Finding balance

By AL DIAMON  |  December 5, 2012

The Piglet project complains that the state spends too much on out-of-state vendors (for instance, $132 in the last three years to companies in Hawaii). It fails to note that federal law prohibits limiting bidding on state contracts to Maine companies. It also doesn't mention that by buying for less in other states, our bureaucrats are saving taxpayers money.

It's not just right-wingers who have no clue how to reduce the budget. Democratic state Senator Justin Alfond of Portland, the incoming Senate president, was asked by the Portland Phoenix for his first priority for spending cuts. Alfond said the Department of Corrections.

If all Maine's prisons were closed and every inmate released to rape and pillage, it would reduce state spending by about 2 percent, an amount that wouldn't cover this year's expected shortfall, and would have almost no impact on the nearly $900 million the state is lacking for the next two years.

Democratic state Senator-elect Anne Haskell of Portland told the Phoenix she'd hack away at the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, the agency that develops all those mistake-riddled budgets. Of course, DAFS spends even less than the corrections department, meaning cutting the whole thing wouldn't save enough to cover Haskell's embarrassment.

If somebody asked me how to solve our financial woes, I'd suggest following Harry Frazee's lead: Call the Yankees and see if they're interested in buying another chubby guy who swings wildly for the fences and strikes out a lot.

LePage would look good in pinstripes.

Your budget suggestions can't be dopier than the experts'. Email them to me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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