Baldacci’s State of the State?

Posted: 11/01/2008 in Uncategorized
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On January 9, 2008 John Baldacci gave his annual ‘State of the State’ speech. He had a lot to say about a lot of subjects, but he didn’t say a lot.

On the budget he said:

State revenues are not immune from the national condition and are falling short of expectations by $95 million dollars.”

And:

“Today, we have rebuilt our reserves to almost $160 million dollars, and no longer take out payday loans to keep government open.

We have closed that budget gap and by the end of next year we will have invested more than $1 billion new State dollars in local education.”

So expectations are short by $95 million. In real terms that means projections. It’s not money we earned as a state, it’s money we expected to earn. But the budget gap that existed five years ago no longer exists, Baldacci says, so in theory, we should have a balanced budget. That means the $95 million shortfall really shouldn’t affect us, right?

Baldacci claims we have invested more than $1 billion NEW dollars in education. If we have a shortfall, where did that billion come from? More than $1billion in education alone? Why isn’t he cutting the educational appropriation by 1/10? That’ $100 million right there, isn’t it?

With all of the unconstitutional word games the administration is playing in order to suck more taxes out of people, it’s no surprise Maine is having budgetary problems. But the problems are going to get worse. The reputation we are beginning to develop as a state is not helping us any. With some of the news feeds I subscribe to, we are becoming the butt of jokes from around the world. A couple of articles have even suggested the readers stay away from Maine, especially if they fly their own plane. You know what that’s all about.

He also says “You have not only balanced budgets, and demanded efficiencies.” Well, if the budget is balanced, why all the fuss over this supposed shortfall? I’ll tell you why. THERE IS NO SHORTFALL, PEOPLE! All of this hoopla is so Baldacci can avoid having to admit to the voters of Maine that he screwed up. He dreamed a dream, and he can’t make it come true without ticking off a lot of people.

And who’s he gonna tick off? The choice is simple. He’s gonna tick off the people he knows won’t vote for him anyways, next time around. Baldacci wants to develop a Socialist State. The programs he is trying to establish prove that. State health care, state unions, centralized control, standardized education units, greater government regulation, higher taxes and redistribution of wealth. Classic Marxist rhetoric and fiscal theory.

He seems proud of being one of the Nation’s greatest Welfare States. On that issue he said…

On that point, according to the Kaiser Foundation, Maine ranks first among the States in Medicaid spending for children, second in Medicaid spending for adults and fifth in Medicaid spending for the disabled.

Overall, according to Kaiser, Maine spends more per Medicaid enrollee than any other State.”

You know what that means? It means that Maine has a greater Medical Welfare burden than any other state in this great Nation. He goes on to make note that he will work to increase governmental controls by saying… “We must transform government at all levels. We must strengthen it to meet the demands of a new age.”

He also stated that… “..we have centralized back-office and administrative functions in all State departments.” And also… “The new law reduces the number of school administrative units from 290 to 80.” One of the drawbacks to having centralized control over your child’s education is that you will no longer have any say on the local level as to what your child will learn. Just like in Communist countries like Cuba, China, the Soviet Union and so on, a central committee appointed by the administration will make those decisions.

Baldacci goes on to give vague references to some of his ideas that will be revealed at a future date, supposedly in his new budget plan to be unveiled today. (Can’t wait to see that one.) The most interesting item is this one… we will bring together three of the largest purchasers of health care in the State for a new initiative to save taxpayer money and provide better care to consumers.

The Maine State Employees Health Commission, the University of Maine System and the Maine Education Association will join forces and put their enormous buying power to work to lower prescription drug costs.

This cooperative effort will save money for thousands of workers who need medicine, for taxpayers whose dollars contribute to the system and it will increase the amount of money available to fund health care for retired teachers.”

Does that say enough? They are going to save taxpayer money, and with the assistance of three State Unions, increase the amount of money available to fund health care for retired teachers. There you go. Redistribution of wealth. And not to the poor either. In spite of all their bellyaching about low wages, I know of no teacher that makes less than I do. How does all this help the truly needy in this Maine?

He goes on to say a lot more, about a variety of subjects, And I’ll get back to his address in a couple of days. But the main point that I got out of his speech is not one that I am comfortable with. The underlying actions towards his seemingly honest attempt to keep Maine in the black smells rotten to me. We need to cut taxes and improve the business climate in the state of Maine.

That’s Dan’s Maine View for today, I’ll get back to Baldacci’s address in a couple of days folks. Tomorrow I intend to rant about this proposed Plum Creek deal again. It smells worse than a dump truck full of herring on a hot summer day.

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