Maine Legislature

House Democratic Office






June 15, 2011

Contact: Jodi Quintero [Carey], 287-1488, c. 841-6279


Rep. Carey: Maineís economy shrinks under GOP control




Good morning, Iím Rep. Mike Carey from Lewiston.

Thank you for tuning in.

This week we learned that Maine was among only a handful of states in America where the economy actually slid backwards last year.  

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that Maine was the only state in New England whose economy shrunk in 2011 and one of only seven nationwide.

But Maine people donít need a national report to tell us that times are tough. 

Maine families and small businesses are struggling to stay above water.  Only a few days ago the media reported that a Lewiston construction company closed its doors after decades of building and fixing roads.  This family business employed 40 people. Forty people who live in our communities and shop at our local stores.

When a company like that closes down, the ripple effect can be devastating. Finding a job isnít easy, and neither is staying afloat while youíre looking. In this recession, more than 50,000 Maine people look for work every day.

And, lawmakers should be doing everything we can to get our economy moving again so people who have lost their job through no fault of their own have more opportunity not less.

But instead of creating jobs and getting our economy moving again, weíve seen Augusta undermine middle class families and hold job growth hostage to an extreme Tea Party agenda.

While Maineís economy is shrinking and businesses on Main Street are closing their doors, our governor announced this week that he would slow or halt voter-approved investments that will create jobs across our state.  He plans to ignore the will of the voters and put a stranglehold on bonds that Maine voters have already approved.

 As a result, job creation at the Brunswick Naval Air Station, research programs at Maineís universities and labs, and improvements in our downtowns across the state are at risk. Maine voters chose to make these investments in our local area with our tax dollars. Why would the governor ignore the voters and turn his back on jobs?  

The governor and our Republican colleagues are leading our state down the wrong path. Their Tea Party agenda isnít working for Maine. 

Two-years of Republican control has made it harder to live and work in Maine.

Weíve seen investment in innovation and job creation held hostage by Tea-Party politics. Engineering graduates from our universities will have fewer job choices because the GOP refused to make common sense investments in research and development. In the last few years alone, these types of investments have helped companies like Jackson Labs and Maine pulp and paper mills to innovate and to create jobs.

But instead of creating jobs for the future, Republicans stuck to the same, old extreme playbook.

Under Republican control, weíve seen tax giveaways for the wealthy paid for on the backs of the middle class, our children, and our seniors.

Republicans have made it easier for insurance companies to increase health insurance rates for Maine families and businesses without prior approval.

And what happened?

Because of the Republican rate hike law, health insurance costs have skyrocketed for small businesses and older Mainers, especially in rural Maine.

The extreme agenda has moved our state backwards, while our neighbors in other states around the country have begun to emerge from the recession. Maine shouldnít be held hostage to a backwards agenda.

It's time we tax fairly and cut wisely, not tax the middle class and slash services to children, seniors and to public safety.

The best way to improve our economy is by investing in small businesses, job training, roads and bridges, and public education.  We need more opportunity not less.

Maine canít slash and burn its way to success.

Thanks for listening. Iím Rep. Mike Carey from Lewiston.