Maine’s lousy economy and the state budget

Maine had a lousy economy in 2012.

As the data in the below map (from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) show, GDP growth was below national and regional and regional averages.

Maine grew by an anemic .5%, as the nation’s GDP increased by 2.5% and New England’s increased by 1.2%. [Source]*

As the Maine Legislature is negotiating the budget, it should be cognizant of the impact of possible choices on economic growth.

It should not adopt the regressive tax increases proposed by Gov. LePage, nor cut programs helping the poor and middle-class. Those will hurt economic growth.

Maintaining current income tax rates  would be far better for Maine’s economy.

Democrats should not have so quickly dropped their proposal to defer the tax cuts passed by the last Maine Legislature in favor of increasing regressive taxes. If it was going to happen eventually as part of negotiations, they might have gained something to help most Mainers and the Maine economy. Their premature move was both bad politics and bad policy.

Note: Pay attention to the numbers on the map. The color-coding doesn’t always match up to them.


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.