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Otten Jobs Plan

Otten Jobs Plan

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Published by MatthewGagnon
Les Otten's ORIGINAL jobs plan PDF, prior to scrambling to cover up his plagiarism.
Les Otten's ORIGINAL jobs plan PDF, prior to scrambling to cover up his plagiarism.

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Published by: MatthewGagnon on May 01, 2010
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11/08/2011

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Overhaul Maine’s Tax System to Stimulate Business GrowthReform WelfareLower Health Insurance CostsCut Government Spending & Eliminate Regulatory BarriersEnergy IndependenceEducate & Train Our Kids for the Jobs of Tomorrow
OTTEN JOBS PLAN
A bold plan to create economic growthand fix Maine’s economy.
 
1. Overhaul Maine’s Tax System to Stimulate BusinessGrowth
Maine’s high–taxes approach isn’t working. It is killing our jobs. Hightaxes don’t attract jobs and high taxes don’t create opportunity. Asgovernor, I pledge to oppose any tax increases on the working peo-ple and businesses of this state.Mainers have one of the highest tax burdens in the country. Maineranks 1st in the United States with the highest combined tax burdenfrom capital gains and estate taxes. We’ve doubled state spending inthe last 15 years and have made no progress in raising the incomesof Maine people. We cannot afford the size of the government we taxfor and we cannot tax and spend our way to prosperity.Our tax policies must be overhauled and targeted to encourage invest-ment in the state’s businesses and attract the capital and talent thatMaine needs to create jobs and the economy of the 21st century.We need to ratchet down our income, capital gains and inheritancetaxes while scaling back the size of state government so that we don’tforce an increase in our property taxes.
Income tax 
Lowering the state income tax will result in increased disposableincome for Mainers and will attract businesses and families to thestate.Maine needs to be known as a place where people come to work.Maine’s working families and small businesses must be allowed tokeep more of their hard–earned tax dollars.
Capital Gains Ta
We must lower and eventually eliminate Maine’s state capital gainstax. Good wages and jobs are directly related to capital investment.As the global economy grows and modernizes, investment in new cap-ital is required if we are to be competitive.Investments in research and development to generate new and betterways of using physical capital and labor are essential to providingopportunities for jobs that pay competitive wages.Investments in new physical capital are necessary to replace what isaging and outdated. That means that old assets must be liquidated andthe money released and reinvested in new assets.Capital gets locked in when there is a tax on capital gains and peo-ple hold on to their assets. Money that could become part of the invest-ment pool for keeping capital modern and productive is locked in,stalling our entrepreneurial efforts.Maine’s capital gains taxes drive investment away to states with lowor no capital gains taxes.If Maine reduces and eliminates its capital gains tax over time, it willfree locked in capital and create jobs and opportunities throughoutthe state.
Estate Ta
Maine is one of a rapidly decreasing number of states that continuesto have an estate tax.The older the household, the more likely they are to face a choice: liq-uidate and expatriate, or stay and pay.Maine provides a very strong incentive for households to move assetsaway before they die. This capital flight takes large private businessesout of Maine and it lowers the pool of investable funds in Maine.Estate taxes are an impediment to the survival of private business andthat keeps new businesses from locating in Maine.As Maine becomes more isolated as one of the most expensive placesto try to pass on business and investment capital to the next genera-tion, valuable capital is fleeing the state.If Maine is to create an environment for business creation and jobgrowth, it needs to include, as a part of a policy for jobs and growth,
Jobs are essential to sustaining and growing our economy and communities in Maine.When I took over Sunday River we had four full–time employees. We put Maine on the map for winter recreation-al tourism. We created over 1,200 direct jobs as well as residual jobs from the businesses that sprouted up asSunday River grew and the tourism economy expanded on the Route 26 corridor from Gray to the Oxford Hills.In the process, we transformed the western Maine economy.I’ve spent the last 38 years creating jobs and opportunities in Maine and I know how hard it is for businesses tosurvive with high taxes; energy costs out of our control; uncompetitive insurance laws; a deteriorating educationsystem; excessive regulations; and a government that gets in the way instead of paving the way for the success ofits citizens.Let us not forget for one minute how strong Maine is and how resilient we are as a people. We built the nation’sfirst totally privately funded turnpike north to south and we can do it in a privately funded effort east to west. Wewere the first place that steel ships were built in America and we can grow our ship building industry back.We have the best slow–growing soft wood in the world and we barely scratched the surface of its 21st centuryuses. We can heat our homes from the forests; make our plastics from the oceans; raise and sell vegetables to theworld; and regain our title as the number one potato producer in America. We can become energy independent.We can teach our children to be ready for the jobs of the future and we can attract small and large companies toMaine with the best recreation and outdoor environment in America.We have all the key ingredients necessary to rebuild our economy. We need to adopt a bold vision and elect astrong leader. This is my vision. I am that leader.” – Les
My top priority as governor will be creating private sector jobs. The OTTEN JOBS PLAN containssix bold moves to generate the business environment that will make Maine competitive again.
 
the elimination of the estate tax.
2. Reform Welfare
We must deal with our welfare system – Maine cannot be known as a sanc-tuary state. When people think ofMaine they must think of it as a placeto come and work.Maine’s Medicaid enrollment, now at23% of the state’s population, isunsustainable. Maine is a low incomestate. Incomes are further reduced byhigh taxes collected largely to sup-port spending on state welfare pro-grams. If this does not change, Mainewill not have the business investmentand growth in private–sector incomes that are necessary to create jobsand opportunities.We cannot afford to continue allowing benefits beyond the federal60–month limit. Nor can we afford to continue without residencyrequirements.We must develop a system where people on welfare aren’t punishedfor trying to get back to work. People who return to work on apart–time basis should be able to collect a pro–rated share of benefitsto provide incentives for people to re–enter the full–time workforce.I believe that the best welfare program Maine can offer is the oppor-tunity for a good paying job.
3. Lower Health Insurance Costs
Maine can act on its own to lower insurance premiums and increaseaccess to the health insurance system.We essentially have only one major carrier of individual health insur-ance left in Maine, Anthem. The individual insurance market inMaine is not a profitable market for insurers for a number of reasons,including:Regulations requiring insurance carriers to accept all applicants,regardless of health status.Regulations limiting the amount of price variance between applicants.Younger, healthier people dropping coverage because it is unaf-fordable, leaving a more expensive group in the insurance poolwhich creates higher insurance rates.We need to examine Maine’s requirement that insurers adhere to com-munity rating and guaranteed issue – which requires that insurerscover anyone who applies, regardless of their health condition and ata uniform premium.According to The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a healthy male inMaine who is 30 and single pays a monthly premium of $762 in theindividual market. Next door in New Hampshire, he pays $222 amonth. One big reason: New Hampshire doesn’t have community rat-ing and guaranteed issue.Mainers also need better options for financing their own health careexpenses, such as Health Savings Accounts so that people can be intel-ligent consumers of health care services.We must also, finally, bring comprehensive tort reform to Maine.In a Les Otten administration, reducing health care costs will also focuson encouraging Mainers to takepersonal responsibility for theirhealth. It is estimated that preventa-ble illnesses make up 60% of med-ical costs in the United States. Weneed to eat better; exercise; getour children outside; and promotewellness programs through ourschools and partner with organiza-tions such as the YMCAs to encour-age good habits from childhoodon.
4. Cut Government Spendingand Eliminate RegulatoryBarriers
Augusta hasn’t made a real com-mitment to cutting expenses. Wemust reduce government spendingand stop hurting Maine taxpayers.We must also face the reality of Maine’s growing debt burden, specif-ically the $5 billion in unfunded obligations for health insurance pre-miums for retired state employees and retired teachers. This issue con-tinues to be ignored in Augusta.Wasteful spending can be eliminated at all levels of government. It istime to conduct a comprehensive audit at how Maine tax dollars arebeing spent to encourage the areas that are working and eliminatewhat isn’t working. Programs that waste taxpayer dollars, such asDirigo Health and the Maine Clean Election Act program, must beeliminated.We must identify and implement opportunities to privatize as manygovernment functions as possible.There is an opportunity in the near term to achieve savings throughattrition; nearly 40% of our state employees are eligible for retirementwithin the next 5 years. We can be strategic in replacing these depart-ing employees if we make a serious effort to follow the lean govern-ment principles, such as the Bend The Curve program, that are alreadybeing utilized by many departments within state government.Increasing the productivity of our state departments will be the highestpriority when I am governor and that ethic will be reflected from thecommissioners on down.State agencies have added to the problem by the creation and imple-mentation of unnecessarily burdensome and often nonsensical rulesand regulations. Over–regulation of Maine businesses and industrieshas stood in the way of economic progress. Along with a commitmentto cut expenses, we must commit to reforming the power held by stateagencies and the types of regulations that they create.High taxes are killing jobs and opportunity in Maine. Businesses con-sider Maine a hostile environment and they look elsewhere to expand.The businesses in Maine are constantly being enticed to leave forstates with better tax situations. Rather than raising revenues, we needto do what it takes to increase the job base which will increase receiptsto assist in funding government.In a Les Otten administration, state government will be committed toensuring that we are creating Maine jobs and promoting opportunitiesin Maine. The days of a Maine government that gets in the wayinstead of paving the way for the success of its citizens will be over.
As Governor, I’ll be Job Creator in Chief” – Les Otten
DIDYOUKNOW?
In 2009, Maineexperienced a netout–migration. Maineis one of only threestates in the nationto lose populationlast year.

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