Medicaid expansion is another case of Republican hypocrisy. Gov. Paul LePage and his kind applaud cutting taxes for the wealthy, which are unfunded and projected to increase the federal budget deficit by trillions, and claim that this will unleash a new era of such bountiful economic activity that the deficits will evaporate magically. This utopian dream has already been tried and failed in Kansas, where Republicans are now forced to raise taxes, just like they had to do after the Reagon tax cuts and the theft of $3.5 trillion from the Social Security trust fund. Yet when it comes to helping the working poor, LePage and friends demand that Medicaid expansion has to be paid for in advance, “in the bank.”

The simple logic is that if Maine receives $590 million from the federal government, most of that will be for good-paying jobs that will have many benefits, including guaranteed increased economic activity that provides increased sales tax and income tax revenue, less poverty, less crime, lower drug use, fewer abortions, fewer hungry children in the classroom, and healthier people. LePage’s tax cuts for the wealthy leave the state while the working poor, who received much smaller tax cuts, spend much more locally and that money spent locally has a 1.5-times multiplier, which creates positive cash flow for communities.

Simple logic says to ignore Republican utopian fantasies that hurt states like Kansas and Maine. Because of Republican disdain for the working poor, thousands of Mainers are dependent upon the charity programs of our hospitals and cannot get preventive health care services. Thanks to the Maine People’s Alliance for taking the bull by the horns to fix this problem.

Brad Sherwood


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