Shutting down the government is the Maine Democrat Party's last, best hope to salvage their political aspirations for 2016.
We've had enough.
Imagine being Governor Paul LePage, Senate President Mike Thibodeau, or Republican House Leader Ken Fredette.
They were re-elected on a promise to reduce taxes, fix welfare, and make government accountable to the people of Maine. They were excited to get to work.
Then they got to Augusta, and hit a brick wall with Democrats.
NO to income tax cuts. Democrats put on a dog-and-pony show suggesting they will, but they're just trying to muddy the waters on the budget, and suddenly, their plan is off the table.
NO to welfare reform. Democrats say they support welfare reform until it's time to vote, then they carefully kill off reform attempts while attacking Republicans.
NO to accountable government. Democrats say they are listening to the people of their districts, but they're not. They won't even take a position on a bill unless they have the blessing of their special interest donors.
And now, we have the state budget, and the threat of a government shutdown coming from the Democrats.
Yes. That's right. Democrats are the “sources” pushing all the talk of a government shutdown in Augusta.
Why, you ask? It's simple, really.
They lost big in the 2014 election.
They are losing big the public debate on tax cuts, welfare reform and spending priorities.
They face losing big in the 2016 election cycle, with an uninspiring candidate for President, no accomplishments, and a legacy of failure Republicans have been working to fix.
If Democrats are to hold onto any kind of power and control in the state of Maine, shutting down the government and blaming Republicans is their only hope. But they won't win the blame game if Maine people know what Republicans are fighting for.
So, here is what you need to know. We are standing on Republican principles.
Cut taxes, reform welfare, and prioritize spending.
In the Maine Legislature, Republicans are standing strong on the issues that voters trusted us on in 2014. We're not wavering.
Democrats are insisting that welfare benefits be paid to non-citizens who are not eligible for any federal funding... but they don't want to fund services for disabled Maine people who have been stuck on waiting lists that date back to the Baldacci Administration.
Democrats want to make sure we fund methadone clinics, and pay for travel expenses for people to get their methadone... but they ignore the 90-year old Maine husband or wife who might not see their spouse anymore because Democrats would not provide funding to keep their local nursing home open.
These are the priorities of Maine Democrats in the Legislature.
Non-citizens get funding ahead of disabled Mainers. Methadone clinics get funding ahead of nursing homes.
And tax cuts? Well, let's just put it this way:
In 2011, Maine's top income tax rate was 8.5%, and we faced an $800 million budget shortfall. If you earned $20,000 per year, you faced that top tax rate, as if you were “rich”.
Governor LePage and Republicans cut taxes, and closed that shortfall. Now, more than ever before, revenue is coming in to state government.
But that top income tax bracket, the one that Democrats attack as being “for the rich”, still affects people earning under $21,000 per year. And Democrats are making the excuse that they won't cut the income tax because lowering that top rate is a 'tax break for the rich'!
Do you think $20,899 per year is rich?
Democrats apparently do, and they want to keep taxing and punishing working Mainers with higher rates. http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-individual-income-tax-rates-and-brackets-2015
Please, right now, tell Democrat Leadership that Maine needs a budget with income tax cuts, welfare reform, and support for disabled Mainers on waiting lists and nursing homes ahead of non-citizen welfare and methadone clinics.
Call Speaker Mark Eves' office right now at (207) 287-1300.
And, please forward this email to your friends. Let them know what is happening in Augusta, and ask them to speak out, just like you.
All the best,
P.S. Again this morning, Democrat Leaders are pushing talk of a shutdown in the press, while Republican leaders are working to get a deal done for Maine. Don't let the Democrats win this battle. Stand with us, and call (207) 287-1300 to tell Speaker Eves enough games!