Thursday, July 30, 2009

Report: 2nd in Nation in Welfare; Tax Action Alert by Republicans

Somehow I don’t think today is going to be a nice one at senior fitness. Yesterday was hot and the humidity was right up there, too. A group of my fellow retirees, including me, had our regular Last Monday of the Month Lunch Meeting yesterday. That was a good time for me as always. But as we were leaving the restaurant, almost in unison we said that it felt like thunder storms were brewing.

The skies, along with the heat and humidity, agreed with us. By late in the day our beliefs became reality as those storms, some rather heavy, rolled through parts of Maine, especially inland. As always, not everyone got them, but they did signal the beginning of a couple of days of unstable weather. Some sun is possible in clearing skies later on today. But heavier rain could be here tomorrow.

Storms, heat, humidity, all sorts of weather events cause problems with my exercise program, which I attend twice a week. I was fooled somewhat Tuesday when weather conditions and the reaction to some weekend work told me that day would be difficult. It turned out to be one of my better exercise sessions as I increased most of my exercise routines and left the gym feeling pretty darn good.

I could be happy if that repeats itself today.

Maine government got some news I’d bet many in government liked to learn. News network CNBC has released a report that only one state has a higher percentage of its people on public assistance, commonly called welfare, than Maine. And that state is the financially stricken California.

Why does Maine have one of the highest welfare enrollments? There are too many reasons to list here, but in Maine for many people it’s that the benefits of welfare outweigh the benefits of working. Maine also has no expiration date or time limit to receive welfare. The federal government suggests that public assistance benefits be granted for no more than five years. The Feds stop paying a portion of benefits to recipients, even in Maine, at the five year mark.

In Maine, the benefits continue and the entire amount is paid by Maine taxpayers, even to people who come to the state from others where their benefits have expired. Government officials tell us that simply does not happen.

Welfare is a major reason why the taxes in this state are among the highest in the nation.

Speaking of taxes, the Maine Republican Party today sent out an Action Alert urging people all over the state to join the campaign to force a public vote on the recent tax increase, which the Democrats say is really a tax reform.

The Alert says that Republicans, Democrats, Greens and Independents from all over the state are coming together to gather the needed signatures to get the tax law out to the voters. The email says it better than I:

Do you know that if the so-called "Tax Reform" that was passed this year goes into effect your:

Mortgage Interest Deduction will be GONE!
Property Tax Deduction will be GONE!
Medical Expenses Deduction will be GONE!

To top it off the State is going to start TAXING the mechanic who fixes your car AND make it MORE EXPENSIVE to send the kids to the movies by TAXING the price of admission!

Oh, and what about that income tax reduction from 8.5% to 6.5%? Well...that doesn't happen until 2010. And - with state finances continually coming in BELOW projections - it is a safe bet that this "tax cut" will never see the light of day because the next legislature will say they can't afford it!


The Action Alert from the Maine Republican Party goes on to ask people to either become a signature gatherer or make a donation of $20 to help pay the campaign expenses. It was signed by Charlie Summers, the GOP candidate for First District Congressman in the last election.

If you can help, you can contact the Party at (207) 622-6247.


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