To set the scene: USM, like most public universities in the United States, was seeing annual tuition hikes, while simultaneously cutting faculty, staff, and fighting back against staff unionization. Post 9-11, Democrats were obsessed with being the party of "fiscal responsibility" in order to win some sort of imaginary political messaging game against the Republicans, despite the Democrats holding control over all three branches of Government in Maine. Our "fiscally responsible" Democrats oversaw the giving away of tax dollars to business, under the pretext of jobs and growth. This lost revenue, with the addition of accounting errors in the Department of Health and Human Services led to a budget shortfall, which rather than addressing this budget shortfall through minor restructuring of Maine's basically flat income tax brackets, Democrats instead led the charge to use the University of Maine System fund as their personal piggy-bank, which caused a budget shortfall in the U Maine system, which trickled down to the University of Southern Maine in the form of department consolidation, laid off faculty, and reduced staff.
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