On the Right Lane: A gaggle of government

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 “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”
Frederic Bastiat, French economist and politician

Remember back a few years ago when our legislators raised the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5½ percent with the promise of rolling it back? Alas, just like with most government promises, that tax increase became permanent. Someone once stated that there is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax.

Remember what Governor-elect Janet Mills promised about not raising taxes on Mainers? Now there is talk about giving municipalities the ability to collect sales tax, more than likely about 1 percent or so of sales.

Some of Maine’s famous political spenders are once again giving their reasons why this tax increase will be so wonderful for our local government. The first excuse I love to hear is that Maine can tax the tourists even more. Even a child in kindergarten could figure out that means Mainers will pay more taxes as well. Another one I love is that the people will be happy that their communities will be getting more in tax collections. That’s sick, if you ask me. Then, of course, there’s the excuse that towns rely heavily on property and excise taxes – please don’t ever believe those will be reduced just because another tax is being collected.

I will again mention the famous LD1, which was going to fund 55 percent of local education and reduce our tax burden somehow. You see, my taxes always increase even when someone promised us tax reform. The real definition of tax reform just means someone else is paying more while you don’t pay any less.

I will flip backwards over the moon when this sales tax expansion to municipalities conversation begins when the new Legislature meets. Heck, I have already stated we will be slammed with tax increases, and that was before anyone even mentioned this possible tax increase. And don’t worry, be happy because once this tax is started at the one1 percent rate, it won’t be that long before Robin Hood and his merry companions want to increase it to two 2 percent and then later even higher. Don’t be surprised when talk begins of expanding the sales tax to even more items, which has been attempted several times with some small successes. Those in control in Augusta won’t stop until all the wallets and purses in Maine are empty.

We will see if all the talk on reducing electricity rates in Maine will ever happen. I, for one, am willing to bet it never will. Just look at the recent news about Central Maine Power failing to bill new customers properly for outrageous reasons like not enough workers. Prior planning prevents poor performance if I remember right. The sad part of this fiasco is that CMP wants to make up their losses by passing on the costs to every customer. If Maine government allows this to happen, Mainers will need to clean out the halls of the State House and establish  a nongovernmental, nonprofit company to handle our electricity needs. All I can guess is that CMP has to send all its money to Spain. If one believes government wind turbines are the answer, just look at the city of Saco. It took a royal beating on its wind turbine, which never delivered the electricity that was promised and then stopped functioning.

Then I read that the Maine Department of Transportation is going to have “service safety patrols” on a stretch of I-295. It does sound like a great idea but with private companies like AAA and others providing similar services why will tax dollars be used to compete with them? In Germany there is an automobile club that actually patrols the autobahns rather than the government doing it. Maine borrows millions of dollars for road and bridge repair so every dollar is precious.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes Maine government desires to be our nanny.