G. Onnen: Nothing short of bizarre

The astonishing flow of questionable legislation being cranked out of Augusta recently is impressive. Since a small rural state can only produce a certain number of truly sinister politicians, it seems likely that it's being scripted on a national level.

At a time when the least financially secure people in the state are either just barely or not getting by, cutting minimal services while giving tax breaks to the wealthy is nothing short of bizarre. Yes, sometimes wealthy people are "job creators." They are also owners of luxury cars and boats, and people who can afford lavish vacations.

Would the hardworking taxpayers of Maine like to finance a new swimming pool for the state treasurer's seaside mansion? Or pick up the tuition for children from some of Maine's wealthiest families to attend really first-rate private schools?

I think not.

De facto welfare for the wealthy — also known as "take from the needy and give to the greedy" — is an old idea that hasn't ever worked, except to help the rich get richer.

If the extremist political fringe currently pulling the strings in Augusta is determined to damage the quality of life in Maine, it might be expected that they won't be invited back to take another swipe at taxpayers any time soon.

And if that sounds like hot air or wishful thinking, keep an eye on Wisconsin state politics, where a similar political fringe has tried following the same script.

Gregory Onnen, Farmington

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

“Wall street speculators do

“Wall street speculators do not NEED to earn millions driving up the price of gas for no good reason”

So what do you do about the other global markets? Futures can be bought and sold globally, not just Wall-Street.

A heated futures market means buyers at betting that gasoline demand will increase or supply will decrease. Dumping supply on the market will move prices down. Similarly, removing demand, for example supporting natural gas as a gasoline alternative, will also put downward pressure on prices.

One thing is certain, not action will produce any change.

CRYSTAL WARD's picture

a first

For one of the first times in history the Middle class have beocme the champions for the rich -- fighting to give them tax breaks that net them far more money than anyone in the middle class will ever see. While the rich get richer the middle class gets less and the poor get kicked -- this does not sound very much like the USA. As long as the rich , major corporations and wall street can count on the middle class to fight to keep them from be regulated or taxed they will keep smiling . I agree -- this welfare for the rich needs to stop , oil companies do not need millions in tax dollars,the wealthy (over $250,000) do not NEED a tax cut and wall street speculators do not NEED to earn millions driving up the price of gas for no good reason.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The people earning over

The people earning over $250,000 are already paying the majority of government revenue, but you already know that. Perhaps you don’t know your passage makes you sound just as greedy as the super rich…give me, give me, give me all while neglecting the Federal government is broke; even all the riches wealth will not solve that problem.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"For one of the first times

"For one of the first times in history the Middle class have beocme (sic) the champions for the rich--fighting to give them tax breaks that net them far more money than anyone in the middle class will ever see."
Know why? Because those of the WORKING middle class are smart enough to know that the rich are the ones providing their jobs and signing their paychecks. Not the union bosses or the government; it's the rich entrepreneurs that keep this economy and country prospering.
'Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there ain't no rich no more'...Is that what you people want? Grind and grind, till there's nothing left for anyone.



Just because someone has a different idea doesn't mean it's right. These are challenging times and while the state will not thrive if it doesn't adapt to the times that doesn't mean that the only good ideas are those from 50 years ago. That is what these conservatives are offering us. No solutions just bring back the old problems. We do need change but we need creative ideas that take into consideration the needs of the people of the state of Maine and the times we live in. We are stuck with legislators who have no ideas or a whole bunch of bad ideas, who keep repeating the mantras of the national conservatives with no new ideas like the Heritage Foundation and who are only interested in serving the small percentage of citizens that make up their base. Once a politician is elected they should stop campaigning and serve the citizens of their state. All the citizens.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

As a nation, we have been

As a nation, we have been living beyond our means for some time. There are economic laws that persist (from 50 + years) regardless of have creative you get trying to hide the truth. It is time to bring our standard of living in line with what we can afford.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I guess oBAMa, the Senate and

I guess oBAMa, the Senate and the House never got that memo.

 's picture

OH! so good

"take from the needy and give to the greedy". Thanks I'll use that.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Who is the greedy one?

Who is the greedy one?

 's picture

Didn't you see that ...

... in the handbook back in SDS cadet school?

 's picture

No, although that would be a good school had they had one

Good, phrase that accurately represents the aims and goals of the fascist right.

 's picture

They did have that school.

I saw the cadets every day in the late 60s in NYC. They marched in unison, drilled with posters and flags, and had cute uniforms. Two varieties: John Lennon or V. Lenin. I don't recall which held the higher rank. And they also used terms like "fascist" very loosely.

My dictionary says: Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. That's an accurate description of what the left is trying to establish here. In the spirit of diversity, I am widening "supremacy" to include all PC ethnic groups and the anti-nation philosophy.

 's picture

delusion long believed are still delusions

Your dictionary isn't worth much:
first phrase OK requires national supremacy to some degree
contempt for democracy is a trivial aspect
one leader is OK but not necessary
but then it ends
Its a definition of some forms of nazism not fascism.
Fascism is a political system. How can the definition not include anything about politics. Fascism is a political system in which the business class controls national decision making generally but not necessarily through a strong leader (french fascism was a democratic fascism) and in which national and racial identity combined with totalitarian techniques are used to manage the populous. Any political system definition must include who benefits, how the population is managed, and how decisions are made.
By definition the left doesn't fit and never has. An anti-nation philosophy is by definition anti-fascist. So you can't just widen it for your purposes. Nor can you just widen it to include all ethnic groups it is by definition limited to one and only one ethnic group. Multiple ethnic groups are by definition anti-fascist.
So what is the Republican party - strong defense (pro-nationalism), anti-women, anti-immigration (white anglo-saxon, english speaking), pro-business (obvious), anti-democratic (all the voter suppression laws as an obvious example). Sounds very fascist to me.

 's picture

New Oxford American

Perhaps you can add it to your list of books to rewrite when you retire.

Supremacy has been a big part of the BHO administration: of race (black) and of religion (Islam). Others need not apply.

BHO has been aiding and abetting "democracy" in the middle east. The only trivial aspect is the results.

BHO has nothing to do with business. Except for GE having an office down the hall in the White House, GM producing tax-payer subsidized cars (the new volkswagens) that nobody wants, Solyndra, banks, insurance companies ...

The anti-women, anti-immigration, anti-democratic nonsense has been manufactured so the left has something to campaign on, actual accomplishments being extremely thin.

The single greatest accomplishment in the 20th century of the progressive movement was to hang the label "right-wing" on German Nazism. Only nationalism separated Nazi from Communist.

You gotta love that phrase "how the population is managed". The extreme left has slaughtered more human beings, in the name of politics, than the right, extreme or not, ever dreamed of.

 's picture

Excuse me; but a single factoid might help

1. Supremacy, big part of nothing. Our President has done nothing to enhance the supremacy of either blacks or Islam. To suggest anything else is delusional.
2. Our President has a great deal to do with business - first he is the savior of manufacturing in the US primarily but not exclusively through the GM bailout. GE has no office in the White House. GM is not producing tax-payer subsidied cars.
3. The rightwingers insistance that Nazis are left wing is as you say pure propaganda. 1. Nazis gassed Communists in their death camps; Hitler exterminated the leadership of the SA (the socialist wing of the 1920's Nazis Party)gassed Soviet prisoners of war in their death camps; began by attacking communists in the streets in the 1920's. Communist stand for party ownership of the means of production. Nazis for business ownership of the means of production (until Hitler made his deal with big business he was out of power in Germany.) Socialist stand for the people owning the means of production. Major difference. Nazis are nationalists; Socialists and Communists internationalists. Major difference. Nazis are racists; Socialists and Communists are anti-racists. Major difference. The lit of differences goes on and on.
4. Left and right have a long and inglorious history of slaughter. But one difference is the real left not Communists has always opposed violence; the right always revels in it. Saying that a person without health insurance who is sick should die; booing gay soldier in Iraq, etc, etc, etc.
5. The distinction is between those who support republicanism (with a very small r) and those that support totalitarianism. You have left and right variants of each. Leftwing republicanism is infinitely better than rightwing republicanism and all forms of totalitarianism are purely evil.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"GM is not producing

"GM is not producing tax-payer subsidied cars."
What would you call the $7500 tax credit the feds are promoting to get people to buy the Chevy Volt?

 's picture

Excuse me

That's a green energy program that has been around since 2008. Hardly Obama's and it goes toward any PEV

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You can call it anything you

You can call it anything you wish, Jon, but if I plop down $41,000 for a Volt (which I'd boil my first born before doing), and receive a $7500 credit from the government, that is a government subsidy. There is no room for oBAMaspeak here.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Stop fighting

Granted the number of truly ethical politicians in this state is slim pickins, but this continuing fight between democrats and republicans, or should I say armchair politicians, has to stop. I think they thrive on this. it takes the focus off whats really going on. Unless you can all stand together and tell Augusta, no more bickering and get to work, nothings going to change. Not that I hold out to much hope of anything changing soon anyway. This back and forth blaming amongst the people does nothing. I think if you all want to push for something, how about " no results, no pay". It works in the private sector.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The true division between us

The true division between us has not fully manifested itself yet. The worst is still to come. The divide began with the Vietnam War. It never healed itself; the line was drawn and the sides were chosen. I was sure 911 would unite us, and it did; for six days, maybe seven. Winter is coming.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And one must never forget;

And one must never forget; the voters deserve the government they elect.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

I disagreed because....

.......well, politicians lie. Obama may be the latest example, but for many of us, after 8 agonizing years of Bubba, we wanted to believe that someone would get us back to sanity.

Didn't happen. We still torture. War by drones has escalated. Still no Habeas Corpus. Still in the pocket of big agro and pharma. I could go on and on.

My point being that your slogan is in error. How is a voter supposed to know beforehand what kind of a government they elect will turn out once elected?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

First of all, you look for

First of all, you look for people of integrity. oBAMa had none from the gitgo. I mean, the man had associated himself with Van Jones, and avowed marxist/communist. We did you oBAMa supporters really think was going to happen? You all hated Bush so much that you blinded yourselves to the realities that surrounded us.
The laughable part is that all you oBAMaites are pissed off at him because he hasn't done ENOUGH left wing changes to the country. We're angry at him because he's flushed the country down the toilet of prosperity.
No, I've got it right; you who elected him are getting the government you deserve.

 's picture

Just remember

up until a year ago, democrats were having their way with Maine. Time to make changes.

 's picture

Also remember ...

... how much worse it was under Democrats during the 35 years up through 2010. And, I agree, vote accordingly.

JOANNE MOORE's picture


By whose standards? We never had a governor who said "Kiss my butt" before and acted like a teenager. We did not have an onslaught against the neediest while benefiting the greediest. We did not have a government run by people who wanted to disenfranchise voters and erode public education. And we had jobs.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

We suffered through 8 years

We suffered through 8 years of Baldacci, and LePage won his election. Time to get over it and ride the choo-choo with the rest of us.


Some of us are riding the

Some of us are riding the train and barely holding on. I once thought a business man (LePage) would be the change Maine needed to bring jobs to this state and get us out of an economic mess. How wrong I was. He has turned out to be nothing more than another politician that does nothing but lie, hide facts, and try to intimidate others. You can bet that come time for reelection he doesn't get my vote and in the meantime there is not a republican in this state who will ever convince me to vote for them.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that after almost 4 years in office, oBAMa continues to get a pass on just about everything that is still wrong with the country (It's all still Bush's fault). But LePage, who has been governor for less than a year and has failed to turn Maine into Camelot yet, is being reviled as a 'liar, a deceiver, and an intimidator'. Why does time only seem to work on the side of the democrats?


Well, I for one did NOT vote

Well, I for one did NOT vote for Obama nor will I come election time. But in the same manner I will not vote for the Republican nominee either as they are no better. I would love to see an ELECTABLE independent run against the political insiders.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Many of us would. The problem

Many of us would. The problem with the 'independent' label, though, is that too often (to paraphrase another poster)it's another name for the masquerade party. A good example is Angus King. He calls himself and runs as an independent, but anyone who is even slightly to the right of center, sees him as a true blue democrat.


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