Recent Stories

Lawmakers, LePage: Welfare recipients shouldn’t spend benefits on lottery tickets

Lawmakers from both parties on Wednesday called for a bipartisan effort to pass legislation implementing a ban on people on public assistance buying lottery tickets with taxpayer-funded benefits.

The call to action follows revelations this week by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting that recipients of public assistance won $22.4 million in lottery prizes since 2010, including eight jackpots worth at least $500,000 apiece. The information was obtained through a public records request to the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Continue Reading →

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Separating dollars and cents, facts from myths

The end of the year is a good time to correct some myths recently in the news. 1. UNEMPLOYMENT HAS NEVER BEEN SO HIGH FOR THIS LONG: For one thing, unemployment has been much higher – about 25 percent during the Great Depression of the 1930s. And back then it was above the current levels of about 9 percent for 12 years. In the current recession, serious as it is, the 9 percent rate has lasted for only three years. Continue Reading →

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LePage MaineCare plan shows problems of containing any entitlement program

Trying to strike a balance between cutting government programs and finding money to pay for essential services can be dangerous. Dangerous for the office holders, who have to decide what to cut and the taxes to pay for the rest. Dangerous for the people who are truly dependent on government help for basic health care. Nothing illustrates the problem better than the  health and human services cuts that Gov. Paul LePage has proposed. Most of them fall on MaineCare, the state’s version of Medicaid, the low-income health care program. Continue Reading →

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