardens. It appears we may have gotten another one during the night; but if that did happen, it didn’t improve the dry conditions.

It is very cloudy outside and the weatherman says we’ll get some showers and possibly a little rain off and on during the day today. If this is like most other days with basically the same forecast, my irrigation system will be getting a workout tonight. It is not encouraging to watch the weather radar on television and see all the rain to the north of us and my area only showing a little cloudiness. There is green showing well to our south and the weather guy tells me that is heading our way. We’ll wait and see.

I do want the rain. Good soaking rain does a whole lot more to energize our lawn and gardens than the water that comes to us through pipes. The other day my wife’s gardens were showing signs of greatness, but by late yesterday we would have been better off wearing one of those little white mouth/nose masks to keep the dust and pollen out. It all adds up to just one conclusion: We need rain.

WG (wife gator) has gone off to her part time job this morning. She’ll get home sometime after two this afternoon. We jokingly were talking last night that perhaps she should accept a full time offer just so we will be able to buy heating oil next winter. The latest pre-buy plan I’ve seen is for almost $4.70/gallon, but if lower price protection and installment payments, the price rises to almost $4.90/gallon. My auto-delivery last year usually resulted in about 200 gallons a delivery. These costs would put one tank fill up at well over 900 dollars or between 4- and 5-thousand dollars for the season.

I’m retired, and even though when I was younger I scoffed at the “fixed income” argument seniors used in protesting rising costs, I’m now one of those seniors. Unfortunately it’s not only we seniors but nearly all Mainers who are going to find themselves in serious financial difficulties over these rising prices. We have cut down considerably on driving which is helping the gas budget a little, and we can cut the temperature down on the thermostat next winter, but we still need warmth for survival.

The phone call and mail lies about the attempts to repeal the massive tax increase passed in the last Legislature. We got another phone call just yesterday along with a mailing earlier from some health organization urging us not to sign a petition for repeal. The campaign is simply lying to Mainers about what the repeal would do. This organization says that 18-thousand Mainers would lose their health insurance. They wouldn’t, at least not if the tax increase was repealed.

The callers and mailings don’t mention Dirigo. But Dirigo is what the tax increase is supposed to fund. The only thing that would change as a result of a repeal is the funding would have to revert to the funding plan currently in existence. That is a surcharge on what the state says is the savings resulting from its medical costs plans. That savings is artificial, though, as the state never explains where the alleged savings are from.

What could happen, and it would probably be the state’s only success with Dirigo, is the Legislature would finally admit that Dirigo is a massive failure and is not meeting even 11% of its goals during its inception five years ago. We were told it would be self supporting and more than 135-thousand uninsured would now be covered in its first five years. Depending on who is speaking, somewhere between 13- and 18-thousand are covered, nearly half of which already had insurance before they switched, and most currently are covered through welfare and not DirigoChoice, the insurance plan. And we are paying a massive tax to pay for it.

Think about all that, but even more importantly, do your own research and get the facts as you know them for yourselves. Don't just listen to me; do some research yourself. It might be scary, though. Once you do that, I’d bet you would sign the petition and, if it makes the November ballot, vote to repeal the beverage and insurance tax.


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