Governor LePage has made it crystal clear throughout his term that he is completely disconnected from reality; especially when it comes to poverty.
Not only has he suggested two people leading the raise of the minimum wage should be in jail for their efforts, he has sat on $78 million per year that could have gone to food assistance for Maine families, increasing the amount of children living in deep poverty and is attempting large tax cuts for the wealthiest Mainers, increasing taxes for the middle class, he has gone one step further today and told us what he really thinks about poverty.
Governor LePage today said “I feel like a priest or a nun, you know. You go into poverty to serve the public.”
LePage has a salary of $70,000 per year. Additional to this, he has all of his food, healthcare, housing and transportation paid for. Conservative estimates on that would put him likely around the $100,000 per year mark. To the average family in Maine scraping just to get by, this is a spit in the face.
The reason he is against the raising of the Governor’s wage right now is simply because he fought tooth and nail to do it last time, and he lost. Not only would his immediate salary be raised, but he knew that even after he is done being Governor he would reap many of that financial reward (since Governors get a stipend even after office). He took a lot of flack for pushing it, and he doesn’t want to fight that fight again.
I do believe that when you enter into public service you should do it to serve the public. It should not be a money making method. I would agree with him in that (charitable) sense.
But to liken $70k ($100k) to poverty is absolutely disgusting, and the Governor should be ashamed of himself.
All opinions are my own and not representative of anyone other than me. -James