- By Maine Policy Institute
- October 30, 2008
Does Maine Support MAINE?
Every politician of every possible persuasion promises to support Maine people and create Maine jobs – right?
Well, while searching the Checks to Businesses & People section of MaineOpenGov.Org, the out-of-state spending by the State of Maine is shocking! After Maine, the biggest pile of money sent to another state is the $52,838,303 spent with Massachusetts firms in 2007. That is a bit more than one million tax dollars a week!
It gets worse! The total spending shows 2007 State of Maine vendor payments of $1,012,794,401. About 64 percent ($647,527,689) was spent with Maine companies. This means that more than a third of these tax dollars ($365,266,712) were spent outside of Maine in 2007.
That is one million dollars a day!
Politicians will justify high state spending by emphasizing the Multiplier Effect – which estimates that every dollar of state spending generates three or four or five dollars in the private sector economy.
OK. But if this Multiplier Effect argument is part of the justification for Maine‘s high spending… why is Augusta sending one million tax dollars outside of Maine every day – so they can “multiply” somewhere else?
Some people argue that there are specific services and products unavailable in Maine, and that is correct. But a million tax dollars a day are spent on things like office supplies, office furniture, marketing support, printing, consulting, professional services, public education services, desktop computers, office interior design, repairs to buildings, laptop computers, document scanners, construction contractors, computer maintenance, computer printers…
Pick up the Yellow Pages, Augusta! These products and services are available through Maine businesses, who employ Maine people, who pay Maine taxes… and would like the chance to try out this Multiplier Effect theory here in Maine! (And if Maine companies cannot compete with out-of-state firms because of our business climate… who’s fault is that?)
MaineOpenGov.Org is a window into state spending, and we hope that our Moggers* are using this information to question candidates this fall!
* MOG Users are known informally as “Moggers.”