Public Bank Amendment proposed for Maine Democratic Convention platform

May 2, 2016.

Maine public banking advocates have proposed an amendment, and gathered the requisite signatures, for the Maine Democratic Party to place on their convention platform for 2016.

The current platform can be found here.

The amendment would be to section J:

“J. Budget and taxes … “We support a government that
. . . Works to reform the fiscal balance in Maine based on the following principles:”

The amendment would add:

h. Deposits some of its state-owned cash into a state-owned public bank, like North Dakota has, since 1919, A public bank that:
. lifts the economy using public funds to grow enterprises.
. creates jobs, raises living standards and shrinks destitution.
. swells money supply, thus increasing demand.
. raises household incomes.
. improves community vitality with programs to renovate vacant property.
. reduces foreclosures by capitalizing loans at lower rates.
. cuts homelessness enabling residents to obtain shelter.
. provides a safe fiduciary which can’t be confiscated by mega-bank creditors.
. finances medical, dental, health, and all-inclusive elderly enterprises.
. creates socially responsible enterprises, working toward community goals.
. issues emergency loan relief after natural disasters.
. strengthens families’ livelihoods
. reduces financial stresses by offering low rate college debt refinancing.
. becomes a bankers bank for community banks.
. reduces vulnerability to global financial collapses.
. cuts government debt service costs.
. strengthens community bank earnings.
. increases revenues from public bank profits
. stabilizes property values and reduces negative equity.
. expands sustainable, resource-based working capital.
. supplies real estate-backed mortgage loans.
. offers community infrastructure financing.
. narrows inequality.

Maine public banking activist Randall Parr says this about public banks:

North Dakota has smaller tax burdens, lower negative equity, lower unemployment rates, higher educational spending growth per capita, better credit ratings, lower foreclosure rates, smaller bankruptcy rates, lesser past due loan rates, and more stable property values than Maine. Maine, 1.3 million, has almost twice North Dakota’s 0.7 million population, yet from 2000 to 2014 North Dakota’s family incomes increased while, in most counties, Maine incomes fell. North Dakota’s state-owned bank has added up to 25% annual bank profits to its state’s revenues, which a Maine state-owned bank also could do. North Dakota was the only state whose budget remained in surplus After the 2008 financial collapse. All other states including Maine had budget shortfalls, which required Maine to raise taxes to balance the budget.

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