L. Chute: Cutting MaineCare a bad idea

My family runs a small business and we have struggled through a tough economy. We have to prove our income often to maintain our MaineCare eligibility because our income is barely enough to sustain our household and certainly not enough to afford private health insurance. Our health care expenses that are not currently covered by MaineCare are difficult to manage already; without MaineCare, we would simply be lost.

Our governor is working to cut 65,000 Mainers from MaineCare in his budget proposal. This would not only harm working families such as ours, but it would put thousands of health-care workers out of a job and would deal a substantial blow to the health-care industry which currently comprises fully 18 percent of Maine’s current jobs. It is also currently the largest sector employing Mainers.

Why enact a budget that would harm the state economy more than it would help it?

This budget reform is not just bad for working families, it is bad for business. Period.

Our state needs to stop cutting taxes on the rich only to cut our social safety nets that protect Maine’s poor. Maine should focus on bringing education in competitive fields with better pay to our state and give its people a chance for a better way of life with a living wage.

By giving health and education, instead of denying those things to the most fragile only to reward the wealthy, would allow prosperity and a positive future for all.

Laurrel Chute, Lewiston

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Comments

Laurrel Chute's picture

I do not feed Trolls

First, I refuse to reply or correspond with anyone who would belittle, condemn, minimize and or outright twist my words in an attempt to demonize me, my letter or my comments, ie "Trolls". All trolls will be reported as abuse and I will consider those comments as invisible. I suggest those of you wishing to discuss the issues mentioned in the letter with respect, please do the same.

Second, anyone wishing to have an intellegent dialogue of ideas that would actually help our economy is welcome and I look forward to hearing from you.

Third, I do want to make clear that I do not hate or have distain for the wealthy. The wealthy have just as much value as the poor. The difference is that the wealthy can do something about it. It is the duty of those of means to assist those with none. Children understand this concept. Most people of little means donate to those who have none in one way or another. Many people of wealth feel this way as well, but sadly their opinions are overshadowed by those who scream "Class Warfare" as a way to criminalize those who would fight for what is right and good in this nation. What I do have "distain" for are those who attack others for being honest and sharing ideas on how to help our society instead of take from it. Please don't feed the Trolls.

Thank you to those who read my letter and found it worth respectfully discussing.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Let's assume Ms. Chute, that

Let's assume Ms. Chute, that you're able to get past your hatred and disdain for the so called 'wealthy'. If the Governor were to propose across the board tax cuts of say 10% for everyone in the State, but these cuts would require accompaniment of cutting spending by an amount equal to the revenue that would be lost from the tax cuts, where would YOU cut custs if not in Medicare and other social programs?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Paul , Tuesday 16:30 hst ? A

Paul , Tuesday 16:30 hst ?
A : Defense > 54.3% of the U S Federal budget ref : http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm
Prevention is always cheaper than treatment much as diplomacy is always less expensive than war
Any one can start a fight . It's takes more than one to create peace and prosperity
h t h /s, Steve

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How can you create peace if

How can you create peace if you haven't had the fight yet? Peace is a relative term. Without conflict, there can be no peace.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There you go again Dan,

There you go again Dan, playing class envy. The math could not have been simpler – across the board tax cut – you payless in taxes, you benefit less from the tax cut. It is really that simple.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, I’m not sure I know

First, I’m not sure I know what you mean by “you guys”. I can only speculate you’re stereotyping again, and based on previous rants, you are referring to Republicans – I assume. My political affiliation is more aligned with Libertarian Party than anything else.

Secondly, class warfare started with the introduction of the progressive tax code. It has migrated to a point where about 50% of taxpayers pay little to no federal tax. Recent advances in the opposite direction are just a normal correct to a system that is out of balance.

A fairer tax system would equate to a flat tax on earned income, no-deductions. Just put yourself in the shoes of a large majority of us who work 80+ hours a week. Why would I work so hard just to hand over my earnings to the Government? I certainly don’t want too.

Just remember the majority of us who pay the bill are not rich. There will come a time when we refuse to pay – mark my word. The underground economy will become our best friend! Then who will be left to pay the bill? If you don’t believe me, just study how Greece’s underground economy developed.

Now go earn your food for today!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Define that massive tax cut

Define that massive tax cut last year, please. Are you referring to the lowering of the payroll tax deduction?

 's picture

Stop...

...blowing smoke.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Learned it from you.

Learned it from you.

 's picture

And where does Ms Chute express any "hatred and disdain

for the so called 'wealthy'". Not in this letter. First, Maine and the Nation's primary problem today is a failure of committment by the wealthy to support their country. We as a nation pay the lowest taxes since World War II. The wealthy have made a science (UBS scandal as just one example) of concealing their wealth, hiding their income, protecting their assets all to avoid legally or illegally their basic obligations to this country.
Second, where to cut if you must pay for cuts in taxes (and the wealthy are not proposing cutting taxes across the board. Every proposal from the wealthy i.e. the Republicans would give massive tax cuts to the wealthiest and huge tax increases to the poorest Americans) is simple; in those programs that are pure wastes of or re-distributions of government tax dollars. Corporate subsidies - the 4 billion that go to Oil and Gas companies, the 20+ billion that go to corporate farms, etc. etc. etc. The last thing that should be cut are useful programs that strengthen the health and welfare of American citizens.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You must hate them too. You

You must hate them too. You just called them unpatriotic. All programs are useful when it comes to spending cuts, aren't they, Jon?

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Mr. St.Jean, I did not see

Mr. St.Jean, I did not see any hatred in this letter. What I did see was someone who is trying to support her family and is barely making it. This is a person who "Works" and is therefore not one of those lazy welfare people you like to talk about. They are able to qualify for MaineCare even with their income because the economy sucks. There are no decent jobs in this state that aren't just handed to relatives of Governor LePage. Ms. Chute suggested ways to solve the problems by bringing competitive fields to the state. Now the Governor wants to cut income taxes....now while that may be an awesome idea and may help some families....how can he justify cutting revenues at this time when the budget is facing such a shortfall....just doesn't make sense that he wants to cut even more in revenues before other issues are solved.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

1. Mr. St. Jean has been

1. Mr. St. Jean has been deceased since 1977. You may choose from the following menu; Pirate or Paul.
2. She twice mentions looking after the wealthy with tax cuts at the expense of others. If hatred is too strong for you, disdain certainly fits.
3. LePage inherited from Baldacci the same thing oBAMa inherited from Bush; a bloody mess. But, the best you can come up with is, "There are no decent jobs in this state that aren't just handed to relatives of Governor LePage". Come on, Tina, has he broken any laws in doing that?
4. Yes, the governor wants to cut taxes and that may help some families; those who work.
5. He can cut revenues by cutting taxes if the cuts are accompanied with spending cuts. Everyone want lower taxes, but no one wants the cuts to take place in their favorite programs. You can't have it both ways. Taxes are going to be cut. Why don't you tell us Tina, where you'd like the offsetting spending cuts to come from. Which programs?

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Lets see, where to

Lets see, where to begin....maybe right there in Augusta....cut the salaries, make it so Senators, Representatives, and yest he Governor get a very small stipend to cover travel expenses. Then maybe we get people who actually care about Maine and not just those out to help themselves and their cronies get whatever they want. Let's cut buying new vehicles for the wardens....how many new vehicles do they need each year...I saw at least 12 at one of the ice fishing events I attended. Lets do away with tax breaks for big corporations that really don't do anything for us. My whole point is that you CANNOT cut taxes of any kind at this moment when their are such huge problems with the current budget. Instead of wasting time (paid for with taxpayer money) finding ways to cut taxes maybe the time should be spent figuring out how to solve the current problems and keeping the safety net for children, elderly, and disabled people. I have never said that taxes should be cut...that is the whole point...this administration wants to cut taxes and yet they are proposing cuts to programs that should be left alone just to help their cronies....their tax cuts won't help the elderly disabled person who doesn't pay income tax but do need services. Their tax cuts won't help children who do not pay income taxes......so why take from those programs.

As far at the brother in law getting the job...after the daughter being given a job....it is not the legality of it....it is the appearance of favoritism from someone who claims to want transparency in government. Appearance goes a long way towards a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a person.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Instead of wasting

"Instead of wasting time...finding ways t cut taxes maybe time should be spent figuring out how to solve the current problems".....
One of the biggest problems we face is high taxes at every level, but those on a assistance don't know this because of their situations.
Regarding your refernce to 'favoritism', it would hold up if both of these individuals proved out to be incompetent for the jobs, but that hasn't happened yet. This is no bigger a deal than oBAMa having his mother in law living in the White House with them, or one of his aunts in the States living on welfare. It's nice drama, but doesn't amount to anything.

 's picture

Dan, I know you are unable to

Dan, I know you are unable to be honest on this site, I know you are full of hatred, but at least be honest with yourself.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Read my post to Ms. Chute.

Read my post to Ms. Chute. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

 's picture

This tax cut for the rich

This tax cut for the rich only is not true, but it sounds good. How do you suggest that LePage balance the budget, which, by the way, is constitutionally required?

 's picture

increase taxes on the wealthy while controlling costs

until the necessary revenues are expected to meet the basic social needs of all Mainers.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You know as well as any of

You know as well as any of us, Jon, that politicians do not control costs. Tax cuts MUST be accompanied by spending CUTS. And, increasing taxes ONLY on the WEALTHY, is unfair and unproductive. If taxes are to be increased, or lowered, it should be for all or NONE.

 's picture

OK, that makes no sense.

Paying taxes should be like anything else in the real world (not the imaginary world of libertarian reductionism). All of us owe some level of taxes as our committment to the maintenance of society. We all use and are protected by shared laws and regulations. But some of us use more than the rest. Money is freedom. With it the wealthy can do more that they want to do than the poor can do. That's the whole point. If money didn't then it would not be an incentive. Wealthy people need to pay for that increased "use" of the system.
What evidence is there that increasing taxes on only the wealthy is unfair and unproductive - none. What evidence is there that tax cuts MUST be accompanied by spending cuts - none. In fact, there is a world of evidence beginning in 1791 that shows that some level of national debt is absolutely necessary for a united society.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Money is freedom. With it

"Money is freedom. With it the wealthy can do more that they want to do than the poor can do." So the wealthy should be penalized so that the poor can have a more level playing field? Oh, as in, 'from each accordng to his means to heach according to his needs.' Marxism.

 's picture

That's extremism.

Its not either/or. An infinite range of possible solutions exist. Marxism has nothing to do with it. Even your quote is what might happen as an extreme example under a whole bunch of Marxist assumptions that they don't even believe in. We can have equal opportunity, social stability, national unity, all people living within an acceptable range of satifactions and we did up until 1980 when the wealthy choose to change the laws and take every crumb on the table. Its not a zero sum game.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The one making the $100K.

The one making the $100K. He's probably paying the most in tax dollars.

 's picture

NO,

The one making under $20,000 pays the highest tax rates (Source: MCEP).

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I said tax DOLLARS, not tax

I said tax DOLLARS, not tax rates. Rates mean squat. When I write my annual checks to the feds and state, I write in a dollar amount, not my tax rate. The guy earning $100 grand paid more dollars in taxes than the guy earning $20K. The thing is, the guy with the $20K probably ends up with more disposable income because of all the government entitlement programs he qualifies for, including free cell phones.

Jillian Campbell's picture

obviously the more you make

obviously the more you make the more you will pay out in tax dollars, that is just commen sense. However, i do not understand why those who make less money pay a higher %. everyone should be paying the same % regardless of how much you make~

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I agree. Stop voting for

I agree. Stop voting for democrats and vote for candidates who support the flat tax.

 's picture

First, there is no such thing as a flat tax

All taxation is either regression or progressive. Either taxation strengthens or weakens a country. A "flat tax" is just a gross oversimplification that does not address the real issues and therefore benefits only the rich.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

With all due respect, Jon,

With all due respect, Jon, that is bull.Saying that a flat tax is just a gross oversimplification is, in effect, a gross oversimplification in itself. Befefits only the rich why, because a guy earning $20K with an 18% flat tax pays $3600 in taxes and the guy making $150K a year with the same 18% flat tax pays $27000 in taxes? How is that benefitting only the rich?

 's picture

Because its only one tax

not all. Because it doesn't measure impact or really ability to pay (or disposable income if you will). Its an abstraction removed from the reality of your examples lives without considering the totalit of their lives.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The tax that impacts peoples'

The tax that impacts peoples' lives the most is the income tax, because of its variables, such as exemptions, deductions, credits, etc. All other taxes such as sales taxes and fees as the govt. likes to call them are all one rate within the confines of their individual communities. Everyone who consumes or participates in that particular taxable entity pay the same rate. Not so for income taxes. Disposable income of a poor person is not guaranteed by any laws of government or nature to be equal to that of a wealthy person. We have the right to pursue happiness; it is not guaranteed to us.

 's picture

Not all taxes are income taxes and not all income is taxed the

same and not all taxes have the same conditions, exceptions, and regulations. That's why Warren Buffett pays 17.9% and his secretary over 30%. Paying the same tax dollars on different incomes has disproportionate affects. Everyone' situation is different. So no everyone should not pay the same %; what they pay should have the same impact on their lives. Let's say you and the next guy both pay 20% of your income in taxes but that leaves him enough to send his kids to Harvard and you can send your kids to work with lunch. Is that fair?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"So no everyone should not

"So no everyone should not pay the same %; what they pay should have the same impact on their lives."
There you go sounding like Karl again.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Maybe someone needs to

Maybe someone needs to consider a different line of work. The word fair does not fit in any sentence that contains the words taxes,distribution, wealth,income, or life.

 's picture

That's why you have a problem

Its precisely the search for fair and what it means that drives most of human existence. Or has for the last 2000 years.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What makes you think I have a

What makes you think I have a problem I'm not the one who's got his pantyhose in a twist over life's unfairness in all matters. That's you guys. Only two things are fair and equal in life; we all come in the same way and we all go out the same way.

 's picture

assumptions heaped on assumptions

and judgements heaped on judgements. I have a different attitude.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Of course you do. That's why

Of course you do. That's why we don't agree on much. The only thing we most often agree on is that we're both trying to keep it civil; I think.

GARY SAVARD's picture

So what's fair, Jon? Tax the

So what's fair, Jon? Tax the guy with the Harvard bankroll enough so that in the end both families can send their kids to a state or community college? Why bother then to pull the wagon when you can ride on it for free? I don't like loopholes, but I'm not in favor of a Robinhood style tax system, either.

 's picture

Because you can't ride it for free

1. We are expected to be a country of equal opportunity not results.
2. We can never attain equal opportunity so the closest we can come to it is relatively equal, close to equal. Instead we have a tax system that doesn't even try at equal opportunity. It shoots for a growing inequality of opportunity and that's the facts. Between 1945 and 1980 the relative share of national income of the wealth and the rest of us statyed at 40/60. Since then all increases in national income have gone to the top 10 or so.
3. You Robinhood style tax system is a myth. Don't exist. And no one is proposing anything that even approaches that. All current proposals just make inequal opportunity worse.

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