August 9, 2012

Truth Test: Dems' attack on state senators gets facts mostly correct

But they omit information that's key in understanding income tax changes the GOP pushed through.

By Michael Shepherd
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

L.D. 1746 closed the Department of Health and Human Services' projected budget gap.

It cut low-income parents and 19- and 20-year-olds from MaineCare and ended prescription drug benefits for some elderly people.

Only L.D. 1746 was a governor's bill. It was one of the closest party-line wins for LePage. It passed the Senate 19-14, with two Democratic senators not voting.

VERDICT: If the Democrats got anyhing absolutely right, it was this.The scope of health care changed and Maine was opened Tto a larger health insurance market. That can't be disputed.




The ad says Maine is "one of the five worst states for job growth in the country," citing a November 2011 Forbes magazine report, "The Best States for Business."

But the magazine never looked at "job growth," per se. The magazine ranked Maine last in a review of the state's standing in six categories: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

Despite that, the Democrats have backing for the claim.

A March report by the liberal-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy used Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers to say that in 2011, Maine was fifth-worst for job growth in the country, losing 1,300 jobs.

Reinholt said the Forbes study was cited for easier searchability and to give viewers an overall picture of Maine's economy.

VERDICT: The only problem here is that the ad cites a source that doesn't prove the assertion. While that's shoddy, Democrats' backing for this claim is good, and that's most important.



Overall, we find the points of fact in the ad to be mostly well represented.

But the income tax claim is a problem, as it ignores tax reductions that leave the top 10 percent of earners eating a larger piece of Maine's income tax pie while 90-percenters see a percentage cut.

The Democrats are on the money with the health care claim, but could have been clearer on the "jobs" portion. We'll let you evaluate the methodology used to calculate the LePage agenda and senators' records.



Staff Writer Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:


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