November 3, 2010

Too much of Maine’s money going to war

No matter who voters send to Blaine House, our next governor will be faced with a $800 million budget shortfall.

 Last year, I listened to testimony in a joint session of the Appropriations and the Education & Cultural Affairs committees of our Legislature. Each agency head came forward to testify about cutting important programs in order to deal with last year’s budget crisis. It struck me that every agency contributed in some way to the education of Maine’s children: the state library, the Maine State Museum, the arts commission.

In the coming year, we will hear about more cuts on top of those imposed last year.

Where is all Maine’s money going? In fiscal year 2009, 51 percent of income taxes paid by our state’s citizens went to military spending by the federal government. This year it is 54 percent.

And if the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 passes (Congress tabled it until after elections), military spending will climb to 57 percent of the total discretionary budget.

This is an alarming trend, leaving our communities and our states in dire circumstances.

We cannot afford to go on spending more than half of federal income tax revenue on destruction, while schools, libraries and other education resources are reduced. The path we are on is unsustainable.

 No matter who is elected, join me in calling on Congress to bring our war dollars home ( where they are needed. State legislators and governors have a role to play in making this demand.

Lisa Savage


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