The headline in your otherwise excellent editorial of Sept. 6 was off by a few decimal points, "In January, we start giving up millions."
To say the money lost by Gov. Paul LePage's mismanagement (to call it "ideology" would be misleading) is just "millions" gives the impression that it is less than, say, "tens of millions" or "hundreds of millions."
Now, I don't have the exact figure of what the total loss is as the federal share decreases over a decade from 100 percent to 90 percent. But let's do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, rounding down to be conservative:
$256 million lost for the first three years equals $768 million. Let's say $224 million after that, taking the full 10 percent cut immediately. The hit to Maine sails past the billion dollar mark soon after the fourth year, well over two billion in a decade.
So, the accurate headline is "In January, we start giving up billions."
Of course this is a number so huge it is abstract, hard to wrap your head around. The scale becomes clear when you put these decisions by Gov. LePage and the "brains" behind him in the context of Maine's $6.3 billion biennial budget.
Carl Lindemann, Austin, Texas