By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Well, it’s official! The silver-spoon trust-funder, Senate President Justin Alfond, and his co-conspirator, Speaker of the House Mark Eves, have again won a battle in their war against Maine’s middle class. They successfully killed legislation that would have tightened up the rules of several state welfare programs in order to reduce fraud.
A collective sigh of relief by the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Equal Justice and a host of other advocacy groups was heard reverberating throughout the halls of the State House. Their interests once again had trumped those of the state’s middle-class taxpayers. Yes, happiness reigned, thanks to the leadership of the progressive Democrats and their Lewiston-Auburn allies, our local Democratic legislative delegation (a.k.a. The Portland Puppets).
The aforementioned groups will now be allowed, for at least another year, unfettered access to picking the pockets of Maine’s middle class.
I must note at this time that three of L-A’s Democratic legislators may have broken rank and voted with Republicans to institute Governor LePage’s tightening of the General Assistance laws. Next week, if true, I will let you know their identities.
Our liberal progressive friends spew out rhetoric that on its face makes them appear to the public that they have taken the high moral ground when it comes to the issues of state welfare. But like any other magic show, things are not necessarily the way they appear to be. This week we will discuss one of these issues: single moms.
Single moms. It conjures a vision of a woman with at least one child, on her own, alone, battling the day-to-day barriers of life that stand before her and her child. But how true is this picture?
Imagine the State of Maine tells you you’re too young and not responsible enough to purchase alcoholic beverages. Imagine that the state bars you from voting on the grounds that at such a young age you have no understanding of the issues at hand. The State of Maine further tells you that you are not responsible enough to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
But, a baby, a little precious bundle of human life? No problem. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services will supply you with an apartment and up to $48,000 a year in various benefits.
Then there are the single moms who have taken the fairy tale of the goose that laid the golden egg to a new height: the single mom that gave birth to a golden child—again and again and again. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching. Additionally, their children are often the product of different fathers. But no matter, our progressive liberal Democrats are eager for middle-class taxpayers to support them.
The aforementioned groups represent a small, but costly, percentage of Maine’s single moms. The majority of single moms take their responsibility very seriously and do a good job shouldering the family’s financial responsibilities and providing for their children’s health and welfare.
Those on state aid who play the system have developed an expectation of entitlement. School serves as a daycare center and luncheonette. Get a job and be productive—why? Many openly brag in public about the list of entitlements they are receiving.
The real tragedy is not so much the taxpayers’ money spent to support their lifestyle, but that the promising lives of their children are being extinguished each day they remain in their current situation. These children fall further behind many of their peers.
Little lives are ruined because elitists like Senator Alfond and Representative Eves base their views of poverty on academic writings and non-profit groups whose financial existence depends upon poverty.
I hope Senator Alfond and Representative Eves sleep well at night. Many children condemned to poverty won’t, thanks to their policies.