Conservative to the Core

Maine Democrats win big

By Tom Seymour | Nov 16, 2018

Maine Democrats pretty much cleared the board as of last Tuesday’s election. At present, the race between Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin and Democrat Jared Golden remains undecided, meaning that the outcome will be decided by ranked choice voting. But Democrats won the Blaine House as well as the Senate races. They also have a majority in the Maine House. So what does this all portend?

Well, with a change of leadership comes a change in how Maine government is run, and with a Democrat governor holding the reins, expect surplus funds that have accrued under the LePage administration to begin shrinking and continue shrinking until there is no surplus.

Surplus funds, rainy day funds, rank as an easily tapped source for all kinds of projects, especially entitlements. It’s too soon to speculate upon what exactly will shake out, but since this money represents low-hanging fruit, expect it to be picked.

Maine’s economy, like the national economy, has just hit its stride. We have low unemployment and a booming economy. This occurred as a result of fiscal bulldog Gov. LePage’s determination. With Democrats in charge, expect a big push for welfare programs as well as a surge in “green” projects. Whereas conservatives believe that new technology is best applied by private money, Democrats favor supporting startup endeavors with taxpayer dollars. Even small-scale startup green projects most likely will be buoyed by taxpayer-funded, government grants.

Under Maine’s new Democrat-controlled government, we can expect increases in all kinds of taxes as well as a possible proliferation of new taxes. It might be wise now to start putting extra money aside so as to cope with new taxes. Perhaps I’m wrong about this.

Current Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, a Democrat who may well become Senate president, said that Democrats will prioritize property tax and student debt relief. But somehow, looking back at past Democrat-run administrations, those words have a hollow ring. It sounds good, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

Also look for new, stricter regulations on all sorts of endeavors. The idea of being able to slide through new regulations, unopposed, represents a politician’s wildest dream. And now that scenario is at hand. There is no more Gov. LePage to put a brake on oppressive regulations, so we may as well prepare ourselves for unwanted change.

It goes without saying that with Democrats in control, firearms ownership and use is imperiled. Maine has a low incidence of gun violence and in common parlance we might say that since it ain’t broke, we hadn’t better fix it. But being anti-gun is a Democrat rallying point.

And, of course, Republicans are the defenders of our Second Amendment rights. But with Republicans on the shelf, at least for a while, all bets are off as to what gun laws might come down the pike.

Maine industries may well suffer under Democrat leadership. Also expect new, harsh environmental regulations to put an abrupt halt to new, blue-collar businesses, particularly businesses that manufacture goods using our natural resources.

Look for energy prices to rise because of new taxes. And while Maine fuel prices are currently on the decline, expect them to rise. The poor and also, senior citizens, may well find it difficult to pay their bills. And given Democrat hatred of fossil fuels, don’t be surprised with anything that comes down the road.

Cherish memories of Gov. LePage’s accomplishments regarding lifting people out of poverty by severing the bonds between them and the welfare state. More people are working now than ever and even the numbers of food stamp recipients were reduced under Republican leadership. But that will change dramatically in the near future.

Also expect lots of non-essential changes. Perhaps the entire state of Maine rather than a handful of Democrat-controlled cities will embrace “Indigenous People’s Day” and officially remove Columbus Day from the calendar.

The war on plastics and Styrofoam will intensify. Whereas certain cities have banned plastic bags, it is possible that such a ban could now occur statewide. After all, Republicans lack the votes to prevent it.

Plastic straws, too, will come under the gun, as will Styrofoam cups and containers. And since most people view such bans as an affront to their personal freedoms, the new government can expect to reap a great bounty in fines as people continue to use banned products.

Despite all these dire predictions, after election fatigue wears off, most Mainers will again go about their daily business. We remember that nothing is forever and even though the Maine political picture looks grim for conservatives, another election can bring change as dramatic as what we have just experienced. Maine politics is like the Maine weather; if you don’t like it, just wait a minute. And that’s a good thing.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.

 

Comments (1)
Posted by: Kevin Riley | Nov 21, 2018 06:44

Saving so we can compare what happens from year to year.

It's obvious that Tom hates advancement, change and people he considers "not real Mainers" (previous letter)



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