Budget woes

The budget proposed by Gov. Paul LePage is balanced disproportionately on the backs of state retirees and towns.

He has proposed a decrease in state revenue sharing of $92 million and a decrease in general assistance payments. That shifts the burden from the state to the local property taxpayer.

Instead of negotiating with the union, he has chosen to tell those collecting retirement to go another two years without a cost of living increase, and future increases will be capped at 2 percent, regardless of the increase in the cost of living. Retirees have already gone two years without an increase.

LePage will be eligible to collect 36 percent of his pay plus full health benefits when he leaves office. Teachers have to work 18 years to receive that percentage and have to pay 55 percent of their insurance. He could arbitrarily state that he would take no more than 2 percent per year of service and pay 55 percent of the retirement premium, plus he could propose making these changes for future governors.

He claims he isn't anti-labor or trying to break unions. Yet he is arbitrarily removing a mural depicting the history of labor in Maine without saying who has complained about it; renaming conference rooms named after past labor leaders; and having a business committee whose members appear to be afraid to say something in public that will be said behind closed doors.

It appears the only people he listens to are those who agree with him.

Stan Tetenman, Poland

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Stan Tetenman's picture

Maine State Retirement

I guess George Fogg likes to make things personal to prove his point. My wife worked for 34 years at a salary below what she could have received in the private sector. She worked hard to get her Masters degree. She chose to work with children in our schools so she could help improve their lives. She pays for 55% of her health insurance.
How come Mr. Fogg has no complaint about any retired governor receiving 40% of their income as retirement after only 4 or 8 years and getting free health insurance.
I guess the best he can do to back up whatever his position is, is to indicate that people who have worked hard for their education, have been fortunate enough to get a decent job, who have worked many years at their chosen profession, and have been fortunate enough to save a few bucks - that these people should be chastised.
I don't know Mr. Fogg. I do not know what devine powers he has to judge other peoples lives.

 's picture

I will gladly tell my

I will gladly tell my retirement income if you will Ronald. As a retired telephone company supervisor I get $1800 per month. As a retire LEO from NY, what do you get Ronald?

RONALD RIML's picture

You should easily be able to file a Freedom of Information

Request gathered from what I've posted on my profile and the marvels of the modern internet.

Supervisors should be smart people

 's picture

Does Mr. Tetenmans letter

Does Mr. Tetenmans letter indicate a bias? It should as his wife is a retired teacher who makes $36,000 a year in retirement. That is much more than many Mainers make working two or more jobs. Poor babies! That and they live on a half million property should give you an idea of where he comes from.

RONALD RIML's picture

And in the interest of objectivity

George Fogg will now open his finances for all to see.


 's picture

His goal is to fleece the middle class and enrich his friends

Simple. That's been Republican policy since 1981. Its called supply side economics.

 's picture

offer some proof

instead of the same tired lame re-fried talking points from the democrat party (a wholly owned subsidary of the communist party)

RONALD RIML's picture

As you are going to offer some proof that the

Democrat Party (which sent me to Vietnam to fight Communism) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the communist party.

What have you fought, besides truth, John??

 's picture

Name anything that I mentioned that isn't a fact

You guys are all the same when faced with a fact that proves your misinformed ideology is false you just say no. No alternative fact or construction. Just stamp your feet; get personal, go into an emotional tantrum, and offer nothing of substance. Oh! if Bill Buckley were still around.
If I remember correctly Republicans might have kept you there from 1969-1975.
The idea that the Democratic Party is even liberal approaches the insane. To carry that into the world of the bizarre writing that its party of the communist party is way more bizarre. Particularly since it sent you to fight communists. Subsidaries rarely fight wars with their owners.

RONALD RIML's picture

William F. Buckley Jr was a Conservative with Class and Style.

He and Barry Goldwater were my heroes when I was a Republican and a Conservative.

Then these fruit-loop whack-jobs kidnapped the party and the movement. Ronald Reagan was an actor indeed.......

 's picture

We can agree on something.

I campaigned for Goldwater until I read the literature of his supporters (on the table in campaign headquarters). I guess that's what you mean by fruit-loop whack-jobs. Ultranationalists, Birchers, anti-communists (Eisenhower was a stooge of the communists). So I took notice when Bill Buckley condemned the Birchers and drove them out of the conservative movement. Watched his TV show as often as possible. Since I'm a data analyst, I found language corruption for political purposes, lying with statistics, the corruption of facts, important in deciding what politicians were on my side. And as you describe them, the fruit-loop, whack-jobs on the right were the only ones consistently violating my minimum standard of integrity I expected of politicians. The 1968 "Southern Strategy" of recruiting southern white racists into the Republican party was the last straw. That the fruit-loop whack-jobs into control of the Republican Party. Like Newt Gingrich who recently said that he was "worried that America would turn into a secular atheist country dominated by radical islamists". Such a statement is irrational but consistent with the views of the wackos in 1964.
I have great respect for Goldwater and admiration for Buckley even though I must disagree with them on almost everything.

RONALD RIML's picture

Goldwater was early supporter of Gays in Military

knowing they didn't have to be straight to shoot straight. Unlike today's Worms - Goldwater and Buckley had class. But LMFAO when WFB Jr got down & dirty with Gore Vidal at the 68 Dem convention at Chicago......

RONALD RIML's picture

Here's the link... I couldn't 'embed' it above......

 's picture

None necessary

Just read the Republican Platforms. Watch the news. Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Maine. Same agenda. Bottom line tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthiest Americans. Cuts to the programs that benefit the poor and middle class. Shifts from reliance on the income tax to the property and better yet the sales tax (which hit the middle class hardest). Maine today collects taxes from the botton 20% of wage earners at twice the rate it collects them from the top 20%. Exxon/Mobil, Bank of America pay no corporate income taxes among many major corporations. The list goes on and on. The Republicans gave the banks 3 trillion dollars to weather the economic collapse the banks caused. Now they are making all time record profits using our money.
facts would not help anyone who thinks the democratic party is a subsidary of the communist party.

Well Said Stan

Gov. LePage seems to be very disproportionate when it comes to areas of cuts. That's what some republicans do. If he really wants to save the state some monies then he should make real changes that would do that. Our house reps an state sens. should not be eligible for any benefits either if they don't serve at least 24 yeras in the respective houses. And speaking of those houses the size of both should be no more than 17 in each. This would save billions. But you know as well as I do that our politicians that are in office would never allow that. They are truly not concerned about saving monies. So there you have it. A Gov. and both houses in Maine that do not have the true wellfare of the taxpayer in mind. Just getting and extra paycheck for themselves after serving their short terms. And we are the stupid ones that put them in office not truely knowing their hidden motives.

 's picture

Who did Baldacci listen to?

Whenever there was an issue of even minor controversy, he would trot out the all-purpose talking point: Republicans have offered no alternatives. Then he would do what he wanted to do in the first place. It's easy to find those who agree with you if you ignore everyone else.

Joe Morin's picture


Imagine Mike if we had the hundreds of millions of dollars that Baldacci spent on Dirigo all the good that could be done? Who was advising him on that landmark program.


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