By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
He refuses to compromise. It’s his way or the highway. Well, boo-hoo.
For years the Democratic Party, along with Maine’s editorial writers, have shoved their vision of a socially just society, where people live in harmony and the government provides for everyone’s needs, down the throats of our over-taxed middle class. This wonderful idea, however, fails to recognize two major factors: money and human nature.
But this is what self-imposed guilt does to you. You were born white into a nuclear family, a family that provided you with food, clothing, shelter and love. Your home was warm in the winter and comfortably air conditioned in the summer. Your world consisted of manicured lawns, swimming pools, spacious neighborhoods and extended summer vacations at the lake or seashore. You enjoyed all this while the least of our society suffered extreme hardships. It’s just not fair.
Many successful people, along with others that have made a comfortable life for themselves, started off poor. Following a proven work ethic, instilled in them by parents and their immediate family, they worked hard, studied in school and developed a can-do spirit of independence that propelled them to success.
Contrast this to those who have been molded into dependency of various governmental programs—a dependency that removes self-motivation and creates an inability to assess and solve problems on their own. Examining these sharp contrasts show why those who have made it through hard work curse those who took the easy road and now create a financial burden because of their desire to game the system or their unwillingness to work.
Enter Governor Paul LePage. He is the voice of the only true oppressed class: the middle class. He is a leader that is giving the liberal progressive Democrats a taste of their own “our way or the highway” that has oppressed the working middle class for years.
He is accused of being crass and personally attacking those who oppose him. Welcome to the world of the working middle class, where liberal progressive Democrats have labeled anyone who dare questions their position on an issue as racist, bigot, homophobe or a killer of babies and the elderly.
Describing, in general terms, 70,000 uninsured people as lower-income Maine residents, liberal progressives accuse Governor LePage of lacking compassion to the plight of the poor. However, when you correctly and properly identify these individuals as being “able bodied and without children,” it seems the Governor is showing an abundance of compassion. This compassion is aimed at reducing the burden of the working middle class.
While it is true that care rendered by hospitals to those who cannot pay is passed on to patients who have the ability to pay and insurance companies, this plan does not save responsible people money. It just takes it from a different source.
The $1 billion to fund health insurance for able-bodied individuals is not free money: it’s dedicated federal tax money—your money—coming back to Maine to insure able-bodied adults. When the program comes to an end in three years, guess who would get stuck footing the bill: Maine’s working middle class. This veto showed good stewardship of taxpayers’ money by the Governor.
Then we have the legislation Governor LePage introduced to address the ever-growing drug crisis in Maine. The Governor put forth a plan to add judges, prosecutors and drug enforcement agents to hopefully reduce drug crimes and remove dealers from our streets. He vetoed the bill when a compromise struck by Republicans and Democrats added dedicated pork in the form of additional drug education and more drug treatment programs. It provided our liberal progressive politicians a way to throw a bone to some of their loyal followers.
Again, let us thank Governor LePage for not wasting our tax money.
Lastly, there is one major item that places the Governor and me on opposite sides. That item is revenue sharing. However, I can’t help but wonder if this opposition could have been avoided if the liberal progressive Democrat’s sacred cow, welfare, had been placed on an aggressive diet.