Is Paul LePage turning Democrat? Growing government.

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louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
Is Paul LePage turning Democrat? Growing government.

I'm scared LePage is doing what all RINOS do in the end - turn DEMOCRAT.

Read the headline: Consensus to expand Medicaid in Maine seen as likely
The governor's willingness to consider Medicaid expansion is noteworthy because of the deep opposition he expressed just a few months ago.
AMG Source

He wants to pay the hospitals - fine. But at what cost? Now they say he's willing to add 55,000 people to medicaid in trade for hospital payments.

Really? Repubs have spent years fighting medicaid expansion - now we're going to add 55,000 people to it - just for quick cash to pay hospitals?

And let's look at the hospital plan - he wants to expand government by taking over the liquor business also.

Here are the facts as I see them:
1- LePage is going to ADD people to medicaid, not reduce them
2- LePage is going to GROW government by taking over the liquor business, instead of SHRINKING government
3- His plan to 'stimulate' Maine's economy is just grabbing money from the PRIVATE sector, and giving it to hospitals. This is what Democrats have been doing in Maine for years- taking tax money and giving it to hospitals through huge medicaid enrollment.

I'm so confused by this. After years of talk of conservative principles, this is really heartbreaking to watch.

Dale Tudor
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Joined: 10/23/2010 - 12:57pm
I admit I do not know the

I admit I do not know the details of this story, but the governor's willingness to consider does not mean he is willing to implement. Big difference.

In my view, Maine needs NO Medicaid expansion. We need to be getting folks off the rolls, not adding to them. Demographically, with our aging population, that may not be possible. That, too, though, may be a couple of decades long bubble, though, as the boomers age and die. We all eventually die. Perhaps demographic statistics will project a decrease in Medicaid for the elderly when we have fewer elderly a few decades from now.

Ugenetoo
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Joined: 08/05/2011 - 12:32pm
Unless the state does

Unless the state does something to change our dead last in business strategy, new retirees will surely come to replace the ones who exit and the demographics will not change.

Mainelion
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Joined: 08/11/2005 - 12:01am
As long we continue to treat

As long we continue to treat business as something to be milked for all it's worth and force our educated, young people to flee Maine for a state that values them we will continue to be an old state. Maine's motto should be changed to, "Shut up and have a big steaming pile of quality of place".

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Caution, caution, he is a

Caution, caution, he is a businessman so he knows what he's doing.

Gee, I do not suppose the allure of 2014 could have anything to do with this !

louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
They are doing the worst

They are doing the worst thing I've ever seen by taking over this liquor business. This is a private sector business with employees in Maine that LePage is going to put out of business - because he thinks the government can run it better. That means truck drivers and warehouse workers will be UNEMPLOYED directly because of the governors actions. All just to grow government more.
I don't understand why he is doing this.

Islander
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Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Can you provide link showing

Can you provide link showing where LePage is going to ruin liquor business. My understanding is the state will not be doing anything except collecting the money. But then again not sure why the state should be able to extort money from certain businesses such as liquor and casinos in order for them to operate.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
The state is currently IN the

The state is currently IN the liquor business, and has been more or less forever.

Ed Brown
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Joined: 08/24/2009 - 2:53pm
Not really Melvin. Baldacci

Not really Melvin. Baldacci privatized part of the liquor contract when he was governor, much to the chagrin of the uber-conservative Peter Mills, who saw this commercial function as a lifelong revenue stream to fund the bloated state government as long as it was kept under state control. The current administration is attempting to reverse Baldacci's privatization in order to grab the profit from the private sector. In essence, he is attempting to implement a massive tax increase on one specific industry.

Reaganite
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Joined: 06/21/2008 - 4:05pm
The State isn't taking over

The State isn't taking over the liquor business. The State already owns it.

In essence, the State self-invented the right to be the sole supplier of liquor within the borders of Maine. For a fee, they lease that right to private companies, who make a profit by selling booze to retailers at (hopefully) a higher rate than what they paid for the right to sell the booze. The retailers, in turn, sell the spirits to consumers. As I understand it, the Gov plans to let the current contract expire and re-sell it for more money. He wants to use that money to pay off the hospitals.

Anyone who has a better idea of the facts around this, please feel free to correct me.

louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
Islander read

Islander read this
http://www.sunjournal.com/news/columns-analysis/2013/03/08/gerry-reid-go...

From what I can read they are saying the private sector did a bad job running the business because it didnt generate more STATE GOVERNMENT revenue. LePage is saying he can run this private industry better than the private sector, which means the STATE GOVERNMENT gets to keep more of the private sector income.

"In 2012, the spirits business in Maine generated $45.8 million in operating income, after it covered all its direct costs. The state’s share last year? Just $8.7 million."

In my math that is 19%. But that is 19% ABOVE AND BEYOND the taxes the private sector company already paid. Now they want more so they're putting the company out of business.

I am so confused. Republicans want to grow government and think the STATE can run business better than the private sector.
Something smells really fishy to me. This sounds like someone besides Paul LePage is in control of this.

Ed Brown
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Joined: 08/24/2009 - 2:53pm
The difference from what I

The difference from what I see is that the governor's plan is to nationalize operation control. This means there are a whole bunch of vendors to be hired at cost-plus contracts. This means the state assumes the risk for increased operational costs (gas price increases and the like), instead of having a private sector company assume risk and responsibility for marketing and efficiency. Does anyone really think the state of Maine will do a better job with marketing and efficiency than a private sector company?

My guess is this isn't LePage's idea.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Actually it is the state is

Actually it is the state is renewing a contract !
This is no different than hundreds of other contracts the state does with vendors of services.
The only difference is in the particulars of the contract.
The vendor will provide the service.

No matter what the state is never gong to out of the business totally. There will always be some form of involvement,thus it should be profitable.

Islander
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Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
From the article "The

From the article "The governor simply wants the state to take back the significant revenue created by the spirits business, not the day-to-day management of operations." How is the state taking over the business?

louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
What is a business without

What is a business without revenue?

That's like saying "I dont want to take the cake, I just want the parts you can eat"

The fact is this plan will force the CLOSURE of a private sector company and the layoff of workers and it will take millions of dollars that are currently in private sector and giver them to the state government.

Islander
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Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
I think you are confusing

I think you are confusing revenue with profit. Now where did it say the company would not be allowed to have revenue or profit. But if what you say is true, then I would expect not one company to bid for the privilege of going out of business, since they are in business to make money.

louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
You can't have profit unless

You can't have profit unless you have revenue. If the STATE takes all the revenue, there is no profit left.

mainemom
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Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
As I understand it, Lepage's

As I understand it, Lepage's plan would pay the contractor to distribute and sell the product, including transportation and warehousing.

Reaganite
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Joined: 06/21/2008 - 4:05pm
The company in question,

The company in question, Maine Beverage Company, was formed solely to enter into the liquor distribution contract with the State. It did not exist prior to that contract.

Maine Beverage provides advertising and administrative support to the retail stores in Maine which sell spirits. They contract with Pine State Trading Company (the big green and yellow trucks that you see on the road) to do the actual warehousing and distribution of alcohol.

As I understand it, LePage is looking to re-do the contract to get better terms for the State, i.e., more money. He intends to use that money to pay off the hospital debt. That does not constitute an expansion of government. It is rather LePage attempting to get more bang for the buck, based on the current market value of the contract.

The long and short of is that until Baldy contracted out the distribution of liquor, Maine Beverage did not exist. If another company were to swoop in with a better offer, Maine Beverage would cease to exist. And that fictional company would most likely contract with Pine Tree Trading to do the actual work. I have to imagine that very few, if any jobs are at stake.

Mark Hamper
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Joined: 07/31/2008 - 10:04am
Everyone is missing the

Everyone is missing the point....and it's simple. The disagreement between Dems and LePage is very small.
1. Dems don't want to bond to pay back hospitals. They want to keep the contract private by sending it out to RFP to get a better deal, but with the condition that the private company make a big enough up-front payment to pay back the hospitals and qualify for the Federal matching funds.
2. LePage wants to borrow the hospital money through a bond. Instead of taking the up-front payment, he wants to eliminate the private sector company that currently has the contract, assume all risk and operational control, and borrow against the alleged efficiency the state will bring to the industry.

LePage's plan 1) increases Maine's debt, 2)increases the scope of government and, 3) will likely now add 55,000 more people to MaineCare. It's a terrible plan by any standard of Conservatism. The Democrat plan is amazingly far less of an affront to conservative principles, because it doesn't increase Maine's debt and it doesn't extend the scope of government involvement in the liquor business. Why? Because they want the MaineCare expansion, and they're willing to trade a more fiscally conservative liquor/hospital arrangement for the big win of growing the socialist medical empire.

Listen, here's what the issue really is. A private sector company got a really great deal when they got this contract 10 years ago, and made a ton of money. They made a ton of money because they grew the business at a faster pace than the state government got its hands on the revenue. So the money-grabbers in Augusta see this not as success, but as a crime. They are mad the private sector company thrived, so they want to grab the money. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans. They are both money-grabbers, but at least the Democrats aren't also expanding the scope of government and putting Maine further in debt at the same time.

Yet another reason the Maine Republican Party doesn't speak for conservatives any longer.

Islander
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Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Where does it say the state

Where does it say the state is going to take all the revenue? And if so why would a company bid on the contract? I would be very happy if the State got out of the liquor business altogether. I just don't see in anything I have read where LePage would take all the revenue, how would the company survive if this is true, let alone bid for the business. Now if a different company than the current one wins the bid, then yes some folks may lose their jobs, but some others might get jobs, it is what happens when govt picks winners and losers.

Mackenzie Andersen
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Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
Glad to know the state is not

Glad to know the state is not grabbing profits from a business selling something such as unhealthy sugary soda's to fund paying for hospitals because as we all know our state overlords are here to serve the public good.

It's good that LePage is trying to solve the hospital debt problem but he is increasingly proving himself to be a company man.It is so much more fun to be the CEO of Maine State Enterprises than the governor of a state upholding its constitution. Most politicians - whatever party will prefer the glamor and power of being the CEO of a state investment corporation, grabbing money from this guy to give it to that guy and capitulating the the Feds in exchange for some of that endlessly printed money that the Feds hand out - as if we don't all pay dearly for the Feds funny money.

This state was doomed when The Maine Development Foundation was signed into law in 1977 by Governor Longley for the modestly unconstitutional purpose of managing the economy of the entire state and molding our entire society to suit the vision of a privileged elite.

The unconstitutional Maine State Enterprises has grown to unprecedented power and unconstitutional authority, amassing great concentrated wealth to redistribute. It has grown under under Democratic Rule but most Republicans rush in to play the power game once they get the chance. The allure is irresistible.

I'll wage that a true conservative could find the funds to pay the hospital debt by dismantling the unconstitutional network of corporate "instrumentalities of the state" , which given the way it is set up likely harbors gross corruption that costs the taxpayer dearly- but Lepage is not a true conservative- he is a company man lured in by the power and glamor of controlling Maine from above- though he does attempt to do so in a fiscally conservative way.

The retail sector- which includes the liquor business- is excluded from the special interests that Maine State Inc serves but it is looked upon as the source of funding for this unconstitutional investment corporation- and why not the special interests get a tax free ride so you have to raise funds to pay for their freebies from the sector excluded from special interests- most notably the retail industry. here we have a classic example!

Glad to know the state is working for the "public good" by paying for the hospital debt with profits from the alcohol (and gambling industries?)! How lucky we are to have such saints in our overlords!

FLAMMENWERFER
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Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
State’s regulation of liquor

State’s regulation of liquor began in 1862 with the establishment of a “Commission to Regulate Sale of Intoxicating Liquors” to have control of liquors kept and sold for medicinal and manufacturing purposes.

Maine’s prohibition laws were repealed in 1934, one year after the end of national prohibition. At that time the State Liquor Licensing Board, a descendent of the Commission to Regulate Sale of Intoxicating Liquors established in 1862, was renamed the Sate Liquor Commission. From this we arrive at the State Liquor and Lottery Commission, which operated State Liquor Stores and licensed agency stores to serve in areas not served by the state-run outlets.

So, the state’s liquor monopoly came into existence before I was born. I remember the store (as a spectator, although one manager occasionally provided a bottle privately) from my early youth. It operated like Soviet retail outlets. You made your selection from postings on a board, filled out a slip, handed it over the counter, and one of the attendants (a half-dozen? I’m not sure) got it from the shelves and handed it over. Then you paid the cashier.

In 2004 Maine Beverage Company signed a 10-year contract to become the wholesale supplier to the state’s agency stores. As usual the state faced a budget short-fall. Gov. Baldacci, dodging cuts or adequate tax increases, cut a deal for a lump-sum payment from MBC.

MBC, in effect, leased a monopoly from the state. This is capitalism, but it’s not free market capitalism. Understand, most companies naturally prefer monopoly to competition. Adam Smith noted this about businessmen 237 years ago.

A more reliable means of avoiding cutting while getting around state constitutional prohibition against deficit financing of current expenditures, has been to stiff the hospitals. This has added up to nearly half a billion dollars. What;’s worse for the state is that the federal government will not pay its share of Medicare costs until Mane antes up.

The governor’s primary objective is to pay the hospitals what they are owed and, concurrently, bring hundreds of millions of federal dollars into the state. Since he has no hope of getting the legislature to reduce expenditures to free up the funds needed for this purpose, he is counting on a revised contract. The revenue flow he is counting on will finance an issue of revenue bonds which would enable the state to pay the hospitals off at once.

The revenue bondholders’ collateral is the liquor business revenue, i.e., it is not tax revenue or “full faith and credit.”.

It seems fairly obvious that the Democrats simply want to get their hands on the enhanced revenue to finance government expansion. In any case, it was apparent from the hearings I attended that no one is claiming Baldacci's deal with MBC was advantageous to the state. Not so apparent that the Democrats have any memory of how it came about.

Mark Hamper
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Joined: 07/31/2008 - 10:04am
Growth of MaineCare Baldacci

Growth of MaineCare

Baldacci first term
2002: 205,000
2006: 270,000
+65,000 MaineCare recipients

LePage first term (if he goes through with this):
2010: 325,000
2014: 396,000
+71,000 MaineCare recipients

This strikes a blow to the heart of everything Maine Republicans have talked about for years.
It is simply unacceptable.

louis a. wilson
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Joined: 02/24/2000 - 1:01am
This is making me sick to my

This is making me sick to my stomach. Maine Heritage says this will make the welfare state as big as the private sector.
" According to a study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (pdf), the expansion of Mainecare would add another 55,000 people onto Maine’s welfare rolls. As projected in the chart below, MaineCare’s expansion would–for the first time in history–push welfare rolls on par with the number of people with a private sector job."
http://moodyoneconomics.bangordailynews.com/2013/03/13/home/obamacares-s...

FLAMMENWERFER
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Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
Of course it's unacceptable.

Of course it's unacceptable. LePage has been saying this repeatedly, Peter Mills says the same.

So what's being proposed here. Do a Cromwell and sent in the National Guard to disperse the legislature.

Secede from the union?

Express his frustration on AMG?

What?

Ugenetoo
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Joined: 08/05/2011 - 12:32pm
What? Wait, watch, and get

What?

Wait, watch, and get ready.
The revolution will be televised.

Mackenzie Andersen
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Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
Of course it's unacceptable.

Of course it's unacceptable. LePage has been saying this repeatedly, Peter Mills says the same.

So what's being proposed here. Do a Cromwell and sent in the National Guard to disperse the legislature.

Secede from the union?

Express his frustration on AMG?

What?

Not to sound like a far our radical- but start enforcing the constitution- through the people's voice and any other means possible.

When the Maine Development Foundation was chartered in violation of Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution, that is when an overlord society got the idea that they could just manage the entire state and they have been building on that ever since getting greedier for power and control as they go along and no one questions or opposes them so they are accustomed to feeling like they can get away with it.

I wrote to the legislature as a lone citizen and told them they lacked the constitutional authority to pass what they were about to pass and the bill died in committee. What would happen if many people wrote and told them that they have no constitutional authority- and in fact the constitution prohibits the legislature from passing many of the statutes that they have already passed?

And what about using the freedom of information act to demand an accounting of the salaries and tax freebies for the investment schemes of Maine State Enterprises. And what if masses of people were to do that all at once? The "economic development " programs of Maine State Inc target jobs with above average pay and top of the line benefits, often mandated by Maine State Inc. Those terms are likely applied to the bureaucratic employees of Maine State Inc as well and so the entire network is likely costing the taxpayer a pretty penny. In the 2010 annual report for the MRRA it is stated that there are some unfunded expenses that cannot be funded with federal funding but when they make some "unrestricted income" they will fund those expenses- which sounded like vacation pay- but stated in a convoluted language that is supposed to conceal rather than reveal.

It really makes me furious when I see someone with the overlord mentality suggesting we just relocate rural communities because they haven't been solvent for ten years-it costs the rest of the state money- but probably not as much as the massive and unconstitutional network of state "economic development" corporations that just keeps on growing and growing and growing. And furthermore- what gives the creeps in the state the right to give up on a municipality? NOTHING! Home Rule protects local governance- the state has no constitutional authority. If we do not start reversing the growth of Maine State Inc- this state is finished!

The legislature has been existing in a culture where they write unconstitutional statutes on a routine basis for at least four decades. They think the public is clueless. They would be shocked if the public started telling them - we know what you are up to- we know it is unconstitutional so don't even try it!

And further more this state is always angling for those federal dollars that the fed just prints up at will. It's actually immoral to accept that money which depreciates the value of money that people have worked for. In my opinion Maine State Inc creates conditions that make it more difficult for the micro economy and rural communities. The ARE the problem- so don't relocate rural communities - get rid of MaIne State Inc. If we need them so badly and all the capital that they claim to bring into the state- including freshly printed federal money that devalues the money that already exists- then why is Maine always last on Forbes list of the best places to do business?

The very idea that the overlords openly talk of relocating entire communities should make it clear that this is war!

mainemom
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Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
The Lepage revenue bond

The Lepage revenue bond proposal for paying the hospitals with future proceeds from liquor sales is better than the Dem plan to obtain an upfront payment from the contractor. The Dem proposal is built to favor the current contractor. There are others who plan to bid on the state liquor business, and with the Lepage plan they can play on even ground, but with the Dem plan they can't.

As for medicaid expansion, it's disheartening, but Obamacare math encourages states to think short-term, not 15 years out.

FLAMMENWERFER
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Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
Solution: Express

Solution: Express indignation.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Flammenwerfer If one

Flammenwerfer
If one expresses "indignation" can it be or should it be "righteous" indignation ?

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