Small business owners voice opposition to Rep. Poliquin’s continued efforts to undermine Mainers’ health care, give tax breaks to the wealthy

  • Posted on: 1 November 2017
  • By: Will

Small business owners voice opposition to Rep. Poliquin’s continued efforts to undermine Mainers’ health care, give tax breaks to the wealthy
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Bangor – On Thursday, small business owners met at Fork and Spoon in Bangor to condemn Second District Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s vote earlier this month in support of the federal budget advanced by President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress. With this budget, Poliquin and other House Republicans intend to cut $1.5 trillion dollars from Medicare and Medicaid over the next ten years, along with other significant cuts to Social Security, food assistance programs, higher education, and other programs. These cuts are widely expected to pay for a massive tax break for wealthy Americans and multinational corporations.

“Business owners want investments in our communities, not tax cuts for the top 1% and corporations based in other states,” said Will Ikard, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition, which hosted the event. “We know that consumer spending – not tax breaks for Wall Street – is what drives our local economies . . . Unfortunately, Representative Poliquin has again proven that he puts Wall Street ahead of the small businesses in his own district.”

Max Treitler, owner of Blue Hill Wine Shop, shared his experience trying to meet with Poliquin’s staff about his concerns over health care cuts:

“[My wife and I] put a lot of effort into communicating our concerns with the Congressman's office. He likes to say he only meets with 'job creators'. We're not big, but we are absolutely creating jobs. So we made several efforts together with the other small businesses in my town to schedule meetings with senior staff at his Bangor office. And never heard from them. Evidently we went over there too much, because they moved the office from downtown to somewhere I have still not been able to find.”

This mirrors a recent event where Poliquin’s office refused to open the office door to Second District veterans who wished to share their concerns about health care cuts.

Amy Grant, owner of Good Karma Farm and Carrabassett Soap Company in Belfast, pointed to the proposed elimination of the estate tax, which only applies to estates worth more than $5.65 million dollars, as a clear example of how Maine would be hurt by the President’s tax plan:

“President Trump has claimed that eliminating the estate tax will help small business owners and farmers. Well, I own a small business and a farm and let me assure you this won’t help me or any Maine small business owners or farmers that I know . . . Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Pell Grants are what Maine’s economy – and the small business owners that support it – needs, not tax cuts for rich people in other states.”

Congress is expected to take up the President’s tax plan as early as next week.