Our guide to the polls — local, state, and national
SENATE DISTRICT 8
Justin Alfond — D
1. Department of Corrections
4. Keep existing for now, expand as funds are available to ensure that all Mainers are covered.
Asher Platts- GI
1. Declined to answer: I reject the premise of this question. This question is framing the debate within the context of the right-wing austerity agenda, which says that we need to cut taxes on the wealthy, and cut social services. This is a recipe for economic disaster, and the fact that the debate has been framed this way is exactly what is wrong with Augusta. The Austerity agenda is propped up by a lie, that we don’t have any money. It’s total nonsense. First, there are corporations that actually pay an effective negative income tax, which means that working people who pay income tax are subsidizing the bonuses of CEOs and the dividends paid to stockholders. Which is just stupid and backwards. Second, maine’s income tax code has only three tax brackets, the top of which only begins at $30,000 a year — which is $16,000 less than what the IRS recognizes as being middle class. The Democrats, in the 124th legislature voted to cut taxes for the top bracket from 8% to 6.5%, and actually RAISED taxes on low income people. This is exactly the WRONG way to be going. We need a progressive taxation system. Where we currently have only three brackets, we should have twelve, and the wealthiest amongst us, who made their money through the exploitation of public infrastructure, should pay their fair share back into the system. The Austerity Kool-aid which has been drunk by both Democrats and Republicans alike, shoulders low and middle income people — the people whose work creates all the value in our economy — with the tax burden.
2. Yes. Please see my previous answer for more.
3. Yes! This actually ties into my platform point on creating a State Bank. One of the worst offenders when it comes to fradulent foreclosures is Bank of America. And where do we keep our tax dollars after we collect them? Bank of America. They use our tax dollars as leverage to create bad financial products, to kick people out of their homes, and everything else that they do. I think we should stop helping Bank of America out, and charter a State Bank, which would have one customer — the State of Maine — and keep our tax dollars there. This was done in North Dakota during the Great Depression, when Wall Street banks refused to lend capital to the farmers at reasonable rates. They created a State Bank, which provided liquidity to in-state, non-profit credit institutions. We can do this here in Maine — move our tax dollars off of Wall Street, and keep them in Maine.
4. Expanding: I support creating a Canadian-style single-payer, Medicare For All system, like what Vermont just did. This is less expensive than having it being administered by a private insurance company, for many reasons, the first being that we would not be using taxpayer dollars to subsidize the profits of a company that sells a flawed financial product with a perverse profit incentive structure.
6. Yes Absolutely. Infrastructure is an investment. Railbeds cost more upront, but hold up for decades, unlike paved roads, which need to be resurfaced every few years. And with the increased cost of petrol products, asphalt is becoming more expensive. Conservatives like to complain about government subsidizing the rail industry, but every time we pay to resurface a paved road, it’s a subsidy to the automobile industry and the oil industry. Let’s stop bailing out the corporations, and bail out the people for a change.
John Brown — R (declared write-in candidate)
1. Health and Human Services = Our spending is [2.5] above the National average.
SENATE DISTRICT 9
Anne Haskell — D
1. Dept. of Administrative and Financial Services
3. Yes: as already required.
4. Expand to include the ones that were dumped last year.
Kirsten Martin — R
Did not answer.