Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Cato Gives Baldacci a B

Rex Rhoades writes:
The libertarian Cato Institute has rated Maine Gov. John Baldacci the 7th best governor in the U.S. for fiscal restraint and curbing spending.

Baldacci is the second highest-ranking Democrat on the list.

The full report is here. (Rhoades accidentally links to the 2002 version of the report) edit: fixed.

The report finds that Baldacci is the third biggest tax-cutter in the country of either party and notes that "[Baldacci's] grade is much better than that of his predecessor, Angus King, who earned a D on the 2002 report card."

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Is this a good thing? These cuts will severely damage higher ed in Maine. 

Posted by David

3/01/2005 08:07:00 PM


It's not necessarily a good thing for the state, in fact a lot of the cuts have been very detrimental. (here are a couple  examples).

But it certainly makes Republicans that criticize Baldacci for spending look damn foolish, and perhaps it will make it easier to pass a budget and bonds. 

Posted by Mike

3/01/2005 08:22:00 PM


I'm not surprised that Cato likes Baldacci - seeing that he's generally to the right fiscally of nearly every Democrat in the state, as well as a fair number of Republicans.

Personally, I think Baldacci's policies are exceedingly harmful to the state, in both the long and short term. They're certainly driving us from Maine (we move as soon as the house sells.) The only thing that kept us here despite the crappy tech economy was some of the best autism programs in the country. Those programs will now see 75% cuts in the next two years, at a time when the number of children who need those programs is skyrocketing (from 1990 to 2002, the number of children ages 5 - 18 with autism increased by 1700% - no, that's not a typo. One out of every 82 boys born in Maine today develops an autistic spectrum disorder by age 5.) Baldacci is achieving these Cato-friendly cuts in typical libertarian fashion; by shrinking government programs by so far they can be drowned in Norquist's bathtub.

My biggest regret at not winning my legislative race last year is not being able to protest these cuts with every breath I have on the floor of the Maine House. Maine parents of special needs kids have no one in August, Democrat or Republican, who will stand up against Baldacci against these horrific cuts. They'll mumble a bit, and gain a few concessions here or there, but as in the past, they'll eventually just roll over and let the Governor win. And they'll justify it by it being an election year and we need to provide a united front. What a sad shame. 

Posted by MB

3/02/2005 12:32:00 PM



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