This semester, on the spur of the moment, I signed up for the class "Practical Maine Government" taught by State Senator Tom Saviello. Now I will preface this, by saying that I have no problems yet with Saviello, I just happen to have a major issue with the speaker that we had in class last night.
Last night, our speaker was Bruce Poliquin, the state Treasurer, and he is now apparently running for Senate. He was appointed to his position by LePage, which should already give you some indication of his political leanings and viewpoints. The entire class he spouted himself as a "fiscal conservative." So at the end of his little chat, I raised my hand for the first time in class and asked this question
"I am a member of The Bring Our War Dollars Home Coalition (which he had never heard of), and I think that the amount of money that we spend on our military is too much, and something needs to be done about that. Now you keep billing yourself as a fiscal conservative, so what are you planning on doing about cutting military spending in order to balance the budget and fund other programs?"
Now, he did not answer my question in the slightest, and gave the usual talk around in regards to military spending, and gave the usual line "we're free because of the military" and he also did the personal line about how "he couldn't imagine his son serving," but refused to acknowledge that cutting military spending would help with the fiscal crisis that we are facing here in the US. Also, when he was talking, he was repeatedly asking what is wrong with this country, in regards to our excessive spending. I have a two word answer for him "military spending."
He also talked about the issue that students are facing when it comes to finding jobs in Maine when they graduate college, and he said "get the best education you can, and keep your debt low" which to me is an oxymoron, because chances are, if you want to get a spectacular education, you want to go to a good school. And even going to a mediocre school doesn't always help you keep your debt low, I'm going to be almost 30 grand in debt when I graduate in May. He also told us "get a job, work part time, and put yourself through school." My question to him is, what jobs? There are next to no jobs in Farmington, words cannot describe how thankful I am for my 7 hours a week that I work at the library, which allows me to just squeak by and pay my tuition with the help of my parents, and I realize that I am one of a few students who have the luxury of being able to count on my parents for minimal help. I think it's easy for him to tell us to get jobs and pay for school, when he acknowledged that he pays his son's tuition.
This entire class, made me realize that Poliquin is not in touch with the youth of Maine, which is something that does not surprise me, as he is clearly a member of the Tea Party. But also, I want to end with this quote from him "the goal isn't to help the wealthy, its to keep the money in the state." Now I don't have words for that quote, because I am quite frankly tired of the rich saying that they want to keep their money to "help" when they are not helping at all. Now Poliquin might not be a member of the 1 percent, but he sure is a 1 percent sympathizer.