With tea parties and town halls taking place around the country, officials are clearly seeing that citizens are demonstrating that they are fed up with the government’s excessive spending and taxation. 

On November 3rd, the taxpayers of Maine will have the opportunity to vote on TABOR, an initiative that would greatly curb out of control spending.  TABOR would limit spending increases to the combined rate of inflation and population growth.  Excess revenue above the expenditure limit would be divided between a goverment stabilization fund (rainy day fund) and a tax relief fund, 20% to the former and 80% tax relief fund. 

Americans for Tax Reform commends the work of the TABOR NOW campaign and its efforts to advance these tax and spending limits in Maine. 

In Maine, a state where spending has grown by 29% or about $1.7 billion (inflation taken into account) between 1999 and 2007, TABOR should be widely welcomed.  One has to taken into account that over this same time period, the population is estimated to have only grown from 1,266,808 to 1,315,398, less than 4% and this number may be generous.  Even with their population growing so little, the spending and taxation levied on the backs of the hardworking citizens has grown too large.  TABOR would set appropriate limits to combat Maine’s spending spree. 

Programs such as Dirigo healthcare (a government run healthcare program that we don’t want to see mimicked at the national level with Obamacare), has imposed more taxes on the citizens of Maine.  After seeking revenue to prop up Dirigo health just last year, a majority of the legislature and the Governor passed tax increases on beer, wine, liquor, and some juice drinks; which were then repealed by Mainers in November.  The people spoke and decided they did not want teh estimated $80 million in new taxes to pay.  After seeing their new taxes rejected last year that would have funded the failing Dirigo program, Gov. Balducci and the legislature passed a 2.4 percent tax on health insurance claims, again force feeding taxes on the people of Maine (see "The ‘Public Plan’ Exists and Doesn’t Work" by Tarren Bragdon, Maine Heritage Policy Center).  Additionally, check out a couple of other pieces from Maine Heritage Policy Center devoted to explaining the problems with Maine’s healthcare: "A Series of Unfortunate Events: Dirigo- Maine’s ‘Public Option’ Is a Costly Failure" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events: Maine’s Failed Experiments With Big Government Controlling Health Insurance".

Maine should embrace spending and taxation limits, creating a mechanism that would empower taxpayers to limit funding to the government, in turn limiting the amount of experimentation dollars their government would have for failures such as the above mentioned "Dirigo" health program.   

To see ATR’s press release supporting TABOR, click here.   

Photo credit: Bryan_Bruchman