“I am from the government, and i am here to help.”

As President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help. “

This is Representative MaryAnne Kinney with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.  

The legislature has been out of session for about two weeks now, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a moment to reflect on this past session and its implications on Maine’s future.

For the last two elections, Democrats have controlled the legislature, and have been in the driver’s seat passing policies that impact your life everyday. 

As I was checking myself out of Hannaford, I realized that, once again, I forgot my reusable bags in the car. This inconvenience got me thinking…How are other Mainers feeling about the additional burdens placed on them by the progressive driven policies of legislative Democrats? 

As Republicans, we tend to focus on the financial burden the government puts on Mainers. Whether it be taxing your income, your property, the goods you purchase, or through nickel and diming you to death with fees–the government will get their self-imposed share. 

There are of course other costs to the government that don’t directly hit your wallet and are felt less in the bank account but more in just getting through your day-to-day life.

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle only seem to see the government as helpful so, for them, the more laws they pass the more help there is for you in your life. 

That day, after checking myself out of Hannaford–with groceries overflowing my arms and consequently falling to the ground–I realized that this cause and effect was a direct reflection of government help. My choices were to either be forced to pay a fee for simply trying to get my groceries to the car in a bag that was previously free, pay for a more flimsy “reusable” bags, or just carry them to the car. 

In truth, during the last three years of progressive policy making, more government means a harder life.

Healthcare is important to all of us, especially in the wake of the pandemic, and yet, Democrats supported new laws that will drive up your health insurance premiums. They passed insurance laws that the Attorney General of the State said were “unconstitutional” and “would cost taxpayers thousands of dollars in penalties.”  Paying more for your insurance because the State puts on additional mandates and regulations doesn’t make your life easier.

Schools are a vital part of our communities, our property tax base, our working families and our children’s future.  We were pleased to support funding our Maine schools above 55%; but, through the last year, when we needed our schools to work–when we needed them for our children–progressive policy makers closed access, even after the science showed they could safely be opened for in person learning. 

This dogmatic adherence to a policy position of closed schools didn’t make our children’s lives better.  Relentless planning and adjustments required for hybrid learning didn’t make our teacher’s lives better.

Our police saw themselves, and the work they do, come under attack by progressive policies of legislative Democrats. Like schools, our police are important community partners who ensure we have safe places to live because of the risks they take.  Yet there were laws sponsored to remove their ability to do their job, laws passed to reduce thresholds for drug trafficking despite the increases in drug related deaths.  This isn’t the government working to reduce access to drugs, this isn’t the government making your town safer or your lives better.

Looking ahead, what we need is a policy approach that seeks to eliminate the burdens government places in your way.  We need to back away from the progressive philosophy that says, “all government is good government,” and that “all laws make life better,” and move instead toward a policy that says, “life is hard enough already. You don’t need the government weighing you down more.” 

Looking to the future, let’s ensure we aren’t passing laws that increase your insurance premiums but instead are providing you with better healthcare access through greater choice and lower rates; that our schools serve our children, and our communities, by setting public policies that ensure schools remain open and focused on academics.  Let’s keep our communities safe and not demonize our police. Instead, let’s embrace them as the important community partners they are and ensure they are treated as the friends and neighbors that they are.  

Let’s look to pursue new government policies that don’t grind you down day after day, and that make something as simple as buying groceries panic-inducing and something as important as educating your children impossible.  

This has been Representative MaryAnne Kinney with the Weekly Republican Radio Address. Thank you for listening and your consideration.

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