Across America, we’re seeing the clear contrast between strong Republican leadership and failed Democrat policies. There’s a reason 17 of the top 20 states for coronavirus-lost jobs recovered are led by Republican governors: Conservative, pro-growth policies work. Unfortunately, Maine isn’t reaping the benefits of Republican leadership, and Mainers are suffering as a result. Joe Biden, Gov. Mills and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden are failing the good people of Maine with their absent, backward “leadership.”

Rick Savage

Rick Savage, co-owner of Sunday River Brewing Co. in Newry, and eight other plaintiffs went to federal court to challenge Gov. Mills’ restrictions on their businesses during the pandemic. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press, File

The numbers tell a clear story about Maine’s slow-motion recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. In June, only 3,000 jobs were created in the Pine Tree State; the month of May saw just 700 jobs created. The unemployment rate in this great state has stayed at a stagnant 4.8 percent for five straight months, showing that Maine’s Democrat leaders have produced no results in the effort to get people back to work. It’s one thing to make incremental progress. It’s another to make no progress whatsoever. Maine’s small businesses are feeling the impact of this glacial recovery, too, thanks to a statewide worker shortage that is forcing business owners to scramble for help – and in too many cases, close their doors completely. Maine’s beautiful summers are typically a key window for businesses to profit significantly from the good weather and out-of-state visitors. As we turn the corner in the fight against COVID-19 after more than a year of Democrat-led lockdowns, our small businesses desperately need this summer windfall.

Joe Biden deserves significant blame for this worker shortage, which is hurting businesses and workers in Maine and across the country. His wrongheaded extension of significant unemployment benefits has de-incentivized workers from rejoining the workforce and left small business owners in the lurch as a result. Recent data show that as many as 1.8 million Americans (or 13 percent of the respondents in a Morning Consult survey) have turned down getting new jobs because the Biden administration is essentially paying them not to work. Obama economist Jason Furman went as far as to agree that “employment insurance has definitely been playing a role” in holding back our economic recovery. Joe Biden, out of touch and unfocused as ever, even told struggling businesses to “compete” with free government handouts in their efforts to rebuild. This is Washington, D.C., overreach at its very worst. It’s as predictable as it is disappointing: Democrats think that big-government interference and excessive, expensive handouts are an easy fix to nuanced economic problems. Washington bureaucrats are doing real damage to states like Maine with their misguided attempts to “help.”

Unfortunately, failed Democrat leadership isn’t just a D.C. problem – it’s happening right here in Maine, too. Gov. Mills presided over job-killing, overzealous lockdowns that did damage to Maine’s economy, at one point prompting nine Maine business owners to sue her. Rep. Jared Golden has voted in total lockstep with the most far-left Democrats in D.C., prioritizing the approval of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the success for his constituents. Those Democrat policies that Golden supports have led to an inflation crisis and skyrocketing prices for everyday goods like groceries and gasoline. Biden, Mills, Golden and their far-left Democrat Party is actively squandering the economic recovery they inherited from President Trump.

As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mainers need bold, common-sense leadership that helps invigorate Maine’s economy without liberal Washington, D.C., overreach. Unfortunately, Democrat leaders are failing to provide necessary solutions. As Republican-run states nationwide recover with remarkable success, the good people of this Democrat-run state are being held back by ineffective, failed leadership. Mainers deserve better.

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