The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently released a fascinating index called the “Big Labor versus Taxpayers Index.”
The institute uses 1,150 data points to rank the states based on whether they favor unions or the taxpayer more. Using 23 different categories, the index calculates a total score and ranks the states in order from #1 (high score) – “where the fiscal concerns of taxpayers are most strongly represented,” to #50 (low score) – “where government union lobbyists have maximum sway over policymakers.”
Number #1 was Tennessee, with 46 total points.
Number #50 was New York, with a dismal score of just 4 points.
Maine came in at number #30, with just 14 points (California had 12 points). There are 5 different levels from “favors big government” to “favors taxpayers” and Maine landed in the second level down from “favors big government”.
Some of the key criteria in the ranking that places Maine on the “favors big government” side of the equation:
- Forced unionism
- High level of union membership density
- Limited public access to government bargaining sessions
It’s too bad Maine falls into a category that is so unfriendly to its citizens and taxpayers, but it’s hardly unexpected. Maine has long been a state where union bosses have run the show, with taxpayer dollars even going to fund artwork celebrating unions.
We will no doubt see renewed efforts by fiscal conservatives in the Legislature to push back on the unions in the coming months, to try and move Maine down the scale closer to the “taxpayer friendly” category we should be in. For the sake of Maine taxpayers, let’s hope they succeed.