The Press Herald’s editorial on Thanksgiving Day, “We can be thankful for Baldacci’s tax stance,” was almost comical in its distorted picture of Maine’s reality.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but to say that the governor “has set the stage for an economic resurgence” and that “Holding the line on spending has positioned the state well for economic growth” is beyond out-of-touch — it’s surrealistic.

Let’s come back to earth.

According to the state fiscal office, total state spending is up more than $2 billion since 2001.

And spending on state employees has increased by $200 million (even though we supposedly cut 1,000 positions).

Because of the reckless expansion of MaineCare, we now owe our hospitals more than $400 million.

We have an unfunded pension debt in the billions and a budget structural gap that is now (only) $840 million.

During the Baldacci years, ,Mainers have endured over $1 billion in new taxes and fees, dramatic state spending shifts to property taxes, a Dirigo Health tax on all health insurance claims, a beer, wine, soda and health claims tax (repealed by a people’s veto) and a “tax reform” bill that expanded the sales tax to over 100 new items (also repealed by a people’s veto).

We have become the most welfare-dependent state in the country, we are one of only three states whose population is actually dropping, and our health care and health insurance costs are among the highest in the country.

This is not “being positioned for economic growth.”

The misguided and painful tax-and-spend policy decisions made over the last eight years are helpful to economic growth only in dreamland.

Maine’s future economic success will be in spite of those decisions, not because of them.