We don’t know for sure what the as-yet-unnamed southern Maine company told Gov. Paul LePage about upcoming mass layoffs. With this governor, you can never be sure.

But whatever it was, the company apparently did not mean for him to make it public.

Of course, the governor didn’t exactly identify the company in question at his latest town hall-style forum, last week in Orono. Instead, he said just enough so everybody with a passing knowledge of the Maine economy could hazard a handful of guesses, but not enough to ward against anxiety-ridden speculation.

To LePage, it seems, the bottom line in the news that 900 good jobs may be lost was not that people could soon be losing paychecks, but that it was another opportunity to sing his one-note remedy for the state’s problems.

Unfortunately, in his haste to make a point, LePage put anyone working at a large, southern Maine employer on notice that they may be losing their job.

And, at this point, who knows just how accurate the governor’s assessment is of this mysterious conversation. After all, he’s made a habit of passing on or just blurting out bad information that fits his point of view.

Sometimes it’s silly, as when he said that a wind turbine in Aroostook County was equipped with a motor for when the wind wasn’t blowing, or when he reported that a number of Maine towns were on the verge of default.

Other times, it seems he only hears what he wants to, such as when he erroneously blamed “our welfare and our energy” for a poor ranking by Forbes magazine, or every time he cites the connection between taxes and Maine’s “prosperity,” using measurements that have little connection to reality.

The habit can be damaging. Every time a business closes, LePage wastes no time in declaring energy costs and taxes as the culprits, yet he only offers limited plans backed by faulty preconceptions as ways to address those issues.

And he never in any real way addresses other factors, such as foreign competition and changing markets, or articulates a specific plan for how state policy should be adjusted to accommodate the changing economy.

With the governor, everything funnels back to energy costs and taxes.

Last week in Orono, he could have used Maine’s struggling paper mills to make his point on energy. He wouldn’t have been right, as there are many other factors hurting those mills, but at least the crowd, aware of the complex situation surrounding mills, could have made a determination on the governor’s argument based on its merits.

Instead, he opted for cryptic remarks — and took a ridiculous shot at southern Maine, referring to it by the tired phrase “northern Massachusetts” — causing unnecessary worry.

And while the governor may have found some in glee in watching reporters and municipal officials scramble to find out who, exactly, he was talking about, he should be more concerned about the thousands of workers now unsure about their futures, and about the fact he has for them only one answer, and no real plan for addressing the challenges facing the Maine economy.

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