Trickle down

To the editor:

More and more Mainers are rejecting Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed state budget for very good reasons. It amounts to a regressive trickle-down tax shift which is bad for the middle class, bad for nonprofits, bad for towns and cities, and bad for home and property owners.

Eliminating the income and estate taxes overwhelmingly benefits those at the top while the rest of us will be hit hard with higher property taxes, a slew of higher sales taxes on everything from haircuts to movie tickets, and the loss of important tax exemptions and deductions. A Mainer earning $50,000 a year would pay a higher percentage of his or her income in taxes than someone making $250,000 a year.

That is very unfair and bad economics.

LePage embraces the fallacy that tax cuts for the rich and well-off magically “trickle-down” to the rest of us. That doesn’t work and never has. Shifting the tax burden from those most able to pay to those less able to pay is exactly what we should not be doing.

LePage’s proposal also hammers nonprofits, like colleges, hospitals, summer camps and many other private service-providers, and especially our small rural towns which have few or no nonprofits to tax to make up for his elimination of local revenue sharing.

The LePage plan is a very bad deal. What will improve the Maine economy is targeted tax reductions for the large majority of consumers in the working and middle classes, proactive job-creation strategies focused on small and medium-sized business development, investment in infrastructure and alternative energy development, and most importantly, investment in higher education and training to produce a workforce that attracts business.

That is middle class economics, and that is what is proven to work, not something like LePage’s regressive budget-busting, trickle-down, tax shift plan.

Ron Bilancia


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