Democrats call Republican tax concept “irresponsible”

Republican plan does not include a plan to pay for it

By Ramona du Houx

April 14th, 2011 

The Republican plan proposed by Senator Trahan of Waldoboro will cost more than $500 million in the next four years, increasing the budget structural gap more than the governor’s proposed budget giveaways to the wealthiest Mainers and out-of-state corporations.

“We absolutely support reducing taxes and the tax burden for all Maine people, but this irresponsible proposal will undermine our ability to govern,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston, who is the House Democratic lead on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. “The Appropriations Committee is working day in and day out to find fair ways to lower taxes on Maine people without saddling our children with a massive financial burden.”

Rotundo continued, “Republicans are going to say that there are no “losers” in this plan. But in fact, the massive and painful cuts to Maine schools, roads, health care and public safety that will result from their unchecked spending mean every Mainer will lose.”

The package does not spell out how to pay for the loss in state revenue in future years. Most of the cuts will take place three years down the road putting a burden on the state then to balance that budget. According to state law every budget has to be balanced- by delaying the payment “due” date the future burden would most likely have to be met by cutting revenues to programs in the 2013-2015 budget.

And that according to Rep. Seth Berry of Bowdoinham, who serves as the House Democratic lead on the Taxation Committee could be catistrophic.

Berry said, “It is dangerous and concerning that leading Republicans would propose a plan that doesn’t recognize one of life’s most simple facts: you can’t get something without paying for it. This is like spending hundreds of millions of dollars with a high interest credit card, and with no plan to pay it off.”