Maine, Inc. under the new LePage administration is hiring, but the pool of "qualified" candidates (i.e. men who think like Paul LePage) can't afford the meager government pay of $103,000 plus benefits. "Why would you want to take that pay cut?" asks Joe Bruno, the former Republican Leader, who thinks the Governor and his cabinet deserve a raise. After all, it's going to be hard work cutting all those welfare benefits, rolling back environmental laws, and gutting education programs.
There's no shortage of people willing to cry wolf at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, however, because there doom and gloom grease the cogs of one big lucrative machine. Red tape is not a problem for the business that fear-mongers for dollars.
Broken-record Tarren Bragdon, CEO of MHPC and a co-chairman on LePage's transition team told us again yesterday, "Maine's unfunded government employee pension system is bankrupting our future!"
No kidding. Really? Isn't that the same problem we've been talking about since 1913?
Bragdon won't be working for the State of Maine either because telling people the sky is falling is easier and more profitable than actually having to solve the problems that arise from a limited budget and competing needs.
Instead, "Business Bragdon" will stay put in his svelte office collecting tax-deductible contributions from well-healed special interests in order to keep pumping out white papers that tell us what we've known for decades. In fact he's ecstatic to be out from under the dome. People actually work there! Yuck.
"It's great to be back to work at The Maine Heritage Policy Center. I am honored to have been a part of Governor Paul LePage's Transition Team, but my place is right here, working with policymakers, supporters and staff of MHPC to accomplish great things on behalf of Maine people," he told us, presumably from his luxury, non-profit corner office where the riff-raff can't bother him with petty concerns of poverty, illiteracy and the administration of justice.