Governor's weekly radio address

'We do have the ability to fix our problems'

By Gov. Paul LePage | Jan 14, 2012

The following is text from the governor's Jan. 14, 2012, radio address.

"In the 1800s a Frenchman by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

I share this quote with you with good reason. Today, we as a nation are faced with many challenges. The biggest of all, a $15 trillion dollar debt Congress cannot seem to get a handle on.

Unlike, the federal government, Maine must balance its budget and be held accountable. As you know, Maine is dealing with a massive shortfall in the budget. This is nothing new to government as every year supplemental, or additional budgets are needed to be passed to reallocate money to pay the bills, in particular this has been a common occurrence for decades within the Department of Health and Human Services budget.

Mr. de Tocqueville was correct. We do have the ability to fix our problems. We are a democratic society that has the power to implement meaningful change. This is what our administration is attempting to do.

The notion that the federal government controls the states is false. What the federal government has been successful at, however, is offering money in lieu of implementing programs they control. Medicaid, or the tax-payer funded government-run health care program, is a perfect example.

Another great quote from Alexis de Tocqueville is, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” Think about it.

For years, federal dollars have flowed into DHHS to help pay for a welfare program that provides health care to Maine’s most vulnerable. Maine people have become accustomed with this welfare program that Democrats believe should be universal, free health care. The problem with this ideology now is that those federal tax dollars are no longer being handed out and state tax-payers must make up the difference.

There’s no disputing the need for a strong safety net, but through the years Democrats have expanded this program beyond its original design.

It’s in Maine’s best interest to introduce new ideas to the federal government that will give states more flexibility in running welfare programs. Supporters of ObamaCare will argue that reforming Maine’s welfare program is all for nothing. What they won’t tell you is that Maine tax-payers are going to have to foot the bill. This is one reason our Administration is trying to reform welfare to be closer in line with ObamaCare. The more we pay today – the more we will be mandated to pay tomorrow.

There have been many great leaders of change in American history –Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and also Martin Luther King. Jr., whom on Monday our nation will honor the Dr’s work.

I truly believe we can lead our nation to a better tomorrow. What I also believe is that the work lies in the hands of the people. Jefferson, Lincoln, and King were ordinary men with extraordinary ideas. But furthermore, they had the will to put those ideas into motion which created change and today we are better for it.

On Monday, I will sign a proclamation proclaiming Jan. 16, 2012, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Mainers are known for taking care of each other – neighbors helping neighbors – and I encourage people to pay tribute to the life and work of Dr. King through participation in community service projects on this day and throughout the year.

Thank you for listening. Enjoy the holiday."

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