Maine’s congressional delegation getting millions for Maine projects into the federal spending bill, as reported in the Press Herald on Dec. 23 (“Federal budget deal includes millions for Maine projects”), is like pickpockets working a free-beer tent.

It feels great until you realize the bill kills the expanded child tax credit, which lifted millions nationwide out of poverty. And it kills federal funding for expanded Medicaid, endangering the health of millions of people and thus saddling taxpayers with an inevitable rise in unpaid emergency room bills generated by those left unable to access much more affordable routine primary care, and straining state budgets as some states scramble to maintain coverage for our low-income neighbors.

Despite Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the bill does nothing to roll back the vast Reagan and Trump tax cuts for the rich and super-rich that have gutted our infrastructure, healthcare, education, transportation, environmental and poverty spending – while the wealthy pop champagne.

And, shockingly, the bill spends more on the military than on non-military programs. As Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Well, fasten your seat belt. This shameful bill will only hurtle us further toward that spiritual death.

Lawrence Reichard

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: