“The Hippocratic Oath says do no harm. It’s the Hypocritical Oath that says do no harm to one’s political future.”
Mark McKinnon, political adviser
I have to first state that this column in no way is commenting about anyone even close to those in the medical business of keeping us healthy. I state that because “Hippocratic” and “hypocritical” are close enough in appearance to confuse some.
Around Maine and probably other states as well it’s budget time again for municipalities and schools. As is always the case, our wallets will once again be squeezed a little bit thinner and for some poor folks, more than likely they’ll be emptied. Sadly, our politicians use the ultimate pretense of making our lives better while the only thing really accomplished is more money being poured into the government feeding trough. I’m still waiting for our lives to get better.
Let’s take a look at the absolutely deplorable conditions of many roads and bridges and more than likely other public infrastructure as well. The federal government has demanded better fuel mileage for our vehicles, which is fine and dandy except for one small thing. It means vehicles will be using less fuel and thus the drivers of those vehicles will be paying less in fuel taxes as a result of that mandate. There is a push for more electric vehicles that don’t use fossil fuels but require the generation of electricity by some means. Many places have built wider roads to accommodate bicycles and yet those riders pay nothing to finance their upkeep. (And please don’t respond with the typical comeback of, “I pay property taxes” or “I own a car,” because that has nothing to do with building a special lane for bicycles on a public road. As far as I am concerned, if you want to ride your bicycle on any road then you need to pay something extra.)
I look at a city like Portland where most of the elected and appointed officials complain about so-called affordable housing, which to me is a total joke in the first place. With all of the extra fees for stormwater runoff, owning and renting apartments and all of the other fees Portland loves to place on the backs of property owners, it’s no wonder that there is a lack of housing for those who have a lower income. Every little thing eventually adds up and when one doesn’t have a lot of money in first place, it only takes one more straw to break the camel’s back. When one adds on the costs of legislation passed by those elected to Augusta, it’s no wonder we see panhandling on every street corner in Portland and increasingly elsewhere as well.
The sad part of all of this is that it is not hard to come to the opinion that the government at all levels believes that there is an exhaustible amount of money available for the picking. It’s not only sad, it’s dumb. Every entity in government always wants an increase, and when combined with the so-called public services like electricity, water, sewerage and everything else, I have only one question to ask. How can someone living on a retirement income continue to live in this state? What even gripes me more is when one listens to the complaints of government workers at any level about making poverty wages when, in fact, their pay raises are driving those who pay their salaries out of this state.
Somewhere along the line there has to be a significant change on how local and county governments operate and maybe it should mean the end of county government at the minimum. It’s also time to eliminate our multiple levels of law enforcement and start combining the majority of them and eliminating many. . The problem with a government job is that once it exists, those who hold those jobs consider them good forever with increasing salaries.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes Hell will freeze over before Windham ever receives anything from the Super Fund to clean up the Keddy Mill site.