I haven't had time to write lately as I need to focus on our business but I have been involved in many discussions on line about the LePage budget. I am hearing that comments not in favor of LePage's fundamental transformation of Maine have been scrubbed from Lepage's Facebook page and I have now had my first comment scrubbed by the Bangor Daily News, which until now has been remarkably fair about publishing comments. One can see a lists of one's comments on Discus and I see no others that have been scrubbed.
|Screen Shot of my current blog editing screen showing image and comment I just posted and that the option from my end is UPDATE and not PUBLISH as would be the case if I had reverted the post to draft myself.|
I read an article in one of the news papers stating that the lawmakers are discussing the Lepage budget but the discussion hadn't reached the people yet. I think just the opposite is true-. The people are discussing the proposed budget and lawmakers are silent. The lawmakers know who elects them. The LePage Budget aims to expand sales taxes to about everything any one in this state-tourist or resident- does. It also would eliminate municipal revenue sharing and allow towns to tax non-profits- for which the non-profits are ill prepared just as towns are ill prepared to have municipal revenue sharing taken away.
The argument from the pro-Lepage Budget camp relies on the "toughen you right up " philosophy- The towns will just be forced to balance their budgets, in diametric opposition to the tune sang in chorus by the Maine media when the Seed Capital Tax Credit was up for renewal during which there was but a whisper of any other view than that held by the beneficiaries of the program- as if Maine would collapse in a deep recession if capitalists didn't have access to taxpayer pockets to finance their much heralded "innovation".
Now the tune is different- the possibility of people losing their homes due to increased property taxes because towns have to find a way to cover the sudden loss of municipal sharing, private non-profits having to close their doors, the same people who have to pony up for the capitalists to refund their investments having their own resources stretched to the limit by being taxed at every move is simply a non-issue for those touting the "toughen you right up !" argument.
Currently, Maine’s sales tax base consists of the sale of tangible personal property with the exception of groceries (not including prepared foods), prescription medication, residential fuel oil, and certain other “necessities of life,” and also captures a few select services, such as leasing an automobile or renting living quarters in a hotel. Governor LePage proposes expanding the sales tax base to include:Not all Corporations in the state network are found in the report. This short list shows funding for the Maine Development Corporation decreasing, while funding for the DECD and FAME corporations are on the increase, with funding for the FAME corporation increasing almost 50% over the course of two years. The FAME corporation and the DECD corporation redistribute funds through the Maine Technology Institute, the Seed Capital Tax Credit and The Pine Tree Zone in deals with capitalists that, as shown so clearly in Lepages failed 2014 Jobs bill, trades tax exemptions for capital in exchange for an income taxable work force. If the income tax were eliminated that throws a spanner in the works. leaving one once again to question the sincerity of Lepage's intent to eliminate income taxes- why then expand the programs that wheel and deal for income taxable work forces?
MAINE DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION 2014-2015 141,888.00 2016-2017 116,888.00 PERCENT CHANGE -17.62%
FINANCE AUTHORITY OF MAINE 2014-2015 21,362,788.00 2016-2017 31,384,788.00 PERCENT CHANGE 46.91%
There is also a rather significant sum identified as Other conformity items 5102(1-D) $150 to 250 million per year. About that sum, it is said:
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 2014-2015 22, 268,571.00 2016-2017 24,688,595.00 PERCENT CHANGE 10.87%
Tax expenditures resulting from conformity to Federal AGI that do not involve an above-the-line deduction on the Federal Form 1040 are particularly challenging to estimate due to a lack of data. For this reason we isolate these expenditures at the end of the income tax section and provide specific estimates only for the largest expenditures. These estimates, based on the JCT study, are only intended to convey the order of magnitude of the expenditure.
All tax expenditure estimates in this report reflect revenue loss to the General Fund.
Both socialist programs for the bottom half of the economy and economic development programs for the top half of the economy are classified as "reductions in revenue" . In a figure in which all "revenue loss' is conflated into one lump sum, it is impossible to know the ratio of distribution of rations to the bottom and opportunities to the top. In other words it is rhetorically packaged opacity- other wise know as an instance of non-transparency.
The general consensus is that the Lepage budget will help the wealthiest and increase taxation for the bottom half of the economy, when all is taken into account, including likely increase in property taxes and expanded sales taxes. Since Lepage is proposing taxing services and the state also has a use tax, LePage may realize part of his aim to tax the internet for accounting, legal and other services delivered through the cloud.
It is also being said that many Republicans are following a similar template nationwide. I am speculating that one will find that the Republicans in question are fiscal conservatives as opposed to constitutional conservatives, a distinction that few in the political media have seen as important but despite the traditional conservative belief that smaller government is better government, fiscal conservatives often expand the size of state capitalism and the function of government in picking and choosing winners through a system of complex tax exemptions and credits which constitutes government redistribution of wealth.
Recently Ohio Governor John Kasich is being written about for his plans to decrease the income tax. I have yet to find it said that Governor Kasich is promising to eliminate the income tax as Lepage is telling us and recently upping the ante to saying he wants a constitutional amendment to eliminate the income tax, which if it isn't pure showmanship, then fits the words of Governor Seldon Connor in his inaugural address given at the time in Maine's history when Article IV Part Third Section 14 was added to the Maine Constitution.
If LePage is serious in such a proposal for a constitutional amendment why does he believe it can pass two thirds of the legislature and a majority vote by the public before it has even been given a trail period as a statute to establish that this is sound thinking and not just the popular ideology flavor du jour, - easy to market at this particular political moment ? I find it difficult to believe that Lepage believes such an amendment could pass without first establishing over a period of time that it actually works and so I consider those words to be no more than a political posturing by Lepage to lend weight to his image as one who is serious about eliminating the income tax, an intent which I have challenged based on Lepage's failed jobs bill of 2014 in which Lepage attempted to expand Pine Tree Zone tax exemptions to large corporations, with the caveat that they be located on a former military base- meaning the two states within a state-the towns of MRRA and Lorring.
I do not expect the budget to pass as lawmakers have to answer to people and communities. The LePage budget pits the state against the communities and people that the state purports to serve, giving more credence to my view that Maine has ceased to be a state serving the people and has been transformed into a for-profit corporation serving its public-private relationships.
Someone said that if the budget passes, it will be harder to have the expanded sales tax repealed by a public vote as it was a few years ago because it is wrapped into the entire budget-. However the Lepage budget has so many contingencies upset that a grass roots movement to repeal it could have even greater support than the previous expanded sales tax bill .
This is my comment that was scrubbed from the Bangor Daily News
Lepage doesn't care about the human impact - Lepage is a corporation man. The humans either serve as instrumentalities of the corporations profit motives or they don't.. Steve Woods couldn't have come up with a better plan to nudge inhabitants deemed unprofitable to the corporation out of their homes for many generations to make way for the corporations plans to turn rural Maine into a country club for the Bilderbergs. That's what development corporations do- they find ways to force current inhabitants out to make way for their own designs. It's no co-incidence that the founding stone of Maine's network of unconstitutional state corporations is called the Maine Development Foundation (corporation) A development corporation is a development corporation is a development corporation and states have no business being one- that's why Maine's constitution separates corporation and state in Article IV Part Third Section 14 AND making no exception for non-profit corporations
The Maine Development Foundation was chartered by special act of legislation as a non-profit corporation but it is a state non-profit corporation and so will not have to pay property taxes as the Lepage budget is yet another bill that grants an unfair competitive edge to the government over the private sector- its called totalitarianism and does not accommodate any middlemen- all power is concentrated in the state, which has been fundamentally transformed into a for-profit corporation! Clearly Lepage's bill pits the interests of the state against those of the communities and people that a real state exists to serve. But real states are governed by their constitutions. Now Lepage has his own designs on rewriting the constitution. has he never heard of the separation of powers? Does he not understand that it is the role of the administration to administer the law- NOT to write the law?