Since nobody would be getting more than a sixth-grade education, there'd no need for the University of Maine System and the Maine Community Colleges. LePage doesn't say anything about the gas tax, but given the size of the shortfall he's planning to create, I wouldn't be surprised to see toll booths on most state roads and bridges. We'd be shutting down a third of the state's courts and laying off a third of the state's cops. Say goodbye to the departments of Conservation, Marine Resources, Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, Labor, the state library, and the state museum. Put up "for sale" signs outside the Blaine House (LePage has an easy commute from Waterville, anyway) and Baxter State Park (Plum Creek is already on the line). Cut the size of the Legislature by 33 percent. Reduce the governor's staff to a secretary and a janitor.
And you still haven't closed the LePage budget gap.
No problem, though. Just release a third of the inmates in the state's prisons and tell about half the people getting some form of state assistance that they won't be receiving any more checks.
We'd be even.
We'd also be hungry, homeless, illiterate, unemployed, plagued by pandemics, criminals, anarchists, and representatives of Marden's Surplus & Salvage picking through the town dump.
But still, we'd be even.
At night, we'd sit under tarps, fueling our cooking fires with old photos of Susan Collins and very thin books with titles like The Collected Wisdom of Michael Michaud, and talking about how good it feels not to have to pay any taxes.
And we'd make promises. Ones that Paul LePage would probably prefer we didn't fulfill.
I pledge that every person who e-mails me at firstname.lastname@example.org will receive information on how to get rich by helping members of the Nigerian royal family with their banking problems.