June 11, 2010

Harmon: Maine turns a corner,
but which way will it go?

A surprisingly large majority ditched a tax reform that didn't lower taxes. What will they do for an encore?

By M.D. Harmon mharmon@mainetoday.com
Editorial Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Which brings us to the governor's race. It's interesting that, despite what appears to be a burgeoning campaign to tag Paul LePage with the dreaded epithet, "social conservative," his position page on his campaign website has precisely three sentences on such issues. They are the last things on the page, and are headed, "Traditional Maine Values" -- which they are.

Above them, however, are a long list of positions on "Budget Woes," including general assistance, tax policy and regulation, and education.

You can (and should) read them for yourself, but note that the first things on his tax policy list are "Reducing the personal income tax rate to a flat 5 percent beginning at a gross family income of $30,000" and "reducing the corporate income tax rate to a flat 5 percent beginning with a pre-tax profit of $30,000 to $500,000 and to drop the rate over $500,001 to a flat 4 percent."

Those are directly aimed at the people who voted down Question 1, and are also central to the tea party activists' goal of reducing government spending and tax rates.

It has been said, I believe accurately, that the biggest mistake President Obama and his congressional allies have made is "they have finally revealed the true cost of government to the American people."

Those multitrillion-dollar debts are what has spurred the tea parties, they are what's on the minds of millions of voters -- especially younger ones -- and they're what is creating support for candidates (potentially in both major parties) who pledge to slash the cost of government to sustainable levels.

Isn't "sustainability" something we're told to pursue in harvesting food and natural resources? So, why is it wrong to apply it to government?

I suspect a lot of voters, tired of watching spending rise through the roof, will be asking that question before Nov. 2. 

M.D. Harmon is an editorial writer. He can be reached at 791-6482 or at:



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