Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta
Naran
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

It's about time this "economic bomb" went off, since we've been talking about it here for as long as I can remember, and I bet there was discussion long before I ever found the forum.

Anonymous
Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

[quote]If this were the only unfunded liability that Maine faced, the outlook would not be as grim. But it's not. We already confront a shortfall of $3 billion in the Maine State Retirement System (MSRS), which pays pensions to teachers and state workers. In the mid-1990s, voters passed an amendment to the Maine Constitution requiring that the liability be fully funded by 2029.[/quote]

cover_maine
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

<<>>

Hey, next time we have an election I guess that we need to promise free health care to more people, eh?

Even I didn't think this rattle snake would come back to bite us in the but so quickly!!!!

As the Will Rogers saying goes, "If you health care is expensive now, just wait until it's free!!!"

Mark T. Cenci
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

Wasn't it PJ O'Rourke who said that?

Bruce Libby
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

Question if the state /leg. etc. was successful in lowering taxes
freezing spending lowering cost of gov. etc. would this still be an issue?
If all else was addressed and everyone was happy.
I suspect it is more of a nice cry than a real issue! I won't comment on
health but retirement is on a pay back schedule that can be adjusted if need be,
the issue was borrowing from it and system is solvent, that means banks will cash check!

I feel the same way about all social security beneficiaries also that is unfunded!

Roger Ek
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

Augusta spends too much.

Melvin Udall
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

"Recently disclosed???"

Who are they trying to kid? Anyone willing to look has known about the iceberg, even if it just got bigger.

Somehow, it disappears just before an election, and then just appears by surprise soon thereafter, like the plan to consolidate school districts.

Naran
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

Bump.

Worth reading, for those who haven't seen it yet.

J. McKane
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Crosthwaite radio response to Baldacci address

Radio response to Governor Baldacci’s weekly address by Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, for 4/28/07

Good morning. This is Bob Crosthwaite, assistant leader of Republicans in the Maine House of Representatives. It’s my honor to deliver the Republican response to the governor’s address.

The governor devoted his remarks this morning to the Patriot’s Day storm that struck Maine. The tremendous wind and rain we sustained damaged property all over the state. And tragically, it also claimed the lives of several of our fellow Mainers. Our condolences go out to their families and friends. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of storms like that for quite a while.

I would like to talk about a different kind of storm bearing down on Maine – an economic storm. There are dark clouds forming over Augusta as the Legislature gets ready to take up the biggest issue we deal with – the state budget.

Last fall, in the aftermath of the battle over the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, the governor said he had heard the people loud and clear. The people of Maine – the most heavily taxed in the country – were demanding tax relief. Not tax reform, necessarily, but tax reduction.

It has been clear to many of us for years that Maine’s high taxes on incomes and property are imposing a serious hardship on our people. They also are one of the primary reasons that few companies want to do business here. As a result, job creation has come to a standstill, and – perhaps worst of all – many of our most productive young people have to leave Maine to find rewarding careers. Our extreme levels of taxation smother economic growth and keep Maine a business backwater. We also know that states with the strongest economies are the same states that have relatively low taxes.

The governor said he got the message – the call for tax relief. Most of us expected that he would at least hold the line on state spending. The concept here is basic -- the amount that the state spends determines the amount that we pay in state taxes. So imagine our surprise when he submitted his budget for the next two years, starting July 1st.

Under the governor’s budget, spending would go up 11.1 percent, an increase of $642 million. This is by far the biggest increase in state spending in recent memory. And of course, if spending increases by $642 million, taxes also must increase by $642 million. So instead of providing a tax reduction, the governor is instead proposed a huge tax increase.

To Republicans, this is not acceptable. There will be long hours of intense negotiations over the budget, but one thing is already crystal clear. Republicans will not vote for a budget that increases taxes or fees of any kind. We will not accept any gimmicks or tax shifts. We will not tolerate a budget that is going up three or four times faster than inflation, three or four times faster than the incomes of our citizens. It should be a cardinal rule that state spending cannot increase faster than the paychecks of working Mainers.

This tax-and-spend mentality that prevails in Augusta must stop. The people of Maine can’t take it any more. Employers and employees can’t take it any more. Young people trying to get started in life can’t take it anymore. Massive state spending and massive taxation must be brought under control before they do further damage to our economy.

There is another storm cloud on the horizon, and this one is even more disturbing. It concerns the stunning levels of debt that Maine has amassed. The state’s total debt now stands at more than $12.5 billion. That’s right – twelve and a half billion dollars. These are debts that the taxpayers of Maine will have to pay. One of them is an unfunded obligation to the fund that pays out pensions to retired teachers and state workers. The debt here is $3 billion. Under the repayment schedule, it won’t be paid off until 2029. By then – when you include the interest costs – this debt will cost Maine taxpayers nearly $8 billion.

Let me mention just one other part of this debt. We learned a couple of months ago that we also owe $4.7 billion to the account that pays health insurance premiums for retired teachers and state employees and municipal firefighters and police officers. This massive debt is growing rapidly and will have to be to be paid off by the taxpayers of Maine. If it is not, it will spiral completely out of control and become unmanageable. For politicians of the past, promising these generous benefits was seemingly painless. It was a great way to make sure they were reelected. They knew that they would be gone from the scene when the chickens came home to roost. Unfortunately for Maine taxpayers, the sky is now black with inbound chickens.

In closing, let me reiterate the Republican position on the state budget. We will oppose any budget that includes increases in taxes or fees of any kind. The governor wants to increase spending by more than 11 percent and impose a huge tax increase. Something will have to give, and it won’t be us.

Thanks very much for listening.
[code:1][/code:1]

Anonymous
Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

[quote]The governor said he got the message – the call for tax relief. Most of us expected that he would at least hold the line on state spending. The concept here is basic -- the amount that the state spends determines the amount that we pay in state taxes. So imagine our surprise when he submitted his budget for the next two years, starting July 1st.

Under the governor’s budget, spending would go up 11.1 percent, an increase of $642 million. This is by far the biggest increase in state spending in recent memory. And of course, if spending increases by $642 million, taxes also must increase by $642 million. So instead of providing a tax reduction, the governor is instead proposed a huge tax increase. [/quote]

Maine
Spin
Media will never grasp this until we beat it over their heads.

J. McKane
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

[quote]In closing, let me reiterate the Republican position on the state budget. We will oppose any budget that includes increases in taxes or fees of any kind. The governor wants to increase spending by more than 11 percent and impose a huge tax increase. Something will have to give, and it won’t be us. [/quote]

Can I hear an Amen?

Robert
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

[quote]In closing, let me reiterate the Republican position on the state budget. We will oppose any budget that includes increases in taxes or fees of any kind. The governor wants to increase spending by more than 11 percent and impose a huge tax increase. Something will have to give, and it won’t be us. [/quote]

I think there are only 6 Republicans that can say this with a straight face.

Anonymous
Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

THEY BETTER FIND THE SAVINGS TO OFFSET THEIR EXPENDITURES ~ REPUBLICANS ARE GETTING SICK OF IT.

J. McKane
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Rep. Bob Crosthwaite, Fiscal tsunami heads for Augusta

[quote="Robert"][quote]In closing, let me reiterate the Republican position on the state budget. We will oppose any budget that includes increases in taxes or fees of any kind. The governor wants to increase spending by more than 11 percent and impose a huge tax increase. Something will have to give, and it won’t be us. [/quote]

I think there are only 6 Republicans that can say this with a straight face.[/quote]
Oh, Robert - if only things were as black and white as you see them.

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