The 2013 legislative session begins. So far, there are increased health care costs, talk of increased payroll taxes and an ever-increasing reduction of buying power.

Where will the Legislature spend our tax dollars?

So I offer some responsible New Year’s resolutions:

For members of Legislature, to curb member benefit package knowing it is one of the best in the state; to take efforts to strengthen Maine’s economy for future generations, rather than continue to build the welfare burden; to support the governor’s recent welfare change legislation rather than play political games at the expense of the Maine taxpayer (no benefits for people buying drugs, alcohol or cigarettes — if they can afford these items then they can support themselves).

For Democrats, to act responsibly, not in the childish manner displayed post-election.

For members of Maine schools, not to budget an annual increase, but try to understand the plight of the Maine taxpayer and at least keep the budgets at 2012 levels.

For members of town budget committees, to support a state initiative for accountable welfare, rather than trying to pass on the burden to town taxpayers so they can keep increasing the welfare burden.

For Maine citizens, to stop having children if you know you haven’t the means to support them or to have them to qualify for welfare benefits; to cease other behaviors of neglect and abuse; to find a job if you’re able and do my fair share to support my financial needs.

Knowing that Maine is:

* Ranked near the bottom in business ratings.

* Ranked near the top in welfare burden.

* Ranked near the bottom in education.

Mike Swanholm

Readfield

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