Comments for: State budget problems worsen; Republican leaders call for quick solutions

Posted Nov. 29, 2012, at 8:02 p.m.

AUGUSTA | For the second straight day, news of a growing state budget shortfall has left leaders scrambling to solve the problem, raising the possibility of seating an Appropriations Committee before the January opening of the legislative session. On Thursday, Gov. Paul LePage’s administration said it now anticipates a …

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  • Anonymous

    “Let us manage our welfare programs so we can still have a quality safety net to help those most vulnerable,” said Bennett. Let’s see, will this be Gov LePage saying “off with their heads,” or “let them eat cake?” Maybe LePage can set up death panels.

    BDN writer Matthew Stone contributed to this report.

    • Anonymous

      Obama beat him to the death panels.

      • Sherman2

        Another Rushie fanatic speaks!!! .

      • Tyke

        Really? Care to points to any facts backing that up?
        .
        There aren’t any you know — just foaming at the mouth lunatics spouting outright lies about that.

    • Frank Church

      I don’t know – I was looking for the BDN article about this: “Top Dem Fundraiser Sentenced to Eight Years for Fraud” – I’m sure they’ll headline it soon ! (LOL)

      • Anonymous

        look up TOM DELAY and Ambramoff…ARE either out of jail yet.?

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like Medicaid is the root cause of this annual DHHS budget shortfall. Maine has a Cadillac welfare program, all while we the broken backed ME taxpayers are living on a Chevy household budget. Why are the ME taxpayers providing health insurance for able bodied 18 and 19 year olds? This is ludicrous! Cut Medicaid and bring Maine back down to the national average. Case closed.

    • Anonymous

      That is such a myth. Maine does not have a Cadillac program, it has a huge population of elderly people and a severe problem with poverty.

      • Anonymous

        More like a huge problem of laziness

        • Anonymous

          And we keep importing more and more lazy people, why? It’s not our weather must be something else……..

          • Guest

            Maine does not have the most generous welfare benefits in the country.
            That is the myth. They don’t flock here for it. That is LePages own tall tale and those of the sheep that believe him.

        • Sherman2

          In a state that is moving finacially backwards? Why the jobs and opportunities are everywhere! LOL!

      • Anonymous

        Medicaid does not cover the elderly. They fall under Medicare (Federal budget). We also have many able bodied people in Maine who collect a monthly check for doing absolutely nothing.

    • Anonymous

      Broken back ME taxpayers…Broke Back ME taxpayers as well

    • Anonymous

      BILLINGS went up exponetially last years. WHY??

    • Guest

      What an outrageous statement that also isn’t true. Maine does not have the best welfare program.
      You people keep insisting on telling lies.

  • Anonymous

    Duh? Did we not see this “truck” coming down the road!

  • Sherman2

    Here we go again! Lepage was supposed to grow the economic conditions in Maine, but all he really succeded in doing was placing us in a negative yearly growth cycle (45th when compared to other states and one of 5 states with negative growth). Oh.. and made Maine a laughing stock in America. LePage’s antics have been on Saturday Night Live, Colbert and Stewart. What a guy.
    State Employees! He’s comin’ for you again!!!! Poor people better buy that last can of beans tomorrow! Rich people, now don’t you worry… Uncle Paullie is gonna take care of you!… XXXOOOO!!!

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      and the Obama admin, keeps cutting. If you read the article, also said this happened several times under Baldacci.

    • Anonymous

      What an ignorant comment. Here’s what you missed by not reading the article.

      “This isn’t slash-and-burn or the governor pulling programs out of the mix permanently. This is temporary,” said Bennett, who said Gov. John Baldacci’s administration enacted curtailments of $37.7 million, $79.8 million and $63.1 million in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.

      “The reality is that Maine’s Medicaid spending grew 78 percent from 2002 to 2011,” Bennett said. “Stimulus funding from the federal government was reduced significantly in 2010, and we can’t make up that difference.”

      So you see sherm, it was the 78% increases run up under your hero’s that caused this problem to begin with and the Obama administration, another of your hero’s cut the funding that democrats counted on and now we are where we are. This State is in such a fiscal nightmare there is absolutely no place to turn. I expect, under the democrat leadership next year, that the answer will be, hey, lets increase the tax on cigarettes a buck a pack. Problem solved, pass the champagne.

      • Anonymous

        and the PPH article from yesterday said medicaid grew significantly despite the Lepage medicaid cuts in the last 2 years. How is that possible??? Unless a whole lot of people were double billing or submitting faulty bills… it’s not ..I want to know the explanatiion for the INCREASED medicaid BILLINGS , BEFORE anything is done( that has NOTHING to do with decreased stimulous) . Something just doesn’t add up here!!!

      • Sherman2

        “ignorant comment” LOL! not very original, but gee wilikers! … I think you may disagree with me! Smootchies!
        Boss Lepage’s typical response to financial emergencies has been to make up the difference from those who can least afford it, from those who have the least amount of political pull and he supports only those that support him.
        Of course you just had to bring in the kenyan after all he is the antichrist of capitaism and all that is holy with those that have, try to under stand this sparky, the rich have made their money on the backs of the people, if the people fail so do the selfish at the top.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you for supporting my original comment. Smoochies to you!!

          • Sherman2

            XXXOOO!!!! A BUDDING BROMANCE!

      • Anonymous

        The 78% run up wasn’t from new enrollments, but more use of services by those already enrolled.

        • Anonymous

          Maine has had a 89% increase in Mainecare/Medicaid enrollment since 1998. The Baldacci administration significantly relaxed eligibility requirements so that we are among the most generous states in the country.

          • Guest

            So. People became poorer and needed the help.
            Again the myth about being the most generous!

          • Anonymous

            Not all of the cause. The requirements have been loosened… to include whole classes of people that weren’t eligible before. It has more to do with that then any increase in the poverty rate.

          • Anonymous

            Well, that 78% run up was from just last year, That is what I was refering to. There was a 78% run up from last year, but not from new enrollemnts.

          • Anonymous

            Read the article and comments again.

            grew 78 percent from 2002 to 2011,

  • Anonymous

    Can Tea Party Paulie and his administration do anything right?

    • Anonymous

      Last winter, LePage tried to repair the structural gap in the DHHS, but only had limited success because the DEMS like to continually grow welfare, all while they cannibalize the remaining departmental budgets. This is how Maine has operated for years, long before LePage was inaugurated. Growing welfare has become the norm for the DEMS.

      • Anonymous

        Because they know obama will just print more money and fix everything

        • Anonymous
          • Anonymous

            Good article. Thanks for posting

          • Sherman2

            My favorite quote from the forbes article: ” The taker count is the number of state and local government workers…” (plus those on welfare). So a state “worker” is considered a taker by Forbes… gee what a surprise. Typical right wing drivel….it those “people” that work on the roads, disbursing benefits, working in the parks, law enforcement that are draining the economy. What nonsense.
            In typical rightwing fantasy they would fire everyone (or remove their benefits and make everyone work for minimum wage (which is too high of course !!!) so that they can have ALL the money!
            Why don’t these people realize that when everyone partakes in the economy EVERYONE benefits. But they seem to have this odd notion that if someone makes a good wage then that person has to be a cheat and is taking money directlty out of their pockets! I’m sorry, but isn’t that how capitalism is suppose to work, that the engine of a capitalistic society is participation by everyone from the lowest wage earner to the highest…
            ..their greed is what is killing this country. Jobs shipped to other countries, for profit hospitals, war against unions, and on and on

          • Anonymous

            That article is spot on. We need to cut costs now where it hurts least or we will end up defaulting on a lot of these pensions and won’t have the money for the truly needy.

            We’ve been too generous with welfare programs and giving in to the public sector unions.

          • Sherman2

            Once again you’re buying the right wing party line! The pensions for Maine state workers is CHEAPER for the state than what the state share would be if these very same workers were placed in Social Security!
            State workers (“takers” ..in the forbes article) haven’t had a raise for over 5 years, but they have had to pay more for less when it comes to their health insurance.
            And the golden parachute for state “takers” is a myth!
            There has been some abuses by towns and cities where they inflate the salary of people just before they retire in order to raise their retirement benefits. This does not happen at the state level and the arguement that it does is disingenous at best, and an outright lie at it’s worst

          • Anonymous

            I did some consulting work for one state agency in the late 90’s. It was eye opening for me, the first meeting I had with them was a perfect example. They had invited us to attend an internal meeting that started at 3:00, we ran long and I heard a commotion just after 4:00 and looked over to one of my coworkers who mouthed “they going home”. I then noticed that the agency employees in the meeting were getting all fidgety in their seats. Some were making a big show of sighing and putting things away and putting on the coats that they had brought with them.

            Their meeting wrapped up just after 4:30 and you would have thought it was midnight with the way the workers sprang out of that room and made for the parking lot. The building was empty. We chatted with the meeting organizer for a while and just before 5:00 all the lights were turned out. The manager smiled with pride when she saw my expression and said they were very good about saving money by not wasting electricity. She made a show of checking her watch and rolling her eyes saying “Whew, its been a long day.”

            Now, I know that it’s just one state agency, and anecdotal, and a long time ago, but the rest of my experience over the next 6 months was much the same. I’ve seen 9 person meetings that lasted hours debating $400 purchases. I’ve heard the outrage from state workers at having to pay anything for health insurance.

            I’ve done some other consulting in D.C. and was privileged to see the 2:30 start of rush hour and the “take lunch at 2:00 and you don’t have to go back to work if you started by 7:30” mindset.

            It is only my opinion, and others can disagree, but I think the problem with government workers is that there are too many of them and they are way overcompensated for the work they actually do. The people that get hurt by this are not the wealthy right wingers, but the people in need the workers claim to be trying to help.

          • Sherman2

            So you were a consultant, that maybe get’s overtime for time past 8, management in most every state agency is salaried. they get nothing for working past 8 hours in a day. Perhaps it was not exactly “professional”, but understand why they left, would you stay longer and work for nothing?

          • Anonymous

            I’m not an hourly worker, I’m salaried, was then also. Most salaried people work way more than 40 hours per week. It’s about getting the project done, not watching the clock.

            The world outside of government does not work the way you describe. Thank you for making my point.

          • Anonymous

            I think another way to convey my message is that if you are charged with administrating health care for the uninsured, or feeding the poor or protecting children at risk and such, default to thinking about the mission and the importance of what you are supposed to be doing and making every penny count and making it happen.

            Don’t default to making sure you don’t work more than 8 hours or taking all your breaks or filling in your spreadsheet of sick days to make sure you take them all.

            You can turn out the lights promptly at 5:00 once the mission is accomplished.

          • I think it’s safe to say that government not only should do more with less, but could.

          • Anonymous

            Exactly, its just hard to watch the waste when you can also see the actual harm it causes. I never worked with that agency again because I just could not stand to be around them.

          • Unfortunately it’s an inherent trait of government, not just here in the US in contemporary times (doesn’t really matter which party is in power), but in all countries, throughout history.

            Striving for efficiency is great of course, though expecting fundamental change is setting the bar too high. :D

            Not at all comparable to the US, though I found the story of Uruguayan president (recently in the news) rather inspiring. Taking focus off the little people for a moment…the decadence of the lifestyles our governors, congressmen, presidents, generals, etc. live is obviously a big issue.

            I am not saying I necessarily agree with this man’s politics, though most politicians sure could learn a few things from him. Politics should be about public service, not fat salaries and perks.
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20334136

          • Anonymous

            Interesting link, and an interesting and likable man.

            You bring up other cultures, and that is interesting in that I’ve done similar work in Europe. I’ve found the public sector workers there to be more like the private sector workers here and there. I was dreading the work after my Maine State agency experience but was pleasantly surprised.

            What it is I believe, is that the difference between their private sector and public sector is not so great. There is more job security and are more pensions all around so that people are not attracted to work in Government mainly for the job security and pensions.

            Here there tends to be that draw so that the work involves that us-and-them, management-vs-workers union tug of war. The employees are there for the security as much as anything else. That’s fine for a lot of roles, but if you are talking about technical positions then attracting those seeking most not to be fired can be problematic Very problematic if you like keeping your department out of the news for IT issues.

            Of course, being that Europe’s private sector is more like their and our public sector, they are on the verge of going broke and on the edge of the abyss also.

            I’m going to take a break from the news for a while.

          • Anonymous

            It sure worked for Paul Violette. We’re paying that Dem crook $60K for life as a pension from his hack state job.

          • Sherman2

            Soooo… you’re using that one instance to crucify and condemn every active and retired state worker… Well Nixon WAS a crook and resigned from the presidency, does that make every Repulican president a crook… hang on… maybe you got something here!!!?
            LOL!

      • Anonymous

        “Gov. John Baldacci’s administration enacted curtailments of $37.7 million, $79.8 million and $63.1 million in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.” Is that how “Growing welfare has become the norm for the DEMS.”? You been drinking way too much Tea.

        • Tyke

          Shortfalls in years where the economy is contracting at a greater rate than predicted happen with any governor (including McKernan),
          .
          What is unusual about THIS shortfall is that the economy is slowly growing at the rate predicted. There is no reason for any competent administration to have any significant shortfall with the conditions that exist today.
          .
          And therein lies the problem. LePage replaced experts who actually know their field with Heritage Foundation weenies who do “analysis” based purely on ideology instead of facts.

          .
          LePage lacks the management skills to recognize this fundamental problem and every time his Heritage Foundation appointees mess up one budget cycle he foolishly takes their word on the next cycle too.

          .
          We will not be rid of this issue until we are rid of LePage right after the 2014 election.

          • Anonymous

            Or perhaps it is with intent. Just as when you have plenty of money the normal reaction would be to spend more. If you have a shortfall the reaction would be to spend less.

      • Anonymous

        Stop the welfare people from voting and see the democrats loose office. If you were to lazy to work would you vote for a party that would reduce you benefits?

        • Sherman2

          Bill O’ is that you!? That’s the O’Reilly mantra!

        • Guest

          You want to stop free American citizens from voting?

      • Anonymous

        accoprding to the PPH article( and Mayhew ) Medicaid BILLINGS doubled last year( nothing to do wirth a structrural gap) WHY?? Do we have a bunch of Robert Nutting schemes running around ??

  • Anonymous

    Two years of a Republican Trifecta (Blaine-Senate-House) and we have a massive clusterf**k in State finances.
    So much for the Tea Party and fiscal competence.
    Just a bunch of ignorant yahoos with their heads up their rectums.

    • Anonymous

      If you read the article it happend several times with Baldacci.

      • Anonymous

        They don’t want to read the truth, they don’t care. They want to give, give, give the money that the state doesn’t have!

        • Anonymous

          The reason the State doesn’t have the money is because Republican policies are designed to make sure the State is always suffering and needs to be cut–over and over, while the rich get fatter and fatter.

          • Anonymous

            The reason the State has no money is that Maine is a welfare state.

      • Tyke

        Shortfalls have happened with every modern governor whenever the economy contracted more than was predicted when the budget was created and revenues subsequently came in lower than expected. This happened with Governor King for instance when the economy nose dived after 9-11 which, of course, had not been predicted before that event took place.
        .
        The difference this time is that, even though we would prefer faster growth, the economy is in fact growing and it is growing at very close to the predicted rate. There is no reason for state revenues to fall short of predictions by this much unless the Heritage Foundation weenies the governor appointed to replace the actual experts he let go are fundamentally clueless and incompetent.
        .
        But then fundamentally clueless and incompetent are the hallmarks of Governor LePage so this is just a case of more of the same with him,

        • Anonymous

          then you are saying Baldacci was clueless also. If that is the case.

        • Anonymous

          Your comments lead me to believe you might have the answers to these problems. Please go to Augusta and let them know what they need to do. This is a government problem not just one party or the other and it needs to be fixed.

          • Tyke

            Your sarcasm is noted, but I am in my 80’s and too sick to travel beyond a very short distance so someone else will need to try to bring sanity to the LePage administration … if that is even possible.

    • Anonymous

      The problem has been growing since the state started growing mainecare beyond our means.

      • Anonymous

        Want to cut state expenses? Then support Universal healthcare Cheesecake. Just the other day there was a story about a man who threatened our governor as well as 2 other legislative disappointments. I believe he was sentenced to 6 years in jail. I wonder what that will cost Maine taxpayers? Quite a bit I’m sure and much much more than the cost of healthcare for this individual. People like you just don’t get it Cheesecake. You pay for those in need of healthcare one way or the other. How? ER visits, more social services, families on assistance because a lack of healthcare prevents them from working, competition in healthcare which drives up overhead because of redundant services, healthcare industry profits, welfare, poor education due to bad health, and yes, police, courts, and prisons to cope with the results. The vast majority of these expenses could be mitigated by simply having Universal healthcare. Believe me, the expense of keeping a person in jail for 6 years FAR exceeds the cost of providing them with healthcare in the first place.

        • Anonymous

          So your saying that if we had universal healthcare it would have prevented this man from threatening to kill a Govenor and a couple of legislators?

          • Anonymous

            Forbes Magazine says the happiest countries in the world are all serious welfare states with lots of redistribution of wealth. When people are happier, they commit less crime.

          • Anonymous

            So, we need to expand entitlement spending to curb crime? That’s funny considering that the majority of crimes in the State of Maine are committed by those that are receiving some sort of public assistance.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve never understood the notion that if you pay people they won’t commit crimes. All that does is prove to them that crime pays….

          • Anonymous

            That’s sort of like saying that if you give the panhandler a $100 bill he won’t be back tomorrow.

          • Anonymous

            No it isn’t. It’s saying that people who are not hungry won’t steal to eat. A living wage and decent healthcare go a long way towards keeping a person honest. NO, I am not saying that poor people are predisposed to crime and you know that full well. However if a person is suffering, in pain, and dying for lack of healthcare, it can affect the mind just as it did the guy who threatened LePage or the guy who is doing bath salts. So what I am saying is that even if you don’t give a hang about your neighbor you will be better off financially if you give them the assistance that they need to become a positive force in the community. Why, because if they are a negative force in the community it will cost you more!

          • Anonymous

            BS. Being honest goes along way towards staying honest.

            If you say that government contributions go along way toward making a dishonest person honest…. then the same logic might be the government taking my money involuntarily and passing it out to others might have the effect of making me dishonest.

            Bad logic… both ways.

            One other thing. The dollars I contribute to others and charities are done voluntarily. That is a far cry from the governments heavy hand forcing charity. That builds resentment.

          • Anonymous

            Not necessarily, but quite possibly. Consider this, when he gets out of jail without having been treated we will be having this conversation again. Oh, and rather than pay for the treatment of his mental condition we’ll be paying for another long stint in jail at over $93,000/year (according to the Sun Journal).

          • Anonymous

            Your comment was based on the assumption that the man has no insurance and no access to treatment for a condition that he may or may not consider needing treatment. The article does state that he does take medication for his mental issues, but at the time was not taking his medication by his own choice. Will universal health coverage insure that he will take his medications anymore than whatever type of health coverage he has now? I don’t think so.

        • Anonymous

          Families on assistance because lack of healthcare prevents them from working? I don’t really think that many folks are not working because of lack of healthcare. I thjink its more from having free healthcare and other bennies which keeps them from needing to work.Have you noticed all the able-bodied appearing young people pushing baby carriages nowadays, who live in free or low cost housing? Put them to work after determining they are able.

        • StillRelaxin

          I hear what you’re saying here but there’s something you’re not getting either. There’s a small but vocal segment of our society that doesn’t care if “other” people get any type of healthcare at all. Their attitude is that we should just let em die. They’d be the ones who dump disorientated folks without insurance on city curbsides. They just don’t care. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s clearly true.

          • Anonymous

            The reason that there are people on the curbside unable to take care of themselves is because of a Jimmy Carter Justice department decision.

          • Anonymous

            Cheese this is pretty lame. Especially for one who likes to pepper their comments with documentation. Carter? That is ridiculous in the extreme.

          • Anonymous

            Sadly you are right. In the past I called this the GOP solution, a part of their grand plan to feudalize America.

        • Anonymous

          For someone that claims to watchdogME you haven’t been doing a very good job. The Democrats under Baldacci and under the watchful eye of Libby Mitchell expanded Mainecare/medicare to one of the most generous programs of its kind in the country.

          Then if that wasn’t enough chose not to pay the hospitals and healthcare providers for the care. (I suppose you can save all kinds of money if you don’t pay your bills.)

          If what you say is true we should have been saving all kinds of money by now in all sorts of social services. Obviously that isn’t the case, because state costs continue to rise and the state continues to be unable to pay its bills.

          I am a bit flabbergasted that you connect criminal behavior with anything but criminal behavior. It is really bizarre. Our family grew up real poor and not one of us went to jail. Paying criminals to not commit crimes sounds a bit like extortion to me. Now we pay people to be addicted to drugs and excuse their behavior.

          I for one am not going to surrender to that mindset. You leftists do things like that and then you wonder why conservatives are legally packing away the guns.

          The inmates are running the asylum.

    • Anonymous

      Another thoughtful comment from the left.

    • oldcrankyankee

      nothing new,the state has been in massive debt for years,to look back on the last two years is to see only what you want to see

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      lol, common sense does not work here

    • Tyke

      So you agree with this article that calls all police officers, firemen and even the National Guard “takers”?
      .
      Here’s a newsflash: these people work long and hard for their pay. They are earners, not “takers”.

      • Anonymous

        Grounding the Portland Party….er I mean Fire boat TWICE is hard work.

  • Anonymous

    More blood sucking Paulieticks, best to grab them with hemostats and tear them out and squeeze them till they crunch.

  • Anonymous

    Now imagine the problems if Obamacare expands medicaid like it wants… leaving this to the states and hospitals & care providers that they can’t pay.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, the Repubs want a quick fix, because they are losing their control of the legislature.

    I thought tax cuts were supposed to boost the economy and increase revenues.

    • Anonymous

      I note your sarcasm. Yes indeed, that myth about boosting the economy by letting the wealthy keep their taxes is just BS composted upon BS. Yet incredibly people still believe it.

      • Anonymous

        As long as this administration pampers the Maine Maritime Academy with $9,000,000+ per year ($100,000,000 over the last decade) in subsidies for which 1/2 of the 900 student body are from out of state and leave immediately after graduation… it’s difficult to believe that there is a budget problem. It’s time to privatize the MMA as it outlived it’s purpose many years ago.

        • Anonymous

          If English grammar is still taught at MMA, it could serve a useful purpose, by teaching you the correct use of the apostrophe.

          Do you ever post a different comment, or is MMA your all-purpose bogeyman?

          • Anonymous

            You must be a very busy man indeed if you believe it is possible to teach grammar via the BDN comment section, or spelling either. If I may suggest, give up the lecture and focus on the subject.

        • Anonymous

          MMA is just a tiny part of the overall big problem. It doesn’t matter who holds office, both parties have a major spending problem. There is wasted money throughout the entire state budget.

          • Anonymous

            That’s the bottom line. This is what you get when you kick the can down the road for twenty years.

          • Anonymous

            More like for the past 40 years, Repub and Dem alike. The thing is, that the Repubs swept the Blaine House and the State House with promises of cleaning things up. The problem now is that they don’t know which is the baby and which is the bathwater, they can’t tell the difference between ideology and reality and they have simply made things worse. Glad they’re leaving.

    • Anonymous

      Did you expect it to happen overnight? Your president promised that 4 years ago and didn’t deliver and then you re-elected him for another 4 years of incompetence. LePage has made a few bad decisions but not one of them has put Maine in the situation that it is in right now. For that, thank King Angus and John Baldacci. And throw Barrack Obama in the circle as well, he has done absolutely nothing but add $4 trillion dollars to the deficit.

      If Maine wants to recover, spending has to be reined in, programs have to be eliminated and people have to go back to work. The big one is people have to go back to work.

      • Anonymous

        LePage scaled back taxes on the weathly while cutting social services. It’s the same sort of tactic used by George W. Bush. Republican policies make the rich richer and throw everything else into financial crisis–and then they claim the crisis requires more breaks for the wealthy and more cuts of services.

        It’s a vicious downward spiral.

        • Anonymous

          it trickle down voodoo economics again !!!

          • Hey now, don’t be dissing the voodoo, mambo will come and get you!

        • Anonymous

          I think you are wrong about George W. Bush cutting social services. His record shows otherwise.

          Even if you let Bush’s 2001 tax cuts expire for the wealthy only, as the current Administration wants to do, the extra revenue generated would be sufficient to keep the federal government operating for a mere 8 days. The spiral you are referring to is caused by excessive government spending over a long period of time and entitlement programs that now use up more than two thirds of the federal budget. Now we are in a real mess where we are trying to spend our way out of a budgetary hole that we’ve created and borrowing approximately 40 cents of every dollar spent to keep the government in operation. Fortunately the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates low. But it can’t go on doing this forever without foreign investors beginning to lose confidence in the ability of the US government to pay back its credit to them extended in the form of bonds and U.S Treasuries

          That said, no household can manage a budget like the government does for very long. It’s just a matter of time before a very serious and devastating financial crisis like we’ve never experience in this country occurs, unless, that is, we bite the bullet and make serious spending cuts. Right now the question remains, does the government have the political will to implement these necessary cuts.

          • Anonymous

            No, they do not. It will take more courage than the current administration has.

          • pbmann

            Revenue as a percentage of GDP is lower than it has been since 1970 and spending is consistent with the past 40 years.

          • Anonymous

            That is only because profits are and incomes are down. About 4 years ago the Presidents economic policy advisers issued a report that projected in excess of 3% annual GDP growth going from 2010 then into 2016. The report said that in 2016 revenue as a percentage of GDP would exceed 23% with out any tax changes at all… just based on income growth.

            The policy advisers were way wrong as we know… so they need a bigger slice of a smaller profit pie to make good on their promises.

          • Anonymous

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/25/corporate-profits-2011-all-time-high_n_840538.html

            U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show.

            Corporations reported an annualized $1.68 trillion in profit in the fourth quarter. The previous record, without being adjusted for inflation, was $1.65 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.

            Many of the nation’s preeminent companies have posted massive increases in profits this year. General Electric posted worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, while profits at JPMorgan Chase were up 47 percent to $4.8 billion.

            Corporate profits steadily increased last year as companies continued holding onto record amounts of cash and other liquid assets while cutting costs, laying off workers … even as the
            recession eased.

          • Anonymous

            Ignorance of post addressed above.

          • I think many Democrats would like to see the cuts disappear entirely, though the compromise presented is certainly better than nothing – it raises some revenue while protecting the little guys. If the GOP balks, I think it will prove that they belong to the 1%.

            If one wants to talk about biting the bullet – allowing the cuts to expire completely and making serious spending cuts might make some progress. Doing one or the other, or a half measure on both probably won’t do much.

            Can the Democrats concede to meaningful cuts and can Republicans concede to meaningful tax increases? That’s the question.

          • Anonymous

            I would be fine with my taxes going up if the the budget gets balanced (through tax increases and spending cuts) and we start paying down some of the debt. First off, I’d like to see the military budget cut by 1/3rd, but since the military is a huge jobs program that benefits the red states the most, that is unlikely to happen and would hurt the economy.

          • I am in complete agreement John.

            Though I don’t want to pay more (who does), I acknowledge that this is a nationwide issue, and the pain shouldn’t just be felt by one demographic or the other. If we are to get back on track, we’re all going to have to bear some of the weight and make do with less. I’m sick of one side saying “they should pay it”, and the other firing back with “no, they should pay it.” Time to be big boys and girls.

            I think when we put all our spending on the table and weigh necessities vs luxuries, the most available fat to trim is in the “defense” budget. While social programs obviously have room for improvement, we need to put our priorities in order. We need to save ourselves before saving the world.

          • Anonymous

            You “think” I’m wrong? Here is evidence I am not:

            http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20060807_bush_congress_cut_welfare_programs/

            Bush also tried to dismantle Social Security.

            If you were right about your economic theory, Canada and all the other democratic industrial countries that Forbes Magazine says are the happiness in the world would be spiraling down. Since they are not, you are wrong.

            They are healthier than we are, too. It amazes me that right across the border is an example of a good economy with strong welfare and redistribution of wealth–and yet still you cannot see.

          • Anonymous

            Your link only reports a set of new government rules requiring welfare recipients to work more hours. It was written more than 6 years age in 2006. There is no indication of how much money was saved by the new rules. Besides, those benefits only constitutes a part of social spending that includes among other things Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security retirement, food stamps, subsidized housing, heating assistance, and government pensions. All these programs have steadily increased year after year under Bush and Obama.

            As to Canada, it’s a different country with a relatively small population. On account of it’s abundance of natural resources such as oil, metals, coal, gypsum, not to mention its wheat and electricity production and its much lower taxes on exported goods, it is able to generate revenue from outside its borders. The U.S. cannot match this revenue on a per capita basis.

            When compared to other industrial countries, the fact is Americans receives more healthcare services than most, yet are not as healthy in general. This has to do with the lifestyle of Americans who tend to be more sedentary and more obese among other reasons.

          • Anonymous

            Spruce you are right! Canadians do indeed live longer than their American counterparts. Canada ranks #12 in longevity while the US ranks #37. Imagine that! In fact, 20 out of 25 countries with the longest life expectancy have universal healthcare.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

          • Sherman2

            Are you sugggesting that if one phase of a total solution doesn’t work to offset the debt, then it shouldn’t be included… So much for a Republican debt reduction plan!
            Every little bit helps!

          • Anonymous

            No, you misunderstood me. Raising taxes for either the rich or the poor or everyone is not the solution when people are hurting financially and jobs are scarce. In order to keep in check the government’s growing deficit and massive debt that threatens to take the country down into ruins, the government needs to cut down on its spending habits. A compromise on this issue would be to cut down spending across the board on every program the government funds. It would also help to cut superfluous spending completely on such things as research on a particular worm.

        • Anonymous

          And for simpletons, you are absolutely correct and you believe what you have been told to believe.

          • pbmann

            SImpletons believing everything they are told would be known as Fox News Viewers

          • Anonymous

            We could be getting our news from MSNBC, Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow, that would surely be on the straight and narrow now wouldn’t it. No liberal, socialist slant in any of their “reporting” or commentary.

          • pbmann

            That would be why Fox News viewers still believe that Iraq had anything to do with 9-11 or that they had WMD’s, that there is a “War on Christmas” or that Romney was a shoe-in to win the election.

          • Anonymous

            I find it humorous that liberals such as yourself have such an elitist attitude that you feel that anyone who has an opinion that is different than yours are mere simpltons or crazy. You and your liberal counterparts feel that because Obama won a second term that there is some sort of a mandate and the right needs to sit back and be quite. Guess what, the margin of victory was not that great to warrant the mandate mentality. I would also remind you that the American people did see fit to leave the House in the hands of the Republicans. Knowing full well it would be too dangerous to put full control of the country’s purse strings in the hands of the left.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, and you believe what you’ve been told. So, what is the point you were making? That other people who believe what they’ve been told are simpletons but that you believing what you’ve been told makes you smart? Did I understand you correctly?

      • Anonymous

        As noted above, “Bush Era” tax cuts have been in effect since 2001 and 2003. They’ve had plenty of time to work. Instead, they have pumped up the deficit to crisis levels.

        • Anonymous

          Obviously if you spend more than you take in you have to keep borrowing. The record shows both Bush and Obama have been big spenders. Keep in mind it’s not government money that keeps the private economy going. If that were the case there would be no need of transferring monetary wealth from the private sector to fund the public trough.

          • pbmann

            Spending as a percent of GDP is consistent with the past 40 years while revenue as a percent of GDP is lower than it has been since 1970. It is a myth that spending alone is the reason for our countries fiscal problems.

          • Anonymous

            http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html

            If you ignore ww2 spending as a percentage is at its highest level ever. Especially after the Reagan military build up era ended which saw steady declines since.

            Revenue as a percentage of GDP is down because the economy is suffering and people do not pay as high a percentage of their incomes on taxes. People are out of work. Despite leftist rumors to the contrary corporate profits are not at their highest in history. Profits are actually down from last year… and that big cash reserve is starting to decline.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for admitting that Reagan primed the economy with massive spending.

            On Corporate profits, as usual, you are just being tricky and deceitful:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/25/corporate-profits-2011-all-time-high_n_840538.html

          • Anonymous

            I did not say he primed the economy with massive spending. You said that. He did build an incredible military that helped lead to the break up of the Soviet Union. BIW and other warship and aircraft manufacturers did very well. It was dismantled after the USSR fell. It was called the “peace dividend.” At that time spending as a percentage of GDP declined lending aide to the economic boom that followed. Lower government spending as a percentage of GDP equates with strong private sector economic growth and lower unemployment levels.

            As usual for most of your links they are outdated and useful only in a historical context. Your data was March 2011.

            http://finance.yahoo.com/news/p-500-profit-sales-third-122000005.html

            http://www.standardandpoors.com/products-services/articles/en/ap/?articleType=HTML&assetID=1245339995030

            Time to update those antiquated links Sprucie, maybe even come up with a new meme.

          • Anonymous

            “…transferring monetary wealth from the private sector to fund the public trough.”
            That’s quite a mouthful – you went through a lot a trouble to spin the phrase “paying taxes.”

          • Anonymous

            the above post is for GrumpyJim.

          • Anonymous

            sticks and stones…

          • Anonymous

            The so-called “mouthful” was intended to emphasize what “paying taxes” really amounts to: a transferring of wealth.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t try to explain facts to Moonbats.
        It confuse’s them

        • I know I am confuse’d!

        • Anonymous

          I’m sorry you are confused!

      • Anonymous

        He is in power, can’t blame the other guys. Remember, thats how it goes. When its a democrat its all his fault, when its a Republican then is the other guys fault.

        • Anonymous

          Convenient, huh? Obama just ran a successful re-election campaign by blaming George Bush again and this newspaper ran an editorial endorsing Obama and blaming Bush for the longevity of the recession. Guess what, Maine’s problems are the result of 40 years of democrat mismanagement of State finances and you and the rest of the democrats know it.

          • Guest

            llll

      • Anonymous

        This is a little bit different than the federal budget. The state shortfall is the DIRECT RESULT of actions that the governor and legislature have taken SINCE they came into office. They have pushed their ideologies without taking a single second to begin to understand and grasp reality, let alone basic arithmetic. Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Anonymous

      exactly!!!

    • Anonymous

      since the tax cut have not gone into effect its pretty hard for them to have any effect.

      • Anonymous

        “Bush Era” tax cuts have been in effect since 2001 and 2003. We’re still waiting.

        • Anonymous

          the article was about the state budget.

          • Anonymous

            And you do not see any connection to the national economy.

          • Anonymous

            i’m not going to have an open ended discussion that is off topic. take the partisan hate elsewhere.

          • Anonymous

            Nah, I’m non-partisan. I despise both parties equally, rather than blinding myself to the failures and stupidities of one or the other.

        • Anonymous

          Hey grumpy, Barrack Obama lobbied to extend the Bush tax cuts not once, but twice. Just so you know, they now belong to him.

    • Anonymous

      There’s n old saying, “Figures never lie, but liars always figure.

  • StillRelaxin

    Boy oh boy am I surprised to hear that we have a budget shortfall. Take note future politicians, apparently you really can’t run a State solely on hateful thoughts and blaming of others. It just may be time for someone to decide to start “governing.”

    • Anonymous

      “The reality is that Maine’s Medicaid spending grew 78 percent from 2002 to 2011,” Bennett said. “Stimulus funding from the federal government was reduced significantly in 2010, and we can’t make up that difference.”
      Apparently the State can’t continue to grow entitlement program spending and depend upon the taxpayers to keep pace. It is also very apparent that a State that depends upon Federal stimulus spending to balance it’s books is poor planning.

      • StillRelaxin

        Is it really surprising that between 2002-2011 that the people of this nation and state suddenly had a need for assistance? We do know what happened during those years, yes? Again, hating on those who have nothing and can get nothing from a near non-existent job market might get one elected but it’s no way to govern. Our leaders (some X-leaders now) promised to bring jobs. What they did instead amounted to little more than spread dissention and mistrust among a down and out populace. That’s not governing, that’s just plain sick.

        • Anonymous

          “Our leaders (some X-leaders now) promised to bring jobs. What they did instead amounted to little more than spread dissention and mistrust among a down and out populace. That’s not governing, that’s just plain sick.”
          I agree, I still can’t believe that Obama was elected for a second term either.

          • Anonymous

            I can. Conservatives keep shooting themselves in the foot campaigning to the far right, somehow thinking they are the people they need to convince to vote. Right wingers need no convincing, they aren’t voting for liberals. Conservatives need to drop the religious foolishness in their campaigning. They scare off the swing states and undecided voters when they start telling people how they should live in their lives in the good book’s old fashioned, self-righteous ways.

          • Anonymous

            I think that this letter to a newspaper in Czech Republic explains his election to a second term very well.

            Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung on Barack Obama…

            October 28, 2011

            “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good
            judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

            The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

        • Anonymous

          Are you talking about Obama?

      • Anonymous

        and check out the PPH article from yesterdyquoting Mayhew —-mediciad “spending” mysterious doubled THIS year alone. WHY?

        • Anonymous

          Probably because the economy under President Obama is not getting any better and people do not have jobs.

    • fourCatssoon

      Idea – don’t invite Katz to join in, he would want a raise and a larger title to fit his ego.

    • Anonymous

      Good luck ever finding a candidate who will not run on the campaign of blaming others, and then when things turn badly once they are in office, pointing fingers at previous administrations. Nobody governs, we just see administrations play the blame game, never truly fixing the problem, but quickly throwing everyone else but themselves under the bus.

  • Anonymous

    wheels fall off Republican clown car, chassis drags on ground, passengers ejected through windshield, wing nuts unscrewed, clown shoes found still on accelerator, checkbook found with negative balance while driving on wrong side of highway, alcohol suspected while driving off fiscal cliff. Omg.

    • Anonymous

      Amazing how difficult it is when you actually pay the bills. Unlike the failed Bladacci administration, who just didn’t Maine hospitals and medical providers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and pretended to have a balanced budget. Don’t worry though, the wagon riders of Maine voted to go back to the fake balanced budgets of the failed Baldacci era and the graft, corruption, and ineptitude of the Violette, Martin, McCromick years. Maine government will be wasting/losing/stealing millions again before you can say “corrupt Democrats”.

      • Anonymous

        What an extremely humorless bunch of clowns the extreme right is, Crusty is your mascot, clown shoes and all.

        • Anonymous

          Not surprisingly you offer name calling and no facts. No response to the FACT that the failed Baldacci administration’s failed to pay Maine hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars, some of the bills over 5 years old? Forcing people to work without paying them used to be called slavery, but in the world of the Maine Dems it is called smart budgeting.

          Calling conservatives clowns, yet it’s the former Dem house leader who is in jail for stealing from the MTA and another former Dem legisvermin who thought a quarter million dollars per unit was AOK to waste for affordable housing. Man you can not make this stuff up.

          • Anonymous

            This is about the LEPAGE budget , stay focused .

          • Anonymous

            The poster he responded to could use the same advice, if staying on topic is really what you are concerned about.

          • Sherman2

            I forgot every repulican has a halo…

      • Lord Whiteman

        It was the Republican Gov. Jock McKernan who ran up the billing deficit with the hospitals. Balldacci paid most of it down while Lepage has still not keep his promise to pay off whats left.

        • Anonymous

          Hard to believe that you can lie like that and still sleep at night.

  • Anonymous

    Everything has gone up 78% sine 2002; what’s the big deal? How much was gasoline back then? Prices go up, paper dollars are worth less and less, and we have to adjust.

    • Tyke

      Exactly. Check out the graph at the link on the actual tax burden as a % of income and you will see that it is fairly flat over the long run. Taxes collected and resulting spending have simply tracked other costs. The hyperbole from LePage flunkies on this represents either incompetence or dishonesty9or both),
      .

      http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/compendium/11compend/Graph_VI-1.pdf

  • Anonymous

    and i bet he’s going to take it out on the maine state employees… no doubts here.. I have heard rumours that the DOC commissioner has been ordered to reduce staffing, overtime, and overall funding to DOC. I’m sorry to say, but cutting funding to a state agency that keeps murderers, and rapists off the streets is not what the public wants…

    • fourCatssoon

      I have an idea – for the Governor to set a good example – he could lay off the job that pays $47,500 plus benefits and lay off his Daughter and his other relative whose only skill is that he owns a hammer.

  • Anonymous

    PULL THE TAX CUT FOR THE WEALTHY and bring Dora Mills back.

  • Anonymous

    if i preformed like our government does at my work I wouldn’t have been here long…Elected stupid, over paid idiots running our money and they are smarter than the average citizen……..give me a break……Corp American..Hostess executives waiting for bonuses….

  • Anonymous

    “Quite frankly, state government cannot spend money that it doesn’t have,
    and we are mandated by the state constitution to have a balanced
    budget.”” which is why the R majority shiouldn’t have approved $400 milion in Tax cuts, HELLO!!!! This is nothing but political showmanship ( and faulty math) to justify more cuts..

    WHY is there a NEW $100 Million Medicaid gap?? .Inquiring minds want to know!!I want to know the answer to THAT question before they DO anything. Something is mighty fishy here and stinks!!. I want an investigation !!!

    “Fredette and Katz both served on the 125th Legislature’s Appropriations Committee”.In other words, they BOTH need remdedial math. and are covering it up.. How long did they know and when did they know it?? !!! Was this LePage’s planned October “surprise”?

    • Anonymous

      People need to be informed. This admin. stinks. The people voted, and it wasn’t in favor of this circus getting their way at the last minute, I believe.

  • Anonymous

    of course they want “quick action “.1 they want to cover up their mistakes 2. they don’t want to let the newly elected leaders do it..

  • Working Poor

    I knew I wouldn’t have to read far before someone blamed Bush! You people are laughable at best. The mess we are in is directly due to the spending of former Gov King and Baldacci, yet you want to blame Lepage. Every cut his administration proposes we hear crying from the left on how the right is attacking the poor. It’s a joke! Why don’t you people understand, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE BILLS, SPENDING MUST BE CUT! This is hardly a new or difficult concept to understand. You folks on the left can’t seem to accept responsibility for the poor decisions made by prior administrations, it;s easier to blame the current one. I am wondering how many have of you practice the same spending practices in your home that you advocate for our Government. Perhaps that is why there is repos and forclosures on a daily basis. How many of you actually pay your medical bills?

    • Sherman2

      You “laughed” about some one blaming the previous presidential admin… and then procede into a rant about Maine’s TWO previous governor admins…
      um… a contradiction of convenience perhaps?

  • Anonymous

    The govs.fist pounding,shouting speech of no new taxes seems a little further down the road all time.Its time to start cutting their perks and pay and stop creating high paying do nothing jobs for realitives and friends instead of taxing the working class.

    • Anonymous

      Expect him to take off his shoe and start pounding it on the podium within the next few months.

  • Anonymous

    How about pointing the finger, instead of at the poor, at the greed of the health care industry as a whole. In less than 5 years, my office visits have more than doubled but the service remains the same.

  • An easy fix its called rescind the tax cuts on the rich that is to be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2013.

    • Anonymous

      That does nothing to cure the problem of overspending by our State and federal governments.

      • fourCatssoon

        You have a better idea, let’s hear it.

        • Anonymous

          How about for every dollar raised by additional taxes we have two dollars of spending cuts.

  • Guest

    \@///

  • Guest

    Why do people expect costs to go down. Everything costs more these days.

  • Anonymous

    Sell off state assets so the leaches can get more entitlements.Maybe increase taxes on business so more voters can stay home.All about entitlements in the new Maine.

    • Start with the state house? That would fetch a pretty penny. The gov can live in a trailer and show solidarity with the people. Fine idea.

  • We could sell off that socialist mural! That should fetch 10K in potland! The grey hairs and silver pony tails would love to see that hangin in potland city hall!

    • Oooh, Potland, good one Bill, better than the stale Porkland. Points for originality.

  • Lord Whiteman

    We gave Lepage almost 1/2 a billion dollars more then we let Baldacci spend and yet Lepage still can’t write a balanced budget.
    Where did he get his business degree from anyway? The back of a comic book?

    • fourCatssoon

      Now you understand why this Governor was noted as the “Worst” Governor ever to be elected in the history of Governors in Maine. This man is a shame to the office of Governor. He together with Mayhew have no idea of what they are doing in Governing our State.

      • Lord Whiteman

        Worst in Maine? Lepage is the worst Governor since Pontius Pilate

        • Anonymous

          Zing!

          :)

        • Anonymous

          Pilate was pretty good I thought.

          His jesting comment, “What is truth?” , could be used to address the liberal lefties on this board that believe they know it when they see it.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that these shortfalls always come as a big surprise to the “experts” who are supposed to be managing them? How is it that Mary Mayhew still has a job? (Too bad stubborn and stupid aren’t impeachable offenses.)

  • Anonymous

    The tax revenue can be explained a lot easier than what is happening in DHHS. What needs to happen is to find out why after all the money that has been spent at DHHS we keep coming up short. Things are no better there than they were under the previous administration. Government is supposed to be fiscally responsible. This short fall has had to have been tracking so far this fiscal year and should have been brought up a lot sooner than this. it is time to get the states fiscal house in order. We can sit here all day and point fingers but nothing is getting done because it is always somebody else’s fault. FIX IT!!

  • Anonymous

    for all those people out there bashing the Bush administration for today’s problems you need to look at what the current administration has done for the last four years to correct all of these supposed problems in Washington DC. When you realize that the federal government does not drive the private sector and get off the gravy train and get to work you might understand economics.

    • Anonymous

      Obama saved the nation from a Second GOP Great Depression – and turned the economy around.

      That is why he was reelected.

      In the meantime, the GOP has been busy trying to throw us back into recession with their selfish and stupid and ideologically-extreme manufactured “Fiscal Cliff”.

      Yessah

  • Anonymous

    We need to cut all programs that could possibly help the down and out Mainers and cut another check for the rich! (sarcasm) How’s those trickle down economics working? Any day now?

  • Anonymous

    Hey, just TAKE all the rich peoples’ money, houses, cars and poodles. Take all their savings and forget about taxing them more. Like that is going to really solve the spending and handout problem this state and country has. The sheep just hate anyone with more than they have and are so spiteful and hateful and jealous they can’t wait to be given what is rightfully theirs. Of course they have no problem taking it from someone else. The rich need to pay their fair share…lol! Most of the rich pay way more than most of us pay now. They also contribute way more to charities than the majority of the stealers do in a lifetime. You can tax till the cows come home and it will not solve a thing. Socialism is great until the money runs out.

  • Anonymous

    Repeal the ill-advised GOP tax cuts – that did not create jobs and did not create increased tax revenue.

    Problem solved.

    Yessah

  • Anonymous

    Maine is on a new list. It is called the Spiral Death State list. Not a good place to be. :(

  • Anonymous

    First of all, LePage does not need legislative authority or input to issue an executive order curtaining expenditures. Secondly, I don’t believe that there has ever been an instance when we didn’t have a supplemental budget request along with the biennial budget, so I don’t know why they think this is an unusual instance. Thirdly, all of their excuses make no sense at all. I think maybe it is time to replace all those highly paid positions in DHHS and other departments with people who know what they are doing with regard to governmental programs and accounting.

  • Anonymous

    No Cuts, Tax Pot!

  • Anonymous

    One week Millett is telling us there’s a surplus, the next he’s telling us there’s a shortfall. The Repubs have had controll for two solid years with their claim that they were going to clean things up and they just keep getting worse. The FACT is that the Repubs are long on rhetoric and short on knowlege and skill.

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