Did LePage just say he was willing to raise taxes?

In last night’s State of the State address, Gov. Paul LePage ended by saying: “I have two very simple requests. Let’s not raise taxes right now. Let’s pay our bills.”

You might read that statement as saying he won’t raise taxes. But read it carefully, and then watch him say it by clicking below:

What strikes me is his inclusion and emphasis on “right now.” He could have easily said “Let’s not raise taxes” and left it at that. But he didn’t.

And not only did he not leave “right now” out, he actually emphasized it. It struck me the moment he said it, and in watching the video I am more convinced.

Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but that sure sounds like an opening to Democrats that he would be willing to consider revenues in the long term. Perhaps in exchange for tax cuts today. Perhaps in exchange for a program he believes in like charter schools. Perhaps it is a signal that he’ll go there after the 2014 re-election when he doesn’t have to worry about another term.

Or maybe it was simply an accidental slip of the tongue. Interestingly, it was not in his originally prepared remarks.  But if it was an accident, we all know what Freud would say: “There aren’t any…”

Posted by Ethan Strimling