The following is text from the governor’s March 3, 2012, radio address. To listen, click the MP3 below.


“In an effort to learn more about best practices involving jobs and the economy, energy and health care costs, this past week, I visited the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. It was an opportunity to connect with other governors and understand how they are tackling issues.


A major focus at NGA was the entrepreneur and how their success can drive the economy. What I found out is Maine is ahead of the curve.


Currently, Maine has business development experts available to work with businesses throughout the state. These account executives make sure hundreds of companies and economic development organizations take advantage of Maine’s valuable business resources. The primary goal – make it simple and easy to do business in Maine. Again, this type of thinking was a primary focus of growing state economies at this meeting and Maine is already leading the nation working alongside our job creators.


Experts said the biggest impediments for business are regulations. Our administration has streamlined regulations and removed unnecessary red tape to help our job creators. We know the threat of higher taxes and regulatory uncertainty makes it hard for our businesses to expand new jobs. So we will continue to remove red tape and burdensome regulations.


Our entrepreneurial class is not getting any help from Washington, however. President Obama is expected to once again propose billions in new oil and gas taxes as part of his upcoming budget. Obama has already proposed over $90 billion in new oil and gas taxes, which could be passed along to consumers in the form of even higher gasoline prices.


Higher gas and heating oil prices will affect the economy here in Maine and across the nation.  While I try to lower costs to the taxpayer and job creators I cannot do it alone. Unfortunately, President Obama’s latest budget proposal seeks $1.5 trillion in tax hikes, and his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline shows that job creation is not his top priority. The president’s opposition of the pipeline further demonstrates that he is not concerned with rising prices at the gas pump.


Can Maine families really afford to pay for $5 gas or heating oil? I don’t think so.


There is no current alternative to oil as a source of fuel for the vast majority of our automobiles. And while, the Obama administration can call for more solar and wind power, those technologies are not viable and plentiful sources of cost effective energy today. We must keep all of our options open for us to move the economy forward.


The Obama administration has also failed to adequately respond to the states requests for more flexibility and is raising costs for both states and businesses – threatening jobs.


Unfunded mandates, maintenance of effort, healthcare exchanges, and denied waivers are hindering states ability  to reduce costs.


Republican governors offered 31 solutions for reforming and saving Medicaid, but received no response from the White House.


True cost of Obama’s health care plan after the Democrats’ budget gimmicks are removed is $2.5 trillion.


The truth is states cannot afford it, and the White House‘s failure to work with the states creates more uncertainty for both state budgets, which in turns creates uncertainty for businesses who don‘t know how states will pay for the provisions.


Our elected leaders have a responsibility to the American people.  Decisions have consequences, and in November people will not forget they were forced to dig deeper into their pockets because of failed policies.  We have a choice – to remain a welfare state and country or we can revive the great American dream this nation was built upon.


In closing, I would like to praise the great work of United States Senator Olympia J. Snowe.  Her retirement announcement was a surprise to many and her presence in Washington will be sorely missed. Senator Snowe’s long list of accomplishments is an example of her extraordinary work ethic and ability to get things done.  I thank her for the service she has provided to our state and nation during the past three decades.  She is a phenomenal leader and a dear friend whom I wish the very best to.


Thank you for listening.”