I’ve seen everything now. On Tuesday, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce put on an event at the State House hosted – in part – by welfare recipients and tax evaders. And in one case the welfare recipients and tax evaders were the same folks.
The event was called – ironically – Business Day at the State House.
Now there are two problems here. First of all the current administration in Augusta is really concerned about subliminal messages – like the labor mural – so it couldn’t possibly endorse a message that features freeloaders as the example to Maine businesses!
Secondly, how can it be business day when the prevailing philosophy is that deadbeats kill our economy and it’s hosted by deadbeats? And on top of all that, these particular dead beats hang with tax evaders or are tax evaders who don’t help us pay down our national debt. It’s stunning behavior from the Maine State Chamber and after running for governor twice and vying for support from them, I really don’t know what’s gotten into their once sensible heads.
Maybe the function organizers should read more. The Boston Herald – known for its conservative bent – reported that there was a protest Saturday on the streets of Bean Town against these exact same guys the Chamber is working with and who always have their hands out. Let’s face it, the right feels that welfare is costing our economy jobs and mortgaging our kids’ futures just so welfare recipients don’t have to face natural consequences of their bad choices and poor work ethic.
But Boston isn’t the only place the Maine State Chamber’s buddies are being protested. The Nation magazine reported just last month about a big brouhaha Feb. 26 on Wall Street because this rabble hadn’t paid a single dime in taxes even though they are financed by the middle class tax payer and a whole pile of Chinese debt.
If you made it to the Hall of Flags yesterday you saw those people on welfare. But depending on your stereotypes you might not have recognized them. They didn’t have their kids with them nor were they dressed like slobs. In fact, they likely dressed in suits, ties, A-line skirts and fabulous shoes. Yeah, I bet it burns your blood that you paid for those clothes and the fancy cars they drove in to get there.
Because these guys have so much of your money and spend it on themselves, you would have had to look at their ID to know they were welfare recipients in the first place. On their tags it said, “Bank of America.” In case you’ve forgotten how BOA used you “the tax payer,” let me remind you. Just go to the CNN bailout tracker. Under the heading “Federal Reserve Rescue Efforts” it shows that Bank of America has received $97 billion – to put that in some sort of perspective, scroll down and see that the entire nation’s unemployment extension only cost $8 billion.
But remember, they aren’t just suckling pigs. They are also shirking their taxes by putting their money – oh, scratch that – your money off shore to avoid paying their obligations to the rest of us.
In the story done by The Nation about the February protest against Bank of America, the reporter quotes a 2008 speech by President Obama where he focuses on the rip-off by the corporate welfare non-taxpayer: “There’s a building in the Cayman Islands that houses supposedly 12,000 US-based corporations. That’s either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world, and we know which one it is.”
Well, he was right. And while the president seems to have forgotten most of what he campaigned on when it comes to economic policy and accountability, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce should have remembered.
You know the thing I find hardest to understand about Maine politics lately – and there’s such an array to choose from that’s a tall order – I can’t really understand how a passive mural on a wall can “brainwash” the public but our legislators hanging with swindlers and parasites allegedly has no impact. If symbolism is so important; it’s time to lock Bank of America out of the State House.
Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.