As millions of Americans celebrated America's birthday this week, we reflected on our individual liberties and our independence as a Nation. Indeed, it's always uplifting to remember and honor what our Country is founded upon.
Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.
For 236 years our constitution has tried to uphold our Founding Fathers intent -- to protect Americans rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But what our Founding Fathers, I'm sure, did not have in mind is for our rights to be stripped away by our Federal Government. What our Founding Fathers did not see coming is unfair taxation that burdens the American people.
Obamacare is bad policy and bad law. It raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, and kills jobs.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has spoken and its decision carries the law of the land. We have an opinion as to what is constitutional and what isn't. However, what the Court did not tell us is what states should do next.
I have been asked if Maine will move forward with Medicaid expansion. However, Maine is already a welfare expansion state because of the generous benefits offered. Our welfare costs are among the highest in the Nation as a result of some of the lowest eligibility requirements.
Maine has increased its spending by more than a billion dollars during the last decade because of expanded welfare programs. We cannot afford our current programs, so to require Maine to expand coverage even more is fiscally irresponsible. Before we think about taking on any more debt, we must pay our current bills -- nearly $500 million is owed to Maine hospitals.
Furthermore, there are still too many uncertainties for Maine to implement Obamacare. We do not know how federal matches would be paid for and how newly eligible is defined. Meanwhile, the President has proposed $800 million to finance exchanges, money that has not been approved by Congress. With these looming uncertainties circling around this issue, Maine cannot move forward right now with Obamacare.
Perhaps what is most disturbing about this ruling, though, is that the federal mandate is considered a TAX. This tax will add to the $500 billion in tax increases that are already in Obamacare. Now that Congress can use the taxation power of the federal government to compel behavior or lack thereof, what's next? More taxes if we don't drive Toyota Priuses or if we eat too much junk food or maybe even pea soup?
This decision has made America less free. We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo -- the I.R.S.
Even more disheartening is that reviving the American dream just became nearly impossible to do. We are now a nation in which supports dependency rather than independence. Instead of encouraging self-reliance we are encouraging people to rely on the government.
Demanding freebies in life and living freely are two very different things. There used to be a time when we were proud to get people off government programs. Today, we are promoting entitlement programs that are breaking the bank. Success should not be measured by what we can get for free, but rather what we do and give back to society when we are independent and productive citizens. Government-run health care is not what the American dream is about.
Democrats are attacking Republicans saying that we are turning down free health care. I have always said it doesn't matter if the money is taken from the left or right pocket, it's still my pocket. Make no mistake about it, taxpayers will pay for this.
The debt ceiling has been hiked again -- now to $16.4 trillion. How much more can we take? Because right now it's not only our children and grandchildren who will be paying for it, it will be our unborn great grandchildren who support our lack of responsibility and accountability for this mistake.
America wasn't born on these sorts of principles and it's time we get back on track - not only for our future generations, but for the future of our Nation.