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Governor LePage Addresses Mountainf of Taxation Unapproved by Maine Voters.

In mid- February Maine's Governor LePage gave a radio address explaining why he declined to approve bonds promise by quasi governmental agencies These are a few quotes from LePage's Radio Address

 $19,448! If you are one of Maine’s 653,000 tax filers, this is your share of the Maine’s $12.7 billion in public debt. If you do not remember approving nearly $13 billion in bonds, you did not necessarily miss an election. More than 95% of Maine’s debt was never approved by voters as required by our Constitution!

As a voter and taxpayer you have only had a say on about $500 million in general obligation bond questions on the ballot. The remainder of our taxpayer-backed obligations is the result of promises made, but never paid for and decisions made by quasi-governmental authorities you have never heard of.

 ....Most of the remaining obligations backed up by Maine’s taxpayers were issued by boards or authorities you probably have never heard of. The debt was issued without your approval and passed onto other entities who we hope will repay the money.....

....Article IX, Section 14 of Maine’s Constitution is clear. With very rare exceptions, the credit of the state shall not be directly or indirectly loaned without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and a majority vote of electors.

In an article for The Bangor Daily News, Matt Wickenheiser said:

“AUGUSTA, Maine — A $31 million bond package sponsored by a little-known quasi-state government body has stalled after Gov. Paul LePage’s decision not to approve it.


The decision highlights a fundamental shift in how the executive branch views debt in the state and has implications for agencies that issue bonds to help fund such things as college loans, low-income housing, and hospital and school expansions.


The Maine Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority, or MHHEFA, is the government entity in the state that educational and health care nonprofit groups must go through under federal law to sell tax-exempt bonds, borrowing money for capital expenditures at low rates of interest.


Maine residents have not been asked to vote on such quasi-governmental agency bonds in the past, but that appears to be changing under the LePage administration.”

The bond issue discussed in the Bangor Daily News article is just the tip of a huge mountain of wheeling and dealing that has created a favored class that benefits and an unfavored class that pays. We will hear many voices trying to make LePage guilty by claiming that it is LePage’s actions which are bad for the economy. Although every one wants to see hospitals built and other worthy causes funded, it is outrageous that there are quasi public companies funding bonds at the taxpayers expense without taxpayer knowledge or consent.

One voice, in the above article, tries to make LePage the guilty party for stopping the funding of a hospital construction project and attempts to belittle LePage's actions with the words  that his reasons are "only a philosophical principle"- yes it is a philosophical principle- a political philosophical principle which is recorded and preserved in the Maine state constitution !. LePage gets credit for referencing the actual Article of the Maine state constitution which the issuing of bonds by quasi public corporations violates.

Over the years, the plethora  the wheeling and dealing by quasi government agencies has been justified by claims that it is for "the social benefit" and indeed some of it is, but what starts as a cause to benefit of the impoverished and struggling classes has been twisted time and time again to benefit the well to do. Such is the case with the recent statewide expansion of the Pine tree Zone, an economic zone which was originally conceived of as an act to benefit areas with low income and high unemployment to become, with the state wide expansion, aggressive corporate welfare, in which the favored private economic sector has tax breaks that non-profit organizations would envy, while avoiding an equal level of transparency as a non-profit organization must maintain by having publicly accessible annual reports.

Once the government starts manipulating, there is no end to it, and what starts out as seemingly reasonable cause is co-opted by the power elite to use for their own ends. This has become a massive practice in Maine, which LePage has only hinted at, but he is the first politician to do that.

Along with the manipulations comes the hidden and expanding expense of a bureaucracy needed to manage the transference of wealth to the chosen ones, whoever they happen to be. Just the bureaucratic expense, alone, wipes out part or all of the alleged benefit to the larger society. There is no way to even keep track of who the real beneficiaries are - given the combination of increased bureaucratic expenses and increased lack of transparency.

The other side of it is that it creates an artificial world in which some businesses and organizations are worthier than others. This is a mechanical and atheistic "philosophy", one in which the ruling elite takes the place of God.

In a state in which one discovers a new government chartered corporation or regulations designed to benefit the favored sector, every week, this is the best news I have heard in a very long time.

Imagine what resources might be suddenly freed up, if we could eliminate all special interest benefits with the swoop of a wand. It would be like the sudden rushing of a frozen river in the early spring.

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