R. Zimmerman: He provides no vision

In the Sun Journal editorial June 2, you commented on Gov. Paul LePage's complaint about losing his First Amendment right to free speech. He had not been allowed to speak at a work session of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee.

You were right in one regard, but wrong in another. You correctly identified the governor's tendency for hyperbole, misrepresentation and foolish grandstanding. But you erred when you titled the editorial "Our leader ..."

What leader? He is the governor due solely to the peculiarities of the state's election proceedings. He fails to unite people in common cause; he fails to serve as an appropriate model; he expresses himself, more often than not, with foot in mouth; he fails to inspire (unless one is impressed with bluster and bully); and he provides no vision, save that of advertising the state with a "For Sale" sign.

That is leadership?

More accurately, he is an occupier. He occupies a chair in an office belonging to a title called governor.

Roger Zimmerman, Bethel

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 's picture

You obviously didn't get the memo

This place is dying and has been for years because nobody is replacing the folks and businesses that leave. A for sale sign is exactly what is needed, as are tax breaks for businesses, training programs for students rather than accumulated debt from overpriced colleges, and a governor who isn't afraid to piss off the people who want things to stay the same as they always have... He will have my vote again.
read this article and see where this state is headed

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Your sentiment is right, but..........

Plain and simple, LePage is a bully, he wants to be viewed as a bully. He feels that gives him some sort of super powers. His only super powers are in his head. You state your glad you have a Governor willing to "piss off the people" unfortunately that's all he does. If there were any positive results, maybe he would have some credibility. Nothing of any value will ever happen as long as LePage is still in office. He is not capable of understanding logic, and he sure as hell doesn't use any.

 's picture

The fact that Gov. Lepage

is trying to bring the state back from the brink of fiscal disaster, and is actually doing it, shows that he does in fact understand what's going on. Years of irresponsibility by his spend and tax predecessors have pushed this state into a deep dark hole from which it will take years to recover.
The expansion of the Mainecare rolls during the last administration without the means to pay the costs are what lead to having so much debt to health care providers, and selling bonds without the tax base to repay them without raising taxes is simply bad business. Are you in the habit of taking out loans that you don't have the income to repay?
Most voters are running under the assumption that the bonds that they approve are going to be paid off without any increase to them and the Governor seems to be the only one who realizes that Maine is a state with champagne tastes and a beer budget. The bills MUST be paid, and sometimes that requires tightening the belt a little. If that tightening means that generally healthy young people have to go without health insurance, then so be it. I went for years with out it and I lived.
The very idea that any money the state gets from the feds to offset costs is ridiculous. WE are still paying, and eventually the feds will have to raise taxes on us to pay for what they are giving the states. There is no "free" money. LePage understands that, even if many of his naysayers don't.
Yes, he is brash and rude, and far from politically correct. He is willing to call an idiot an idiot, and doesn't care if he offends anyone. So somebody is offended, big deal. It doesn't give anyone special rights because they're offended, it's just whining, and deserves no more respect than saying "I'm tired". Mainers have always been people who spoke their minds regardless of the outcome. That is what I respect. He may not always be right, but at least he's straightforward.

 's picture

Usual Republican talking points; no truth in any of these

groundless assertions.
Since LePage's business friendly store opened Maine has fallen to 44th in job creation and last in New England.
Maine's bond rating is fine.
LePage is now in a Challenge to win the title of worst Republican Governor in the Nation. He has tough competition - Scott Walker, Rick Scott of Florida to mention two. But I think he has a great chance at winning. His competitive juices are flowing. But he needs a new idea. Something that sets him apart from the run of the mill Republican failure.
How about a state immigration law. Arizona and the other Sourthern border states are getting all the attention and the new "WALL" (understand Putin sent pieces from East Germany to Jan Brewer). Think of the jobs, cash flow into Maine. By vetoeing the Medicare Expansion, LePage threw away $350,000,000 a year and 3500 new jobs. He needs to make up for that. How about a border Wall for Maine. Start at Cutler up through the county back over to New Hampshire and then York county. Two 25 foot tall walls with 6 foot tall barbed wire in front of each separated by 10 yards with police dogs patrolling between them and machine gun towers every two hundred yards. Think of all those productive jobs. Think of our bond rating then. Boy, would the Tea Party in Washington be jealous.

 's picture

It's that kind of spend and tax mentality

that just resulted in the two towns that I have called home throwing out their budgets and telling the selectmen to start over.
3500 new jobs from where? And where do you think that $350,000.00 dollars is coming from? More printed cash that has no real backing besides the what used to be AAA+ credit rating of the good old USA and Chinese loans. All that money that the feds are promising is just money that we've already paid to them. They're just giving it back. Let us keep it to begin with and we wouldn't need to have the Federal government pay us out of our own pockets.
I can also see that you've thought long and hard about how to keep people out of Maine. Now let me hear your plan about how to get them into Maine. More taxes for working people and more welfare for the non workers is going to go a long way towards balancing the budget isn't it? it's also going to go a long way towards attracting businesses that want skilled workers rather than state aid recipients who would rather collect a check, insurance and discounted housing without effort than work a 7-3 factory job and pay for those things themselves.
Just look at what the welfare system did to Great Britain and you'll see where we are headed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2109526/Why-Britains-fallen-lo...

Also, you either ignored or didn't read my previous post about our aging state and the article that accompanied it. Revenue is declining and expenses continue to climb and I, for one, don't wish to be forced to leave my home state when I retire because the taxes are too high for me to live here. I like it here, windmills and all..

 's picture

same old same old

1. The English article is not surprising. The UK have had a few minor events like WWII destroying its Empire for example. Or the Depression, double tip mind you, they experienced because Republicans let the mortgage generators and Banks tank the US and World economy. Under that kind of economic pressure anyone would re-think the current system. The article is also from a looney right UK newspaper that has little credibility.
2. Welfare to the poor is no problem in America. But Welfare for the Wealthy now that's breaking the bank. The Monsanto Protection Act. No negiotiation of drug costs by Medicare. The current Farm Bill laden with corporate pork from one end of the country to the other. Primary beneficiaries ADM and other ag-businesses. Or the mandate for ethanol in gasoline. Total corporate boondoge with the little added benefit tha it is ruining people's health. The Federal Defense Budget, ouch.
3. The US Dollar is doing fine thank you. Gaining againt 16 other currencies just about everyday because its full back by the US Governmet and investors all over the world.
4. Getting people back in Maine is not simple because Maine has never been an economic engine in its entire history. End-of-road State, poor infrastructure, rural, far from markets, farmers until WWII, then mill workers, now what. The State's economy has radically changed in the last 50 years. I'm going to live with my Sister. The choice was I go to live with her or she comes and lives with me. All we wanted was a small house, little garden, close to a college with strong community involvement and cultural events, access to wilderness ocean, mountains, etc. Taxes wasn't one of our criteria. As taxes are not a criteria for businesses (at least according to the consultants Gov. King brought in a few years back) New York won hands down.
You need skilled workers - training programs. You need to use your assets in Maine's case its lack of people, its recreational opportunities, its small towns, its coast, its mountains. We don't have oil, coal, or natural gas. Fix the damn roads and bridges and build an East-West Highway (not a private road). Link Bethel and Portland by a highway. Rebuild the ralroads. Invest.
But I do agree with your last paragraph. That's Maine's challenge. But austerity, cutting spending, cutting taxes only makes the problem worse as the UK and Europe have learned in the last decade.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I don't disagree with your arguments, but..........

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I have all the answers, I'm not a local politician, a business owner or anything like that. Hell, I'm just a sort of retired trucker. I retired at the ripe old age of 43 years of age. I went back to school and eventually went to work as a problem solver. That wasn't my exact job title, but that is what I did. I solved problems in the robotics field. Solving problems requires certain abilities, such as the ability to step back look at the whole problem and be able to analyze whats not working, why it's not working, and what are possible corrections which might resolve the situation.
There are far to many problems with the LePage administration to list. The corrections however present themselves almost at will.
First of all, antagonizing your constituents is not a good platform for progress. That after all is what is needed, progress. In order for the State to make progress, LePage needs to accept the fact that he does not have all the answers. He is not as smart as he thinks he is. When he decides to enclose himself in his little cocoon, and shun any advise from the outside world, he's a failure.
You as well as LePage, seem intent on blaming past expansion of Medicaid as the cause of the debt to hospitals. There were many causes for the debt to the hospitals, Medicaid in itself wasn't one of them. It's become a convenient "scape goat" for the Governor. The Governors problem is, he fails to step back and see the whole picture. Therefore his corrections miss the point. Paying off the debt to hospitals didn't solve anything. Without resolving the cause of the debt to hospitals, all he did was perform a nice gesture. That was his whole agenda, pay for the perceived mistakes of the Democrats, in doing so making himself and the Republican party appear as saviors. Well all that is a fantasy, and exists only in his head and nowhere else. A visit ,to a credit counselor, would have given LePage much more positive advise than he seems to have now. Anyone who has ever had a credit card go out of control knows that paying off the balance isn't a solution for the problem, you have to come to terms with how the balance got so bad in the first place. That's always the part most people are scared to face. Until you resolve the cause for the debt getting out of control, you haven't accomplished anything. This brings us to Medicaid Expansion. The wolf in sheep's clothing. Medicaid is not at risk of failure based on how many people are using the program. The biggest culprit is fiscal irresponsibility.
It's just like a typical household, you have "X" amount of money, you have to pay "Y" amount of bills. When I became disabled and unable to work any more, I took a 75% cut in income. I still had to pay basically the same amount of bills. At some point someone in the State Government encounted the same predicament. The only problem was the solution they chose. It was the inability to stick to a budget. If you start skipping payments to pay something else, you start down a road you don't want to be on. Medicaid wasn't the culprit, it was the failure of past administrations to adjust to a changing budget. Instead of properly addressing the problem they most likely started robbing Peter, to pay Paul. It's what happens to a lot of families. That's why you have so many financial disasters out there, including the State of Maine's.
Medicaid Expansion needs to be implemented, it will not add to the fiscal nightmare going on. If anything it may very well help the problem as a whole. There is no shortage of money, the only shortage is in the ability to make it work. The State needs to employ top shelf accounting services. Everybody is screaming to cut spending, that's part of it. The other part is increase spending or paying responsibly. You can't have someone taking all the money to plug one hole, if there are three more letting in the water. Eventually the boat will sink.

 's picture

We disagree on mainecare

but I really want to thank you for making a far more eloquent argument than I could have on the benefits of fiscal responsibility, something that politicians of any sort, but especially Democrats, seem to have a hard time with.
My original point was that Maine's population is dying faster than it is being replaced and that adding to the mainecare rolls and issuing bonds are fiscally irresponsible acts when the state is losing income by the minute. Unless there is an influx of new, young WORKING, TAX PAYING, residents in the near future, that decline in revenue will continue. That 10% that we will be required to cover when the feds stop fully funding the expansion will be coming out of a state budget that is even smaller than it is now, and we are unable to keep up with the payments we have to make currently. How is adding to that burden going to help.
Your hole plugging analogy was faulty, by the way. By only partially plugging all of the holes in the boat, there is still the same amount of water getting in as there would be if you had completely plugged one. The boat still sinks no matter what you do. I guess that makes us both right...


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