Jim Azzola, Republicanhttp://www.deering2014.comFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 41
Tufts - BS Civil Engineering 1981
UC Berkeley - MS Mechanical Engineering 1984
MIT - ScD Mechanical Engineering 1992
Girlfriend and four rescue cats, all of whom look upon my exertions with bewilderment.
Why are you running for office? Maine has severe problems attracting business development beyond tourism and agriculture. There is a mistaken notion that bigger state government is necessary to spur business development and take care of Maine's poor, rural and aged population. What is often neglected is the counterproductive nature of larger government - high taxes, burgeoning regulations, and domineering bureaucracies. The necessary consequence of such auto-immolation is a society starved of capital, a stunted business environment, and youth flight from our educational nests. To provide a stark illustration of how uncompetitive Maine is with its neighbor New Hampshire, consider total state and local tax burdens, expenditures and income levels. People from the Granite State make 20% more income per capita than Mainers while we pay 14% more in higher taxes and 7% more in higher overall government expenditures. Therefore, for every dollar earned in Maine we pay 34% more in higher taxes for 27% more government. Moreover, certain specific tax policies such as high excise and sales tax differentials with our nearest neighbor lead to a blighted business environment along our border. This inefficient government structure too often interferes with natural, organic business growth. The fact that our youth find better economic opportunity elsewhere further detracts from our state's vitality. There is a better way - let's put faith in Maine's people - not bigger governments. This is why I'm running.
Supporting candidates running for office for 7 years. I've been active in conjunction with certain efforts and organizations like Campaign for Liberty. Enhancing human freedom and curtailing the awesome, overbearing power of governments and corporations is the focus of my efforts.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?No
Federal funding of these programs beyond a few years is in serious doubt, and presently Maine cannot afford these expenditures.
More about healthcare policy can be found at www.deering2014.com/healthcare.shtml
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I would change very little of welfare expenditures for people, however, this state need to eliminate corporate welfare, which consumes too much of the state budget, probably over 10%. What's particularly distressing about these programs is the opaque nature of many of the expenditures. Maine needs to concentrate on growing a healthy economy. Only in this manner can we support our relatively large welfare burden. See also www.deering2014.com/welfare.shtml The highest priorities are to eliminate corporate welfare, reduce our tax burden, legalize marijuana, institute a Maine State Bank based on Constitutional currency, streamline business regulations, and create an environment which protects our freedoms while reducing the influence of government and the corporations which all too often control governments. See also www.deering2014.com/mainechallenge.shtml
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Other
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.We need to eliminate the minimum wage entirely. I urge every open minded Mainer to consider how utterly counterproductive this policy is. I will illustrate this with a few thought experiments. Consider increasing the minimum wage to $15, the recent citywide proposal. Assume wage earner #1 making $10 an hour. and employer #1 who by some economic calculation values this wage earner's labor at $20/hour. Even though by supply and demand of labor, $10/hour is the going rate, this employer is willing to pay the $15/hr minimum wage because they will still make a profit of $5/hr and don't want to land in jail ($20/hr revenue - $15/hr cost = $5/hr profit). Wage earner #1 has boosted their income above the market rate and has made out. Now consider wage earner #2. They make $10 an hour and are employed by employer #2 who values their labor at $13/hr. This employer has no choice (apart from risking jail time) but to fire this wage earner since to pay them minimum wage would lose money ($13/hr - $15/hr = loss of $2/hr). Now consider wage earner #3, a teenager with zero overhead costs since they live with their parents. All this wage earner wants is to gain experience and earn college money. Let us assume their unskilled labor is only worth $5/hr to a potential employer, a rate they are willing to work for. Not only will this teenager never see legal employment, no teenagers with even modest skills will see employment if the value of their labor doesn't exceed the current minimum wage. This is the big problem with minimum wage. Some wage earners increase their wages, while others are either fired from their jobs, OR NEVER EVEN SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY IN THE LABOR MARKET UNTIL THEY HAVE SUFFICIENT SKILLS, OR BECOME EMPLOYED IN THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY. No government, no electorate, no matter how blessed with wise men, can anticipate the economics behind every job, or every potential job. This is why minimum wage is so destructive towards voluntary employment opportunities and our economy. The net result is always higher unemployment, less opportunity for worker and employer alike, and less wealth generation for society. See also www.deering2014.com/business.shtml
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes
Please explain your position on legalization?Fortunately, most Portlanders understand the value of ending the rapacious drug war,. This all starts with marijuana legalization for responsible adults. By doing so, criminals will vanish from the market, thus making it harder for kids to gain access to this drug, because it will then be sold over the counter, and everyone suspiciously underage will be carded, exactly as is the policy for alcohol and tobacco. This also shuts the gateway to harder drugs. The concern that this policy will lead to higher usage rates is a will-o'-the-wisp. Driving while stoned, as with all impairments, a legal concept known as reckless endangerment, remains a crime, as it does when irresponsible adults leave marijuana around for kids to gain access to. Nothing in that regard changes. Think about the tremendously positive spinoff effects as well. With so much acreage per capita, hemp is a fabulous crop for our poor counties up north to grow, and legal marijuana can be taxed with state revenue implications. Not only that, but our overburdened jails and justice system will finally be emptied of non-violent "offenders." This will relieve our embattled civil rights as well, and the police will be free to fight real crime. See also www.deering2014.com/marijuana.shtml