Maine was second nationally in the loss of public sector jobs as a percentage of public sector employment last year. This is a major factor in explaining why Maine was the only New England state whose economy shrank in 2011 and why Maine is near the bottom of all 50 states in job creation. Governor LePage and GOP colleagues in the legislature have stood in the way of the necessary economic stimulus.
Turning a blind eye to the fact that Maine voters overwhelmingly backed a bond package designed to create jobs, the Governor has blocked release of these funds. Instead, the Governor and his colleagues have put a priority on passing tax cuts that will largely benefit the wealthy and implementing budget cuts that will hurt the most vulnerable.
Even as the Governor likes to trumpet his independence, sadly this is very much in lockstep with the national priorities of an increasingly extreme GOP. I hope that the November elections start to turn the tide back to common sense leadership in Augusta.