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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: Democratic legislators must do what’s right for taxpayers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

The number-one duty of every United States citizen is to vote.

Some don’t participate because they haven’t a clue when it comes to the significance of voting. Some are low-informational individuals who may or may not vote.

Another group thinks everyone running for office is either a bum or a crook. They feel that no matter who gets into office, nothing is going to change.

The last—and largest—group of voters are people who care. They do their homework on the candidates and the issues. They then cast their votes using logic, not emotions.

But after the votes are cast and the election ends, they get very frustrated when their candidates fail to fulfill their promises. These elected officials feel that with the passing of time, memories will fade and they will be reelected.

Last week I closed the column asking voters to overcome their fears, contact their local legislative representatives and remind them why they were elected.

The major issue of last year’s election was welfare reform. Governor Paul LePage ran on this issue and handily won reelection. This also propelled many Republicans into office. Republicans now hold the Blaine House and the Senate. Unfortunately, Republican gains in the House fell short, leaving the chamber in Democratic control.

This leaves organizations like the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Equal Justice Partners and other liberal activist groups to weave their magic in the Democratic House. Apparently, it is working.

The Health and Human Service Legislature Committee deals with General Assistance legislation. To the surprise of no one, the committee is split 7 to 6 along party lines when dealing with welfare reform.  Democrats are still in the majority; Republicans are still in the minority.

Why are our Democratic legislators so petrified to go against these progressive groups? These activists claim they are sympathetic to the plight of the poor, but continue to push for legislation that puts the poor into greater poverty. In the private sector, their ineptness would result in the loss of their cushy salaries and an introduction to the unemployment line.

But let’s put these Democratic committee votes against reform into their proper perspective. If you are an illegal alien, Democrats are going to fight tooth and nail to ensure you are supported financially by Maine taxpayers. To those non-citizens collecting SSI disability, don’t worry: Democrats will make sure those checks continue.

If you’re a generational welfare recipient who has become complacent with your lifestyle, Democrats will protect you from the shock of having to work. If you are traveling from state to state, city to city, gobbling up cities’ and towns’ General Assistance until it’s time to move on to the next fertile group, don’t worry, Democrats will fight to keep your life as a free spirit intact.

However, if you’re a property taxpayer and have had enough of watching your taxes steadily increase while city services decrease, city infrastructure starts to crumble and your dreams of a great school system diminish with each influx of special needs students from out of town, you have two choices: you can either fight or grin and bear it.

Let me also make something perfectly clear. I am not talking about refugees. I am talking about our domestic population. The dependent domestic underclass was created from Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” If it were not for our Somali refugees, our graduation rate would be in the 50 percentile range, as opposed to the 69-70 percentile range.

I believe that our current legislators will break with their party and support these long-needed reforms. They will put voters over party.

In 1774, while our Founding Fathers vacillated over whether to break away from England, a spirit of independence ran through the population and look what happened!

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