Mayor In Maine Wants To Publicly List Names Of People On Welfare (Video)

| by Michael Allen
 Mayor Robert Macdonald Mayor Robert Macdonald

Lewiston, Maine, Mayor Robert Macdonald wants a website built that would list the names of people on welfare, types of benefits, their addresses and how long they have received benefits.

That information is currently kept private under a state law, but Macdonald's proposal would make it public, notes the Sun Journal.

Macdonald, who is running for re-election, wrote in his regular op-ed for the Twin City Times on Sept. 24: "In Maine there is a website that lists the pension amounts received by everyone who is issued a monthly check by the State of Maine. No privacy here because this is being paid out by the State; accordingly, taxpayers have a right to know."

"Yet other recipients of state revenues are shielded. Yes, I am referring to those known as welfare recipients. Why are they treated differently than pensioners? (A rhetorical question)."

Macdonald then blamed "liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies" who have made welfare recipients "a victimized, protected class."

"The biggest thing here is the albatross around our neck that is welfare," Macdonald told the Sun Journal. "If we can just bring that under control we could probably start really going. Start really prospering and bring the tax rate down."

"I'm not sure [the welfare website] it would stand up," Macdonald added. "I'm not sure. But, we're always talking about transparency and if we had a website like that, I think it would cut down a lot on welfare."

Macdonald also claimed that generational welfare recipients are "just playing the system. They're playing the system."

However, Macdonald didn't voice any opposition or outrage to corporate welfare, which benefits wealthy companies.

According to WalmartSubsidyWatch.org, the City of Lewiston "provided infrastructure reimbursements worth $5.9 million (through tax increment financing), land worth $330,600 and infrastructure improvements valued at $2.7 million" for Wal-Mart.

During his inauguration in 2012 (video below), Macdonald said, "We must end the cycle of generational poverty and welfare by demanding that our children complete their education and that those who can work, do work and contribute to our economy and community."

However, The Washington Post noted in April that a study by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education found that 73 percent of households that receive some type of public assistance do have a working adult who earns money, and a main problem was low wages.

Sources: Twin City Times, Sun Journal, WalmartSubsidyWatch.org, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: WMTW Screenshot