Mainers aren’t happy with the direction of this country and state, including the high costs and runaway inflation we’re facing.
Maine Republicans understand that; Maine Democrats have demonstrated that they don’t.
The Maine Republican Party held its convention a couple weeks ago. It was vibrant and passionate, and our candidates are attuned with Mainers’ top concerns: high costs; record inflation, and students and parents getting left behind. Our candidates were clear: We need to lower Mainers’ costs.
In sharp contrast, the Maine Democrats are holding their election-year political convention this weekend following a number of attempts, some successful, to use their government power to raise your costs.
And, my goodness, what a time to raise costs. Mainers are feeling incredible economic pain right now, and the Augusta Democrats repeatedly worked to make that pain worse.
Here’s what Mainers are already facing:
Just this past week, gas and diesel prices in Maine hit new record highs.
Here in New England, the Consumer Price Index (inflation) hit 7.2 percent, meaning higher prices for everything your family needs to survive. At the same time, prices are going up and real wages are down 2.6 percent, with rising prices eating up all the growth.
Nearly everything is more expensive than it was a year ago. Gas is up 44 percent. Meat, poultry and fish are up 14 percent. Milk and eggs are up 15 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
In fact, Maine has the third-highest average annual food costs for a family of four in the country – behind only Hawaii and Massachusetts.
Of course, it’ll cost more only if you can actually find what you need. The supply chain crisis has gotten so out of hand that parents can’t even find baby formula for their children thanks to massive shortages across the country.
Despite this mess, here’s what the Maine Democrats have been working on:
They’ve proposed an extra tax hike on fuels like gas, diesel and heating oil. You may have heard about this tax because Sara Gideon supported it before losing to Sen. Susan Collins in 2020. A large number of Democrats running for office in Maine this year supported this tax, including Nicole Grohoski – she’s the Democrats’ candidate in the June special election for a Hancock County Senate seat.
Then, over the course of the last few months, the Democrats refused to even allow debate on suspending Maine’s gas tax to help working Mainers out this summer!
Moving on to another huge cost for Maine families – health care: The Democrats recently passed and Gov. Mills signed legislation that created a health insurance cost increase. According to Mills’ own administration, this law will actually lead to higher individual market insurance costs of up to $ 600 per person per year.
Household items aren’t safe from the Augusta Democrats, either. A few weeks ago, almost every Augusta Democrat voted for a tax hike on pet food. How cruel for those pet owners whose pets were a rare source of comfort during a tough time.
The iconic Maine family camp didn’t escape the money-hungry gaze of Augusta Democrats, either. If you like to spend time with your family at the lake or in the woods, you should know that Augusta Democrats voted for a new tax on family camps.
Of course, Washington, DC, is a mess that’s affecting Maine families as well. US Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree are up for reelection, and I’d ask that you remember that their party has absolutely failed to address the economic disaster we face. It’s time for change.
So as you think about who to support this year, remember that Maine citizens and Maine Republicans want to lower costs. Maine Democrats and their counterparts in DC have repeatedly worked to raise them.
Maine Observer: Life as a creature of habit