1. Help Struggling Families by Creating New, Better-Paying Jobs.
2. Build a New Positive Attitude Toward Business Development and Jobs.
3. Reverse Out-Migration of Young Workers and Families.
4. Provide Competent, Common Sense Management.
Maine families are struggling to find jobs that pay the bills.
In 2006 Maine's median household income was $16,000 per year less than that of New Hampshire families. Maine is regularly ranked as one of the most anti-business states in the nation. This is a double threat to our families: the jobs they have pay too little, and the jobs they want won't locate here. We cannot continue down this path. No one should be forced to leave our great State for a better life.
"Maine has one of the worst business climates in the country due to decisions made by our elected officials during the past 30 years."
The reason why Maine has one of the worst business climates in the country is due to the decisions made by our elected officials during the past 30 years. Companies, and the jobs they bring, regularly pass over Maine for other states. Well-paying private sector jobs with good healthcare and retirement benefits are scarce. While our business economy has been shrinking, our public sector has been growing. It should be the other way around.
To make things worse, our state government has failed to address an unhealthy population shift. As a percentage of population, Maine has the least number of citizens under the age of 18. At the other end of the age spectrum, we have the 6th highest percentage over the age of 65. Too many of our young workers are leaving for better jobs elsewhere. An increasing number of our retirees are changing their state residencies to escape the stifling Maine taxes. Left is a population which is growing older, poorer, and more dependent on state services. This demographic trend is fiscally unsustainable without our burdensome taxes rising still higher. I refuse to let that happen.
"Young workers are leaving for better jobs elsewhere. Retirees are changing their state residencies to escape the stifling taxes."
There is no "silver bullet" that will save our state economy. Developing new opportunities around the wind power, cruise ship, or wood pellet industries should be part of the mix. However, we shouldn't be fooled by the next big idea on which we can spend a lot of valuable time and money. Maine will attract long-term investments and good jobs only when it addresses the root causes of why we cannot compete with other states. We must permanently reduce the cost and complexity of doing business in Maine to ensure our long-term prosperity.
Through lack of discipline and accountability, our State government has grossly mismanaged hard-earned taxpayer dollars. The result is budget crisis followed by budget crisis. Of course, the current economic recession has impacted every state. But, the root of Maine's fiscal mess is years of mismanagement by Augusta.
The good news is that we know how to cure our anemic state economy. We know what to do to build an inviting business environment and generate jobs. Our next Governor must be a strong, clear leader. Difficult decisions can no longer be avoided. Our State government needs a new positive attitude toward business development and jobs.
"The good news is that we know how to cure our anemic State economy."
To attract businesses and jobs we must: tax less, spend wisely, simplify regulations, lower energy and healthcare costs, complete our infrastructure, and improve education. Some initiatives can be implemented relatively soon. Others are longer-term. It will take common sense, hard work, and competent management. For all of us who call Maine home, it will be worth it.
 United States Census Bureau
 Tax Foundation; Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council
 United States Census Bureau