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Posted: 9/10/2010 1:00:45 AM EDT
http://www.pressherald.com/news/report-state-is-no_-1-in-welfare-dependence_2010-09-10.html

Maine is the most welfare-dependent state in the nation, according to a report released Thursday by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

The conservative think tank and advocacy group said dependence has skyrocketed during the Baldacci administration, with enrollment growing by 70 percent since 2003. At the same time, it said, Maine's poverty level has remained relatively flat.

"Today, one in three Mainers is on some form of welfare," said Tarren Bragdon, chief executive officer of the group and an author of the report.

That enrollment rate –– actually 29 percent, according to the report –– includes a long list of state-operated social service programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps and the MaineCare health insurance program. It does not include Social Security or Medicare.

Maine's next governor and Legislature need to overhaul and simplify the complex system to reduce enrollment and encourage independence, according to the group.

"Maine has a welfare system that is designed for dependence," Bragdon said. "We need to focus the resources we have on the truly needy."

Brenda Harvey, commissioner of Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, criticized the report Thursday as misleading and politically motivated.

"I think the suggestion that our budget has grown exponentially under the Baldacci administration is absolutely incorrect," she said. "The general fund, the state of Maine taxpayers' money, for DHHS over the governor's eight years has seen an 8.1 percent increase," she said, while federal funding received by the department is up 28 percent since 2003.

"It seems to me that this report and the timing of this report (during the gubernatorial campaign) is clearly supporting a political agenda," Harvey said.

Bragdon said the policy center began analyzing Maine's welfare system a year ago, when U.S. census data showed the state near the top in enrollment rates. It used federal census data and information formally requested from Maine's DHHS to compare Maine with other states and to calculate the increases in spending and enrollment.

The report says:

• Maine ranks second among all states in the enrollment rate in three major programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food supplements or food stamps, and Medicaid or MaineCare. It is the only state in the top 10 for all three programs.

• Total welfare spending in Maine totaled about $2.5 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 78 percent increase from $1.4 billion in 1998. That figure includes federal, state and local dollars.

• Maine has relatively liberal eligibility requirements. It is one of nine states, for example, that provide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to convicted drug felons, and is one of seven to provide food stamps to new immigrants who aren't U.S. citizens.

• Maine does not adequately enforce work requirements and has weak sanctions for rules violations.

Bragdon said he also hopes the report will help dispel myths about the system, including the claim that Maine's liberal benefits attract immigrants to the state. Although Maine does provide some welfare benefits to new, legal immigrants, that isn't a significant driver of the spending growth and isn't enough to attract newcomers, he said.

Among the report's recommendations is to change the name of the state's welfare division from the Office of Integrated Access and Support to Maine EMPOWER (Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility). The acronym is borrowed from Arizona.

Harvey, the DHHS commissioner, said the report inflates enrollment numbers by including MaineCare, which provides state-subsidized health insurance to needy children and the disabled.

"Providing health care is not welfare," she said.

The report also targets programs that help welfare recipients find jobs, and Maine's successful efforts to attract more federal aid, Harvey said.

Bragdon said that spending federal money on welfare is no better than spending state money.

"The last time I checked, the feds have a $1.5 trillion deficit that Maine taxpayers and Maine children are going to have to deal with," he said.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center does not endorse political candidates or parties, Bragdon said.

Its report does point to some concerns raised during the campaign by Waterville Mayor Paul LePage, the Republican candidate. It also raises new issues that the group hopes will be discussed by political leaders, Bragdon said.

The 28-page report is posted on the center's website (www.mainepolicy.org).

The DHHS posts data on a web page, www.maine.gov/dhhs/realfacts, intended to counter some of the recurring criticisms of Maine's welfare system.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:04:26 AM EDT
"Providing health care is not welfare," she said.


...with a vacant, cow-like stare in her eyes.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:12:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
"Providing health care is not welfare," she said.


...with a vacant, cow-like stare in her eyes.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:26:03 AM EDT

Well shit man, it's c-o-o-o-o-l-d outside!

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:33:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
"Providing health care is not welfare," she said.


...with a vacant, cow-like stare in her eyes.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:38:09 AM EDT
my dad runs the audits for the state and somehow i still can't get him riled up about how bad that shit is.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:46:00 AM EDT
I am not surprised. There is a reason that Lewiston is a Somali immigrant Mecca. It is easy to go on the dole in ME.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:48:13 AM EDT
as somebody from lewistion originally, it was a shithole before a somali ever arrived.
Originally Posted By DieselEngineer:
I am not surprised. There is a reason that Lewiston is a Somali immigrant Mecca. It is easy to go on the dole in ME.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:55:17 AM EDT
Maine used to be part of Massachusetts. Explains a lot.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:59:15 AM EDT


Well yeah –––––––––––––––––– It's due to all those nefarious Kali refugees moving in and taking over...











Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:02:33 AM EDT
I have questions....but they are swirling in my mind.
All I can manage is WTF?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:03:50 AM EDT



ME is a bit of an enigma - individuals here hold values from polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. people want the government out of their lives, but depend on welfare and unemployment. they hate the financial situation the state is in, but will never vote down a bond. they love guns, but can't stop voting for democrats...

it's a bit depressing as is spent most of my life trying to secure myself my own little slice of this state. over the last decade though, the entitlement mentality has grown out of control, and i can't see the state recovering. people here actually blame republicans for the financial woes of the state, even though this state's government has been democrat majority for nearly 50 years now.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:05:23 AM EDT
Wow, It is such a beautiful place and so close to NH (Live Free or Die).
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:12:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bullyforyou:



ME is a bit of an enigma - individuals here hold values from polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. people want the government out of their lives, but depend on welfare and unemployment. they hate the financial situation the state is in, but will never vote down a bond. they love guns, but can't stop voting for democrats...

it's a bit depressing as is spent most of my life trying to secure myself my own little slice of this state. over the last decade though, the entitlement mentality has grown out of control, and i can't see the state recovering. people here actually blame republicans for the financial woes of the state, even though this state's government has been democrat majority for nearly 50 years now.








It has also been the poorest state in the Union since I can recall

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:13:49 AM EDT
And by the time they wake up it will be too late.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:18:48 AM EDT
i thought the cold was supposed to make people self sufficient.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:31:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By torstin:
i thought the cold was supposed to make people self sufficient.

Well, yeah,..................................back when they had to chop wood and haul water, or die.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:37:39 AM EDT
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:41:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 4:51:11 AM EDT by Naf]
If you read their actual report, you will see that for food stamps there is hardly a difference between Maine and Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennesse, West Virginia, Arkansas, Michigan, Oregon, an Missouri. Maine is at a little over 13% of households receding food stamps and MO sat 11%. The others I listed are in between 11 and 13%.

For Medicade, CA is #1, followed by Maine, Mississippi, NY, NM, VT, LA, Arkansas, TN, AZ, WV, MA, Delaware, and SC. Maine is at 26.6% of the population on medicare, while SC is at 20% and the others I listed are in between 20 and 26%.

For cash assistance, Alaska is #1 and Maine is #2. The other states are all significantly lower than either state, so we do really stand out in that category.

ETA: TN spends more as a percentage of the state budget on welfare than any other state (around 33%). Maine is #2 followed by Rhode Island, NY, MA, IL, PA, Minnesota, Indiana, AZ, WV, Nebraska, NC, and OH. The national average is 23.7% of the total budget being welfare expenditures.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:41:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.




WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:42:49 AM EDT
I know a social leach that moved to Maine because of their welfare system. Unfuckingbelievable!
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:42:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.




WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)

According to the report, WV ranks fairly high among the 50 states for welfare. It must be in the top 10.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:43:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.


semantics
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:47:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.




WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)



Ask him how the medical care is. Good luck finding a good doctor in WV. Malpractice suits ran them all out.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:51:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bullyforyou:



ME is a bit of an enigma - individuals here hold values from polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. people want the government out of their lives, but depend on welfare and unemployment. they hate the financial situation the state is in, but will never vote down a bond. they love guns, but can't stop voting for democrats...

it's a bit depressing as is spent most of my life trying to secure myself my own little slice of this state. over the last decade though, the entitlement mentality has grown out of control, and i can't see the state recovering. people here actually blame republicans for the financial woes of the state, even though this state's government has been democrat majority for nearly 50 years now.




Very good description of our state...
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:55:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bullyforyou:



ME is a bit of an enigma - individuals here hold values from polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. people want the government out of their lives, but depend on welfare and unemployment. they hate the financial situation the state is in, but will never vote down a bond. they love guns, but can't stop voting for democrats...

it's a bit depressing as is spent most of my life trying to secure myself my own little slice of this state. over the last decade though, the entitlement mentality has grown out of control, and i can't see the state recovering. people here actually blame republicans for the financial woes of the state, even though this state's government has been democrat majority for nearly 50 years now.


Good run down of a large part of why we left.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:58:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By roboman:
Among the report's recommendations is to change the name of the state's welfare division from the Office of Integrated Access and Support to Maine EMPOWER (Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility).


Yeh, that's the ticket - A catchy new acronym will fix it!
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:16:03 AM EDT
Here is the information from the report.











Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:30:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 5:32:08 AM EDT by DanTSX]
ME's industry is highly seasonal. Farming, logging, fishing, etc, etc.

It was full of people on the dole part of the year well before the somalis arrived, but the somalis turned it into a full-time gig. Before it was just quebecers and maritime province folks immigrating, getting on the dole and then working for cash while being itinerant workers all over the country. Additionally, the canadian immigrants have also gotten OFF the dole and do pretty damn well for themselves in construction and real estate all over the eastern seaboard these days, but thats where they started in the late 60s through 1980s.

The stark, open unattractiveness of maine has largely spared them the massive welfare migrations that other states have experienced such as CT, MA, RI. The leaches like their welfare centralized and close by. It takes a lot of gas to run those Escalades.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:54:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 5:59:34 AM EDT by JoeCoastie]

Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.




WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)



Ever register a car there? It's insanely cost prohibitive. At least it was about 10 years ago. I'm not sure how things have changed.

I'll agree cost of living is very cheap and it's beautiful up there. Just not much in the way of jobs unless you live in Charleston or any other large area. Of which you can probably count the large cities on one hand. Coal minining jobs were lost due to machines. I dated a Coal Miners daughter and lived in Bluefield for a year, on the VA side though. That city used to be something like 70k people. Now it's down to about 10-15k. Alot of those coal mining towns are dead or dying.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:16:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By piccolo:
*snip*

It has also been the poorest state in the Union since I can recall



a lot of seasonal industries as another poster pointed out, along with a majority of the population that actually sees seasonal employment as a GOOD thing... i can't tell you how many people i know that view getting laid off as a "vacation" of sorts.

ME also consistently ranks so high for "tax burdon" (a 5ct. gas tax hurts a lot more when your state's average FAMILY income is only about $45K, as opposed to $100K...) because of the low income level.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:18:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tojan19:
I know a social leach that moved to Maine because of their welfare system. Unfuckingbelievable!


apparently our commie medicine here is pretty good - stories of the generationally unemployed getting gastric bypass on my dime, and later getting "free" cosmetic surgery to fix the skin flaps, are not uncommon.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:20:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hcook:


Good run down of a large part of why we left.



where'd you go?


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:22:58 AM EDT
I live in Illinois, and after working in the Chicago are, I would have thought this state would be higher in every category.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:23:31 AM EDT
If the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was a separate State, I'd bet they would give Maine a run for their money.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:23:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.

WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)

Ever register a car there? It's insanely cost prohibitive. At least it was about 10 years ago. I'm not sure how things have changed.

I'll agree cost of living is very cheap and it's beautiful up there. Just not much in the way of jobs unless you live in Charleston or any other large area. Of which you can probably count the large cities on one hand. Coal minining jobs were lost due to machines. I dated a Coal Miners daughter and lived in Bluefield for a year, on the VA side though. That city used to be something like 70k people. Now it's down to about 10-15k. Alot of those coal mining towns are dead or dying.


State law caps RE tax rate increases at around 3% per year (it's a funky formula) which is why the tax rates are so low. At least in my county the assessor's office is honest enough to use true market values for assessments, with the result that our property taxes have decreased since 2006.

Just like in VA, registering and keeping new cars is $$$ due to the sales and personal property tax rates. When the blue book on the priciest vehicle you own is $2500, it's not expensive at all to keep a car.

Just as northern VA is the economic engine of VA, the WV eastern panhandle has become the new economic engine for my state. Lots of folks here commute to the inner DC metro area for jobs.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:30:10 AM EDT
New Jersey is one of the lowest states for food stamps? Sounds like those books are cooked.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:37:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SS109:
New Jersey is one of the lowest states for food stamps? Sounds like those books are cooked.


Jersey is expensive to live in, much like MD and DC. Poor people leave and go to places where housing and food are cheap,and welfare is plentiful.
That's why rich liberal states aren't always "welfare" states, while many Republican strongholds have huge doles (MS and TN for example,both states with low COL). Leftists aren't above a little gentrification to keep the riff-raff out. They just don't get called on it by their race baiting compatriots like right wing governments do.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:45:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.

WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)

Ever register a car there? It's insanely cost prohibitive. At least it was about 10 years ago. I'm not sure how things have changed.

I'll agree cost of living is very cheap and it's beautiful up there. Just not much in the way of jobs unless you live in Charleston or any other large area. Of which you can probably count the large cities on one hand. Coal minining jobs were lost due to machines. I dated a Coal Miners daughter and lived in Bluefield for a year, on the VA side though. That city used to be something like 70k people. Now it's down to about 10-15k. Alot of those coal mining towns are dead or dying.


State law caps RE tax rate increases at around 3% per year (it's a funky formula) which is why the tax rates are so low. At least in my county the assessor's office is honest enough to use true market values for assessments, with the result that our property taxes have decreased since 2006.

Just like in VA, registering and keeping new cars is $$$ due to the sales and personal property tax rates. When the blue book on the priciest vehicle you own is $2500, it's not expensive at all to keep a car.

Just as northern VA is the economic engine of VA, the WV eastern panhandle has become the new economic engine for my state. Lots of folks here commute to the inner DC metro area for jobs.


VA is ridiculous when it comes to Personal Property Taxes, you're right about that. As to the WV car registration. I should have said "New" car.

I don't miss paying a ridiculous sum for my property tax on my truck. Va finally made it that if your car is a POS and less that I think, 1k, you don't pay a dime.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:49:48 AM EDT
What a shame. Maine is the most picturesque state I have ever seen. Well, except for those husky women that dress like truck drivers in Ongonquit...

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:52:44 AM EDT
Isn't Maine where the pickpocket bobsey twins snow and that other naive reach around dipstick that allowed obamacare through are from?

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:54:21 AM EDT
Maine is lousy with the unwilling.

With respect to health coverage, I have worked in the industry for 14 years. There is no shortage of people who think: A) $10/week is an outrageous sum to pay for health insurance; B) it's ok to take an ambulance to the ER for a cold because then you won't pay a $5 copay under MaineCare, and; C) why work when you can get it for free?

We are moviong the family to NH within a year. I am a fifth-generation Maine native, and the place can choke and burn.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:55:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By raysheen:

Originally Posted By bullyforyou:



ME is a bit of an enigma - individuals here hold values from polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. people want the government out of their lives, but depend on welfare and unemployment. they hate the financial situation the state is in, but will never vote down a bond. they love guns, but can't stop voting for democrats...

it's a bit depressing as is spent most of my life trying to secure myself my own little slice of this state. over the last decade though, the entitlement mentality has grown out of control, and i can't see the state recovering. people here actually blame republicans for the financial woes of the state, even though this state's government has been democrat majority for nearly 50 years now.




Very good description of our state...

Sounds a lot like Vermont
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:02:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:

Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Originally Posted By piccolo:
Originally Posted By JoeCoastie:
Glad to see that WV has moved out of that category.

WV gets a lot of bad press, a lot of it earned, but the place was settled by stubborn Scots-Irish that put no stock in government other than local government.

From waht I have seen, all in all it ain't a bad place to live.

Taxes are pretty low, from what I hear.

A shipmate says his property tax runs about $35/year. (so he says)

Ever register a car there? It's insanely cost prohibitive. At least it was about 10 years ago. I'm not sure how things have changed.

I'll agree cost of living is very cheap and it's beautiful up there. Just not much in the way of jobs unless you live in Charleston or any other large area. Of which you can probably count the large cities on one hand. Coal minining jobs were lost due to machines. I dated a Coal Miners daughter and lived in Bluefield for a year, on the VA side though. That city used to be something like 70k people. Now it's down to about 10-15k. Alot of those coal mining towns are dead or dying.


State law caps RE tax rate increases at around 3% per year (it's a funky formula) which is why the tax rates are so low. At least in my county the assessor's office is honest enough to use true market values for assessments, with the result that our property taxes have decreased since 2006.

Just like in VA, registering and keeping new cars is $$$ due to the sales and personal property tax rates. When the blue book on the priciest vehicle you own is $2500, it's not expensive at all to keep a car.

Just as northern VA is the economic engine of VA, the WV eastern panhandle has become the new economic engine for my state. Lots of folks here commute to the inner DC metro area for jobs.


VA is ridiculous when it comes to Personal Property Taxes, you're right about that. As to the WV car registration. I should have said "New" car.

I don't miss paying a ridiculous sum for my property tax on my truck. Va finally made it that if your car is a POS and less that I think, 1k, you don't pay a dime.

You guys aren't along on the raping you get registering vehicles. Colorado is pretty bad. Seems that beyond 4 years old is when you get bent over much less.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:09:21 AM EDT
You sure that wasn't supposed to be Mississippi???
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:16:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sebois:
Maine is lousy with the unwilling.

With respect to health coverage, I have worked in the industry for 14 years. There is no shortage of people who think: A) $10/week is an outrageous sum to pay for health insurance; B) it's ok to take an ambulance to the ER for a cold because then you won't pay a $5 copay under MaineCare, and; C) why work when you can get it for free?

We are moviong the family to NH within a year. I am a fifth-generation Maine native, and the place can choke and burn.



One of the primary reasons health care is becoming unaffordable and very few from the lamestream question the marxist in chief avoiding including it in his so called "welfare for all obamacare reform." It's not surprising fanny and freddy weren't included in his so called "financial reform" either.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:22:23 AM EDT
Expand welfare? Have to do something to encourage people to stay with no jobs there.

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