R. Macdonald: A different side of the story

In response to Rachel Lowe’s guest column Dec. 30, “Set policy based on fact, not rhetoric” is to say, look who is calling the kettle black.

Lowe accuses me of making up statistics; every statistic I use comes directly from Lewiston General Assistance.

She cherry picks as liberals do. She speaks about the welfare policies of the New England states, stating that Maine has the lowest welfare payments in New England. She excludes many states, such as Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, where Maine's monthly welfare payments are the equivalent of hitting the jackpot at the Oxford Casino.

She paints a picture of a family of three struggling to get by on a $485 monthly TANF payment. She writes, “that’s about $16 a day to support a family.” Is she being deceptive by failing to add subsidized housing, up to $526 in food stamps and free MaineCare? If pregnant or the parent of small children, the WIC program provides additional nourishment and sundries. Free school breakfasts and lunches are available. If the recipient is currently working or going to school through the ASPIRE program, child care and any transportation incurred is paid for.

Suddenly the Dickens' image of a mother huddled with her children on a cold night selling matchsticks evaporates.

The key to the column was in the small print at the end which identifies Ms. Lowe as the past president of an advocacy group, Maine Equal Justice Partners, a nonprofit, civil legal aid and advocacy organization. They advocate for many who I refer to as the lazy non-productive poor (the working poor, key word “working,” are not included in the aforementioned group). Before a legislative committee, Lowe’s facts (or lack thereof) usually go unchallenged, resulting in bad legislation and further fiscal burden on the taxpaying public.

Further, to counter any future class warfare response, corporate welfare and welfare for the unproductive comes from the same trough, which is continually being filled by the labors of middle class taxpayers.

I am not a go-along-to-get-along cowardly public official. To solve problems, you must define and attack the problem and not worry that the solution might be “hurtful.”

So, I thank Ms. Lowe for letting me know I am on the right track.

Mayor Robert Macdonald,

City of Lewiston

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RONALD RIML's picture

"She cherry picks as liberals do."

"Or we could cherry pick as conservatives do.....

There - one statement's just as ridiculous as the other. Except unlike Mayor Mac - I recognize the farce.

As I also recognize that the 'Red' States of Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama are places I don't wish to live.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

As a stanch liberal, I can

As a stanch liberal, I can understand why you would not like to live, say, in Texas. Yet Texas’s economy is growing strongly and Maine’s economy ..... well do I need to say more?

Lastly, I would say you lack the individual personality tyrant to do well in those states. Perhaps Texas does not want you – ever think of that?

RONALD RIML's picture

I've been to Texas

And the Nuns of the Dripping Blood of Gawd scared me with their 'Tales of Hell'

It's a Toss-Up of which one is worse.

- My economy is doing just fine, Thank you. People read books in Maine.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Easy to say when you are

Easy to say when you are retired with your lips firmly on the public teat. Let’s here from someone who is still navigating the workforce.

That said, Texas population is growing, not like some other mid and western states. California comes to mind. Why is Texas population growing - top 10 list in 2012 - jobs, jobs, jobs.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Mayor Macdonald

Please run for governor. Like Paul Lepage you speak your thoughts not some sugar coated b/s that some people like to hear.

 's picture

It's interesting...

1. Conservatives don't cherry pick.

2. Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama are New England states.

3. Glad to know the payoffs at Oxford Casino are so low. I just won't make the trip.

And that's just in the first three paragraphs. I didn't bother with the rest.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“Glad to know the payoffs at

“Glad to know the payoffs at Oxford Casino are so low.” – you do know that any gambling establishment skew the odds in favor of the house.

Perhaps you need to rethink your retirement planning methods and practices.

Question to all the readers, why would you patronize any casino knowing the odds are stack against you? You will lose in the long run!

Just send me your money, and I can guarantee 75% return on every dollar!

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Nice response Mayor!

Don't ever let facts get in the way of feelings!

How many times have we heard at town meeting the following:

- It's for the children....

- It's only a few pennies more per person (taxpayer).

- You don't support this because you are anti-(fill in the blank).

- If we spend for (Fill in the blank) it will pay for itself!

- We get "matching (state/federal) funds!" We would be crazy not to
spend this money. We get back $2 for every dollar spent! What a deal!

More and more people are waking up as they have less and less in their payroll deposit into their account at the end of the month and don't like the roll they play as a human ATM machine for public sector wants versus needs.

People are tired of the redistribution of their wealth. Lewiston should be glad to have someone like you watching their tax dollars and reporting out.

We need economic recovery; not politicians who want to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and call it progress.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Well said Mayor - kudos.

Well said Mayor - kudos.


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