Ordinary people

By AL DIAMON  |  April 25, 2012

"If this ill-considered measure passes, it will mean the end of many essential government services, including garbage collection, snow plowing, and hiring massage therapists for staff-appreciation day at the Maine State Housing Authority."

Of course, there's more to the new TABOR than a lot of policy-geek blather. It would also require state departments to come up with mission statements. For instance, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services could promise to fix its computer system so it's not giving Medicaid benefits to 25,000 people who aren't eligible. And the Maine Department of Education could pledge to teach schoolkids to read well enough so that when they grow up, they don't have to mark their ballots at random.

There are also limits on taxes, spending, and the number of times somebody can use the words "average citizens" in one column.

Even so, passage of the new TABOR is hardly a certainty. The connection to ALEC could be problematic, given that group's controversial stands on matters such as supporting stand-your-ground laws, a position that has caused several of ALEC's corporate sponsors to fail to stand their ground. ALEC has also been pegged as a tool of the Koch brothers, alleged to be maniacal millionaires bent on world domination.

But as average citizens, that's not our major concern. Instead, we have to decide if we're willing to trust the Legislature to bring state spending under control and reduce taxes, or if we'd prefer to force them to do so. We have to weigh all the facts. We have to assess all the options.

Then, we have to vote at random.

Emotional appeals may be emailed to  aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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