Maine Legislature

House Democratic Office




February 3, 2011

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



Economy depends on strengthening middle class, working families




Good morning, I’m Democratic State Rep. Jeff McCabe.


Thanks for tuning in.


I am lucky enough to represent the great people of Skowhegan on the banks of the Kennebec, where I live with my wife and two young children.


My wife works in education and I manage the park at Lake George. Like most Maine people, we both work hard to make ends meet, sometimes working multiple jobs just to make sure we can put dinner on the table, keep our house warm, pay our student loans, and have a little extra to buy the kids a new pair of boots or a coat. 


We care about our community and our neighbors, and we want to make sure our children get a good education so they can find a good paying job in our state.


While most families don’t have time or patience to keep up with the politics in Augusta or the gridlock in Washington, we all know that the economy has taken a toll on our neighbors, friends, and our own family budgets.


Middle-class families like ours are the backbone of our economy, but we’ve been left behind.


In order to grow our economy, we need to strengthen the middle class.


We should invest in real tax relief for middle class families and make sure that they have access to a quality education, affordable health care, and good job opportunities so they can put money back into our communities and businesses.


We need leaders who have a daily focus on creating good jobs and a long term vision for economic growth in our state. As the president says, we need an economy that is built to last -- where everyone gets a fair shake, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. 


A millionaire shouldn’t pay lower tax rates than his secretary or qualify for a tax credit meant for those working in the woods.


In the last year, 7,200 Mainers lost their jobs.


While Republicans campaigned on creating jobs, they’ve yet to deliver. In fact, their cut-to-the-bone economics have moved our state backwards and lined the pockets of the rich. Their policies have made it harder to live in Maine, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck or live or work in rural Maine.


We must get our priorities straight. Middle class families shouldn’t take a back seat to corporations, special interests, and the very rich.


If we want to strengthen the middle class in Maine and help get our Maine streets moving again, we must invest in the right policies that create jobs now and put Maine people back to work.


We need to invest in our roads and bridges, in research and development, and our classrooms.


We need to ensure our taxpayer dollars are creating jobs right here at home instead of overseas.


We need to encourage employers to hire the long-term unemployed and stop discrimination against job seekers who have been out of work for a while.


We need to invest in workforce training, increase access to higher education, and raise wages in our state.


These are the kinds of solutions that will help strengthen Maine families. It’s simple -- if you work hard, you should be able to do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement.


Thanks for listening. I’m Rep. Jeff McCabe.


Go New England Patriots! Make us proud.