Homebound elderly food programs in jeopardy under LePage budget cuts

LEWISTON — Problems with her lungs and legs make it impossible for Marion Gallant, 74, to stand in front of the stove and cook meals for herself and her husband Aubin, 78.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Peter Jolicoeur of Greene delivers meals Thursday for SeniorsPlus' Meals on Wheels program. 

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Marion Gallant and her husband, Aubin, of Auburn receive meals three times a week from SeniorsPlus' Meals on Wheels program. 

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Aubin Gallant of Auburn said that without the Meals on Wheels program, he and his wife, Marion, would be living in a nursing home, rather than in their own apartment.  

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Between 500 and 600 meals are made per day at the Meals on Wheels kitchen in Lewiston.  

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Joy Zidle of Lewiston prepares meals at the SeniorsPlus Meals on Wheels distribution center in Lewiston on Thursday.  

Tethered to an oxygen tank and needing a walker to move around, Marion said the meals she and Aubin receive three times a week from the SeniorsPlus' Meals on Wheels program make a difference in their lives.

"I have days where I just can't do it," Marion said of cooking. 

The Gallants are not at risk of losing their meals, but a proposed $20,000 cut in Meals on Wheels programs means other homebound elderly folks could lose out or face long waits. Some already are.

SeniorsPlus, which delivers between 500 and 600 meals five days a week in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, has 120 people on a waiting list, said Jayne LaPointe, who manages the agency's volunteer drivers.
 
That list will grow longer before it grows shorter, said Connie Jones, director of Community Services for SeniorsPlus in Lewiston.

Those especially at risk from the cuts in Gov. Paul LePage's recent curtailment order and supplemental budget for the end of this fiscal year are people who benefit from a special program of the United Way of Androscoggin Valley, Jones said. That program fully covers the cost of a four-week, one-meal-a-day program that's meant for people who are discharged from hospitals or nursing homes but are not well enough to cook.

In the past, if people on that program needed more than four weeks, they would be rolled into the regular Meals on Wheels program, Jones said. But now, when their four weeks are up they will go to the bottom of the waiting list.

Jones said providing a nutritious meal is only one of the program's three parts. The home visit by a volunteer or staff member also provides a safety check and socialization. 

"For so many of these people, our Meals on Wheels volunteer is the only person they see, from one week's end to the next," Jones said. "And for a lot of people, this is the only meal they get all day."

The program is meant for elderly people who are homebound and do not have anybody nearby who can help prepare meals for them. It is largely funded by the federal government, but the additional funds the state has kicked in has kept waiting lists shorter. 

"To me, this is the simplest thing to do, to help somebody stay at home, and if we can't do this as a state, it's sad," Jones said.

Marion Gallant said she would eat before she went on the program but she didn't have the stamina or desire to get fancy with her meals. "I would make something," she said. "It wouldn't taste very good, but I would eat it."

She said the food the couple receives not only tastes good, but the nutrition in it may be extending her husband's life.  

"He was in hospice and got out," she said. "He got mad and got out, but since he's been eating more vegetables, his doctor says he's doing better than ever. That's our main meal; otherwise, we might have a sandwich or something."

Her health care providers worry about Marion cooking while on oxygen and about the disability of her legs causing her to topple onto a hot stove. 

The proposed cut, if not restored by the Legislature, means the Meals on Wheels programs statewide would deliver 3,600 fewer meals this year, said Jessica Maurer, executive director of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Maurer and her colleagues from around the state were at the State House in Augusta on Thursday to raise awareness of a whole slate of proposed budget cuts they believe would be detrimental to the elderly.

Delivering meals to homebound seniors is usually far less expensive and better for the elderly than having to place them in either assisted living centers or nursing homes, Maurer said.

"What happens is those very same people who really need to receive a meal and would qualify to receive one have to be put on a waiting list and that's true for all meals programs around the state," Maurer said.

"There's not much people can do, if they cannot prepare their own meals, which is a prerequisite for the program," she said. "They have to figure out how to either purchase frozen meals or get somebody else to make their meals for them. Unfortunately, what we find more often is some people just go hungry. If they can't get out and they can't get somebody to bring them food, they go hungry."

Some clients, or "consumers" as they are called, pay what they can for their meals, Maurer said. But those on the program are usually not wealthy.

Peter Jolicoeur, a worker at SeniorsPlus in Lewiston, said donations to the organization are important. Donors give their time and use their vehicles to move the food to people.  

Jolicoeur, who delivered meals to the Gallants on Thursday, said he got involved with the program before he retired and then volunteered for three years in Lewiston before taking on the part-time staff job.

The relationships between those receiving food and those delivering it are personal, he said. "The drivers get to know the people and sometimes you get really close to them and sometimes you don't. But they do rely on us and know what days we are coming and look forward to it."

Aubin Gallant said that without the meals, he and Marion, who have been married for 57 years, likely would be split up and placed in separate nursing homes.

"We wouldn't be here," he said.

sthistle@sunjournal.com

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Homebound elderly food programs in jeopardy under LePage budget

Scott , 13.02.01 10:30 am ish
The guy's a payaso and a baby boomer to boot . out of office , in to the woods near Woods Pond , Bridgton
Someone teach him something about voting demographics , now , before he shoots himself in the other foot , again . We love our Jello ® Hon Gov. What health plan do you use that we pay for ? ¿ Dirigo ® they'ya ?
http://www.aarp.org
l o l there's that ** gun analogy ^^ again , slednecks ( unintentional ; . He's better at cutting off his nose despite his face then n e one else in US politics , except perhaps Sarah Palin /s, Steve *<;-Q~

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

One of many problems with

One of many problems with these programs is that no one takes time to evaluate the recipients to make sure they cannot take financial care of themselves. Just because one is old or fresh out of hospital does not mean they are penniless. Everyone feels they are poor when these "free" services are offered, but in reality if they can even afford to play Bingo, they can afford to pay or at least contribute toward their services. Many do not like Paul Lepage or for that matter any number of politicians, but these folks have to make decisions and the majority of us did vote for the politician involved. These problems have been many years in the making by politicians and bureaucrats closing their eyes to people taking advantage of the system and now the programs are bearing the sour fruits. Look at how many people in subsidized housing where their subsidized rent included heat had heating assistance checks, and other foolish wastes. Let us look at applicants more closely and use those available dollars to help the truly needy. Paul Lepage may not be the most politically correct, but he is saying what needs to be said.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Ray ? Feb 1 , 2013 10:45

Ray ? Feb 1 , 2013 10:45 hst ?

Q: what the other B I G problem ?
2 ) A: Your Hon Governor LePage , the old fogie •

Go evaluate old folks homes and volunteer to cher them up with your cheery words of wisdom

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/19/16600339-obama-national-day-o...

ƒree lunch , too , for \/olunteers •  
/s , Steve

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

You may not like Governor

You may not like Governor Lepage, but respect the fact that he was got the most votes and was legally elected. There are/have been many politicians I have not or do not agree with, but we have to respect the wishes of the voters. There are many who need these services, but there are many who take advantage who could contribute. These are the problems. Being old and sick is not a qualification for free help. Those who can should expect to pay. I will agree there are many who for many reasons cannot pay and they must be taken care of, but having provided services to elderlies for many years I can assure you more could pay than the number that do.

Frank Margel's picture

LePage budget

There is a simple formula for fun loving liberals to consider when attacking the current Govenor. Propose a budget that doesn't put all of Maine into debt, and build stronger community charities that rely on the goodwill and caring people that is local Maine. Decentralize, not critisize our Governor! Charity works in Maine!

Makes me sick

I have read all the comments on this story and it makes me sick to think that people, with a supposed heart, can agree with this governor..he does nothing for this state but cut programs that help the least fortunate and robs our public schools...He has done nothing to help the people that need it the most..I hope someday he finds himself all alone with nobody around to help him..but he is making sure that his money stays right in his pocket...greedy is all I can think of when I think of LePage...make cuts where they won't hurt the little guy...does he even know what empathy means???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'll ask you the same

I'll ask you the same question that I asked others with similar responses.

Where should the Governor cut spending. Instead of just carping about it, propose where the budget can be cut. Where does LaPage cut to balance the budget?

My guess is that most people have no clue what spending is included in the budget or where that money goes.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Meals on Wheels delivers

Meals on Wheels delivers between five and six hundred meals five days a week. That's 130,000 meals per year on the low side, and 156,000 on the high side. If they collected 25 cents per meal, average, that would give the program a boost of from about $32,500 to as much as $39,000, enough to offset the $20,000 being cut plus take care of some folks on the waiting list.I fail to see why this can't realistically be accomplished. The bottom line is, the State of Maine is financially strapped, and Baldacci's gimmicks for balancing the budget like using tobacco settlement money, leasing alcohol sales/distribution for 10 years, and "stimulus funds" are no longer an option. People need to come up with solutions, and not merely place blame where it doesn't belong. Our financial problems started well before Paul Lepage became governor.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

A quarter a meal is a great

A quarter a meal is a great idea, Gary. But, it'll never be accepted or implemented. Why? Because it makes sense and it would probably work. See below.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Paul, I guess you're right.

Paul, I guess you're right. Some people just will not accept reality. Why try to overcome a problem with a solution when you can just whine about it and blame someone else.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Sounds good

Well here's another idea that postures to save money but in reality costs more. Somebody has to collect that quarter, somebody has to keep records, somebody has to make sure the governor doesn't grab it and throw it in the general fund and eventually there will have to be a study to see how many people end up sick and in nursing homes because they had to use the quarter to pay for meds because the funds have been cut for that and for heating because the funds have been cut for that and for hospital bills because the funds have been cut for that too. Somebody at some point will notice that when old people are put in nursing homes they can no longer live with their spouses in most instances which sort of negates the importance of marriage. So maybe government enforced separation is a violation of somebody's right and there may be a court fight. A wise man once said the one thing that is worse than being wrong is being wrong and being positive you are 100% correct. That's a perfect description of making decisions for an entire community based on the ideology of a small minority that is not reality based and does not listen to the voices of the people involved or worse denigrates them. The budget will never be balanced solely by cutting services. Those services were put in for the most part to solve a problem. Crying poverty and throwing the most vulnerable to their own resources will not remove the problem. It's kicking the can down the road.

GARY SAVARD's picture

No Claire, the democrats have

No Claire, the democrats have been kicking the can down the road for years, that is why we are where we are today. What exactly is your idea of a solution, raise taxes until everyone is in the poor house? 25 cents too much? These folks would have to buy food anyway, and some of them I'm sure can afford to pay more. Isn't that how it works? Tax the heck out of anyone with a spare nickel in their pocket?

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Should we raise taxes

YES, I'm willing to pay my share, aren't you?????

Robert McQueeney's picture

I'm already paying my fair share

Why should I be forced to pay more?

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Choices

I suspect the choices are not as stark as the indoctrinating being promoted in our political discussions claim they are, but if I have to choose between taking a quarter from someone with extra money in his pocket to keep my community functioning or taking it from someone who doesn't have the resources or the means to sustain themselves, for me , the choice is clear. Show me a society with a permanently disadvantaged underclass mired in poverty, sickness, suffering and ignorance and I will show you someplace nobody wants to live in. In fact a substantial number of our immigrants have gotten into leaky boats and fled with the clothes on their backs to get away from places like that. Sure, in those societies, the rich find a way to barricade themselves in such a way that they don't have to look at the squalor and they can rationalize that the folks like living in it or are subhuman in some way but sooner or later the bill come due and they end up paying for the coldness of their hearts. I call it Karma.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And, your better solution to

And, your better solution to the problem is?.....

FRANK EARLEY's picture

It's only a matter of time........

I made a prediction awhile ago, I still stand by that prediction. Its hard enough to watch the pain and suffering being inflicted on the citizens of this state who can least afford it, and are most at risk, but to hear someone say it's the responsible thing to do, pisses me off. Paul LePage is nothing close to responsible. It seems that every day now, LePage out does himself.
Maybe some day now, I'll read the "State Constitution", I'm sure that will answer all my complaints. In fact I may enjoy reading it so much, I'll send copies of it to all those people who are waiting on a list somewhere, for food, medical attention, and proper care for their developmental disorders. I'm sure it would be comforting to know there's a document out there that justifies the governors reasoning for screwing the least fortunate among us. I'm sure this "State Constitution"outlines all the other painful cuts to the tax paying sector of our population. I hope so, because they don't seem to be making it into the news. I don't read many stories about increased hardships, or the refusal to supply potentially life saving services to the wealthier segment of the population.
It's so easy to ignore something you don't see. I feel that using the folks depicted in this story was totally proper, and important to convey the message. Again, if it wasn't bought to everyone's attention, a lot of people would not be aware of the situation. It's sort of like the good Guvna's camera carrying companion, in order to defend ourselves from his fanatical actions,we need to be kept informed. Unfortunately for some, the truth hurts. Sometimes it sucks to be forced to see what's right in front of you......

Bob White's picture

I agree with Bob on his

I agree with Bob on his comments. What I find funny is that the state and the country are broke and people suggest ways of saving money but thier is always a bunch of people crying we cant cut that. So somebody else comes up with another idea and guess what another bunch of people start to cry. Then another person comes up with an idea that will surely make sense and it doesnt make any cuts brings jobs to the area WOW a win win right WRONG we dont want that built here thats not the right place for that. We need it but its not right for our area. ( Im not only talking about the LA area all of Maine and the USA) How many times have we heard that. Then the nexts great idea to come up is well lets get more money from those BAD people that have worked hard and made lots of money they should pay more!!! Well I dont know if people have thought of this but those bad people bring jobs to us in all kinds of differnt ways such as jobs jobs jobs yes they may buy things like houses boats and things like that but guess what we need people to build and make those things and guess what that produces even more jobs. We cant forget the fact these people also tend to donate a bunch of money (whether they do this because of kindness or to get out of the taxes they still do) These people dont stick thier money under thier beds they put it back into the economy.
I'm a simple person and im sure some of you people will find some or alot of mispelled words and bad grammer and will poke fun at that because that is a simple thing to do.
The state and the country are in a bad spot I think we all need to help out whether you have a ton of money or you have no money its not fair to ask one group of people to fix the problem that we all have made

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Everyone wants to go to

Everyone wants to go to Heaven, Mr. White, but damn few are willing to die to get there. Americans, what a sorry lot.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I thought everyone is dying

I thought everyone is dying to get into Heaven?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The average American today,

The average American today, thinks he can whine his way into Heaven.

KRIS KUCERA's picture

According to the obituaries . . .

. . . everyone goes to heaven.

"Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company." -Mark Twain

KRIS KUCERA's picture

Boy, what a patriot.

Americans, a sorry lot? Why don't you scram, then? Maybe move to Argentina. I think Rebulicans, generally albeit not always, are a sorry lot -- you especially -- but not all Americans, nay.

Maybe, for once, practice what your Savior preaches:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. -James 2:1-9

Another "bet" you lost, O Pathetic Pirate: The Dow hit 14,000. Ha! But Obama's a Marxist socialist space alien, sure: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732370190457827745335127121...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sure, you do, pendant.

Sure, you do, pendant.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The long view

This is again another example of how this administration postures as saving the state money and slashing spending while enacting policies that will cost the taxpayer more in the long run. Programs that help the elderly stay in their homes and caretakers for the disabled care for them at home as opposed to nursing home care were instituted to save money in the first place. This will again result in people losing a vital helping hand, a better quality of life, and independence while the taxpayer ends up paying more. This is what you get when ideology replaces brains. Paying more for less should be the governor's theme song in his next campaign.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Percentage wise, what does

Percentage wise, what does the $20,000 cut represent in relationship to the total budget for the Meals on Wheels program? Is it a 30% cut? 40%? 3%? What is it?

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

Okay Mike - here's a couple of ideas

How about making the $200 million dollar tax cut go away. It only took effect the past couple of weeks so it's not going to send our economy into a tailspin. The job creators use tax cuts to create work in 3rd world countries to save on labor costs or just bank it offshore to save on future taxes.

How about a one cent increase in the sales tax. While regressive, at least a sales tax increase would force tourists to pay a small share for the infrastructure they use in our state.

cutting taxes is not the only way to balance budgets.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

One thing that I noticed is

One thing that I noticed is that no matter how much revenue the government receives, it is never enough.

Better living through lower taxes, let those who earn, keep.

Cut, baby, cut....

KRIS KUCERA's picture

Reagan cut taxes, California's and America's debts rose sharply.

Although, he raised taxes 11 times as president, and banned assault weapons in California when he was governor -- what a RINO. But I digress.

Most importantly, he ballooned California's and this nation's debt, and started the reckless trend that now manifests as our $16 trillion national debt.

He also sold our country's manufacturing soul to the devil, and greatly helped the religious right and NRA become poxes on our society. But that's for another time.

I agree, though: roll back the Maine income tax cut. Besides hurting the state's coffers, the irony is, the 0.55% reduction took 700,000 low-income Mainers off the tax rolls altogether. I assume Paul Ryan et al. sees that as 700,000 more "takers." If you're not paying in, you're a taker. Which makes military veterans, and social security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients -- our grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles -- all takers. Sure.

John Goddard's picture

Gop on the local , state, and

Gop on the local , state, and federal levels all want the same thing. Balance the budgets on the backs of the ones in most need. Time to rethink our votes next election...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If not there, then where?

I applaud Gov. LaPage for all his efforts to balance the budget; it the responsible thing to do for the taxpayers. That said, how about proposing where to cut spending to balance the budget if you don’t like the current proposal?

 's picture

Let's Calm Down and Think About This Story for a Minute

1. I know Scott Thistle and I am surprised that he wrote the story in the way that he did. The Aubins, pictured and interviewed by the story, we find are NOT losing their meals. Other nameless are. If they Aubin's are not impacted, why are they in the story? To tug on heartstrings? To provided anecdotes? I think so.

2. There were a few very harsh comments earlier. Calling the governor an asshole and declaring him brainless reflect very poorly on the commenters.

3. Perhaps those that rail against the governor should re-read the state constitution. The governor heads up the executive branch. He spends the money that the legislature appropriates, or "raises" (or taxes if you will). The state is out of money. Perhaps the commenters could contact Peggy Rotundo, Margaret Craven and/or their local legislators and, after calling the names and suitable invective, tell them to raise their taxes to keep all of these "programs" going.

4. Look at the hospital debacle. Because Peggy and Margaret aren't raising enough money from us, they are blatantly stiffing the hospitals to the tune of hundreds of million dollars annually. Could it be that they are afraid to raise taxes and risk being swept out of office low intelligence voters who finally wake up to the true cost of their expensive, bloated Maine government? So they just forget paying the bill?

5. If you are blaming the governor, you are barking up the wrong tree. More taxes are the answer as we need to pay for this big, big state government.

KRIS KUCERA's picture

I (don't) love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Bob, you admonish others to not call our mercurial Gov. Clint Clobber an anal sphincter, yet you write "low intelligence voters." How quaint.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and Rome didn't fall in one either. Gov. Clobber and Augusta do have a responsibility to make some tough cuts, but there has to be an understanding that you can't save the village by destroying it.

Interest rates are near 0%. This idea that we fix the budget immediately is myopic. We need to get the economy rolling to then have the revenues needed to then make the necessary budget fixes.

Keep an eye on Japan -- I know you much prefer them to us "taker" Americans, based on an earlier diatribe of yours -- which just bucked the austerity trend and dumped over $116 billion in stimulus money to try to kick start their economy. If it works, you're proven wrong, and Keynes is proven right. If it doesn't, and Japan defaults on its debt, I'm wrong and Tokyo is for sale. But if you've paid attention in the U.K., Cameron's austerity measures have backfired.

Sure, this is Maine. And I am no Democrat. But if we are a great nation, we do need to take care of those who can't care for themselves. (Down with hungry shut-in seniors!) Your Ayn Randian, Utopian anarchist prescriptions are a recipe for reverse synergy -- the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

I won't call Gov. Clobber a rear end, 'cause his wife is actually quite nice, but I will call Ayn Rand a woeful [female dog].

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Yet the US spent over

Yet the US spent over 700Billion on stimulus, and that did not work....

KRIS KUCERA's picture

You're totally wrong, Mark. Big surpise there.

What, Obama's stimulus didn't avert a Great Depression?!? Your Know-Nothing party affiliation aside, here's an anything but liberal source to rebut your fallacious assertion:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/13/think_again_obamas_new_...

Yet I don't mind referencing the Guardian either:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/27/why-obama-should-run...

You guys on the right don't believe Obama's an American citizen or a Christian; you don't believe in evolution, you don't believe in the Big Bang or that the universe is some 14 billion years old (have you seen Hubble's photos?!?); you don't believe in climate change, even though 99% of reputable scientists -- and myriad billion-dollar corporations and investment advisory groups -- around the world say it's not only real, it's worse than we thought . . .

. . . yeah, why an earth would you believe Obama's stimulus didn't work? You'd have preferred another Depression? Anyone minus a Fox "News" analyst and Weekly Standard hack would agree: Obama's actions stopped the bleeding, and a recovery, albeit a slow one, has been, and is, occurring. (What about housing starts? Up nearly double since the bottom of the Great Recession in April '09; Obama hadn't even taken office till late January of that year.)

And didn't the Dow just hit 14,000 today? Or is that an Obama failure and/or conspiracy too? Again, Know-Nothings such as yourself know nothing except dogma, denial, and reverence for a past that never existed. In the "halcyon days" of the mid-'50s, the marginal tax rate for earners at $140,00 to $400,00 was 81%. Those making over $400,000 were taxed 91%. But here in the 2013, we're "taxed enough already"? Puh-lease. (As James Thurber wrote, You can look it up.)

However, putting and keeping your head in the sand is probably best for you, even though you're presumably not a chinchilla.

And for the record, Jefferson -- your SJ avatar, I presume -- cut out all of Jesus' miracles from his bible. He was decidedly a deist, like a majority of the Founding Fathers. Yet you probably are proud that there were no Founding Mothers. Chicks -- who needs 'em?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And, there you have it,

And, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen; the World according to KK, all seeing, all knowing bloviater. Interesting reading, though. Just shows you how off the wall leftist thinking can be.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Boy, you really shot off our

Boy, you really shot off our liberal wade here haven’t you. I hope you feel a bit better now.

1. Just because the marginal tax rate on those earning 140K-400k in the 1950’s, which is equivalent to about $1.4M-$4.0M in today’s dollars, at an obscene marginal rate does not make is just or fair. To put it another way, just because there were injustices in the past, does not mean it is okay for the present. One just has to look the historical perspective on slavery to see that.

2. The DOW has no bearing on the health of the economy. Business love quantitative easing. That is, injecting loads of dollars into the economy.

3. The debate whether Obama saves us from the next great depression is just speculation. It is speculation because there is no way to measure the alternative. That is, it is not open to the scientific method, but you are welcome to believe what you wish. Moreover, this economy has the slowest recovery rate in America’s history and one more quarter of negative economic growth will officially mark the start of a recession. Keep looking at those housing starts and ignore all else.

4. I find it ironic that the bailout money is attributed to Bush when discussed in the context of adding to the national debt. However, it is attributed to Obama when discussed in the context of economic salvation. One cannot have it both ways.

KRIS KUCERA's picture

It's not alie if you believe it. -George Costanza

It's simply too late at night to dismantle your nonsense. However, specifically: the Dow has no bearing on the health of the economy?!? Total rubbish. Maybe you forgot Black Tuesday of '29? Man, you're so far in denial you're in the Suez Canal.

Again, the Dow is no indicator? Maybe read the conservative WSJ, which is owned by Ruport Murdoch, owner of ClusterFox News and many other conservative bat-[feces]-crazy mouth pieces that you and your Know-Nothing brethren gobble up like fodder: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732370190457827762117529727...

Really, this is too easy. You and the Pirate are total jokes.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Only an a**hole would post

Only an a**hole would post something like that.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

In the fourth quarter real

In the fourth quarter real GDP declined at an annualized rate of 0.1%, a contrast with the expected increase of 1.2%.

The unemployment rate edged higher—from 7.8% in November to 7.9% in December, despite an expected decline.

The economy does not quite match you optimism.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

That is one good thing about

That is one good thing about state government; you just cannot print money like those do a the federal level. The state is forced with dealing with reality, or go bankrupt.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Hmmmm......

So the reporter found a poster child for keeping this program. Hard to argue that this program shouldn't be around for folks in this situation. They are the reason that such programs exist, and rightfully so.

I found a couple interesting points in this article, that I'd like to see expounded upon. This program works 5 days a week. What do these folks do on the weekends? Do they just starve? Obviously, they do something. So.... why can they not do the same on some other days? There are going to be days when they can't do for themselves. Place the call and get dinner. On days you can do for yourself, don't call for it. If one NEEDS to take full advantage of such a program, okay, but if one gets tot eh point where it is easier to just let someone else cook for them and they take the easy way out.....

Is there any accountability in this program? What is the total cost to operate this program, how much does the Federal Government (for the uninformed, that is every federal taxpayer, not some nameless entity), and how much does the State of Maine pay (again, for the uninformed, that is every State of Maine taxpayer)? How many people are "assisted", and of those, how many can actually do without it?

There are costs involved in such programs, and people like me, who work hard for their money, want to be able to keep money they have earned by the sweat of their brow. We are not uncaring, and will do for others who can't do for themselves. But people who are able, ought to do all they can. Just because they are on the program doesn't mean they can't do for themselves, it means they are on the program. Let's differentiate between those who need this help, and those who just want this help.

 's picture

Meals on Wheels weekends and storm days

Robert, if you just look on the internet a bit, you will see that the Meals on Wheels recipients also receive frozen meals for the weekends, if they need them. For days where the weather won't allow delivery, they have been given "Storm Packs" which tide them over.

My mom needed Meals on Wheels at one point and was too proud to ask for it. She lived in another state, over 400 miles away, and did not want to move closer to me, and my employment did not give me the option to move to her location. Because it was very hard for her to get up out of a chair, she lost over 20 lbs because she simply would not make herself meals when it hurt too much to move around. It was a blessing for her to go into assisted living because at least she was eating regularly and had help when she had problems moving around. If she had meals on wheels, she would have been able to remain living on her own for at least another year.

Holli-Anne Harwood's picture

Thanks

Thank you! I agree!

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

LePage has no heart or brain

and I wonder about his courage since bullies are rarely brave.

Buvnuh - you've proved time and again that being a businessperson is not automatic qualification to he an elected official - now please go away.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Easy to complain but how

Easy to complain but how about suggestions to balance the budget without overburdening the taxpayer with higher taxes?

Since you are so much smarter than the Governor, what would you do? Here is your chance to shine or reveal your true self.

Holli-Anne Harwood's picture

Gee thanks

I work here and I love the fact that we help people and this is not the type of thing I want to see when I wake up in the morning. Cant Lepage find somewhere else to cut. Come on you are cutting the only way some people get fed? Really? Lepage is cutting the most important things in our state.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

So where would you cut?

So where would you cut?

Holli-Anne Harwood's picture

I'd cut

Maybe those billionaires who make 100 thousand plus a year. You dont cut programs that help people stay alive and healthly. Do you expect people to starve to death? To me thats not an option!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What rock did you just crawl

What rock did you just crawl out from under? People who earn a hundred grand a year are billionaires? Do you naturally think that way, or do you have to practice at it? I know a couple of dozen people earning a hundred K a year who are just about making ends meet. One of the reasons? They're paying their full share of taxes. Billionaires my foot.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

One hundred thousand a year

One hundred thousand a year does not a make billionaire.

How about getting off one’s ass and helping your neighbors like many of us do. That does not cost the state and taxpayers a dime.

In fact, that is how these things where handled before the existence of government programs.

Jeff Kelley's picture

wth

does this gov no no bounds first he attacks our kids school funds now he is going to take meals from elderly folks who through no fault of their own can no longer cook for themselves. he should be ashamed of himself,WHAT an A-HOLE

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why do you have to make it personal?

The governor is doing his job. Instead of name calling, why don’t you propose to the readers a segment of the budget you think should be cut to offset the cuts in your cherished programs.

How about closing some DMV offices? How about cutting back on State Police pensions and or staffing levels for example. How about only plowing primary roads in the winter?

You need to man up and pick your medicine.

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