Today Paul LePage was sworn in as Maine's 74th governor. Gov. LePage is one of 14 governors nationwide who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Gov. LePage's life story is incredible. Born a native French speaker into a family of 18 children, he was homeless for two years at age eleven. He barely got into college because of the language barrier, but worked multiple jobs while he was there and excelled.
He now has promised to get Maine back on track through a bold agenda of tax, spending and regulatory reform. Gov. LePage, like a number of other Republican governors this cycle, was given the gift of Republican majorities in both chambers of his legislature on Election Day. The skids are greased for monunmental progress in improving Maine's business climate, which Forbes recently ranked the nation's worst.
Removing the prospect of tax increases to balance the state budget makes lasting spending reform possible; this is precisely what Gov. LePage has done in signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Maine stands on the cusp of dramatic progress, and may soon be a beacon of light in the midst of New England's economic stagnation.
An excerpt from the governor's inaugural address today follows, with a shout out to the profit motive:
Maine is the hardest place in the country to start and grow a business. Consequently, we earn just 80% of the national per capital income and we are failing to make the investments needed to grow our tax base.
Only the private sector can create the jobs and investment we need to move Maine forward. Profit is not a dirty word. In fact it is the direct and indirect solution to all of our challenges.
The search for profit is what drives investment and innovation. Without profit, no one has an incentive to create jobs or build our tax base. Profit is what will keep our young people from leaving Maine in search of better opportunities.
Profit is what makes the public sector possible. Without profit, we do not have economic activity, we do not have income and we do not have a tax base. Profit pays the bills for every sector of society.
Profit leads to more competition. And through competition “We the People” end up with more choice and greater value.