Tony Payne’s June 27 column in the Maine Sunday Telegram concerning the private sector vs. public sector employees in Maine describes an economy strolling towards an economic cliff.

The private sector/public sector imbalance is as fiscally unhealthy in Maine as it is in the nation.

In 2007 there were 115 million workers in America’s private sector. Two years later, in 2009 there were 109 million, a rate not seen since the late 1990’s.

As mentioned by Payne, 17 percent of Maine workers are employed by governmment. Also 50 percent of all union workers are employed in the government while in 1980 only 17 percent of government, employees were union members.

And when the public sector worker retires, the taxpayer pays for bloated pensions promised by politicians concerned about the outcome of their next election.

The economic collapse of Greece should be a wake-up call to Maine and the nation. Our government’s bubble will also burst, due to an unsustainable combination of a plump public payroll and of high deficit spending.

If the present trend continues, the government bubble will further depress the faltering economy and cause local government and state defaults.

The bubble can be gradually deflated though tax relief that incents the private sector to take risks and hire employees. Federal spending plus state and local spending account for nearly 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

How long can an economy flourish when half of economic output is driven by politicians instead of problem-solving, value-adding private enterprise?

The heartbeat of Maine’s economy and the nation’s is small business, not big government.

Big government and its obese payroll will stymie job growth and wealth creation. Increasing our government’s payroll is Keynesian and socialistic.

As Margaret Thatcher said about faltering socialistic experiments in Western Europe and their associated portly employee rosters, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

California is Greece on the Pacific. How far behind is Maine?