Gray outlined Stiglitz and Orszag’s argument that in a recession taxes could be used to redistribute money from the rich (who can afford to give some up, and who tend to save money) to the poor and middle class (who tend to spend it quickly, thus stimulating the economy). Although Maine’s Constitution requires the state to balance its budget — unlike the federal government — Gray was almost a lone voice at the conference pointing out that raising taxes was an option to meet this requirement.
When Gray finished, no one ventured a question or comment. Audience members quietly began to leave.
“There’s a natural time lag” between change at the national and the state level, Colby professor Maisel says.
The song of change is not yet ringing through Maine Democratic politics, but a few notes have been heard.
Lance Tapley can be reached at email@example.com.
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