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As Long as We Remember...

April 10, 2008

Sine Die Came Too Late

Chris Cavey

This week the General Assembly was dismissed from Annapolis to return home to the real world. And not a moment too soon. The annual legislative session is like a visit to the dentist; you know it has to happen and you’re glad when you are finished – especially if you had a political root canal.


Here are some of the “low-lights” of this session.


A consistently hot topic in both Annapolis and across the nation is requiring proof of “legal presence” when applying for a driver’s license. Our state is one of a very small handful of states that doesn’t have such a requirement. We are the eastern seaboard’s mini-mart for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.


Senator David Brinkley (R., Frederick/Carroll) offered legislation to require proof of legal status to obtain such a license. His measure would have prohibited the Motor Vehicle Administration from issuing a driver’s license to an individual who cannot provide documentation certifying that the individual is a U.S. citizen or is lawfully in the United States.


Senator Brinkley’s attempt at common sense legislation failed in the Senate by one vote. Maryland will remain an advocate for the illegal immigrant for at least one more year.


The Computer Tax bill was repealed. To replace the revenue lost by this repeal, the legislators substituted a “Millionaire Tax.” Here is how the “shell-game” happens. You need money for your budget and you sneak in a computer tax. Later you realize no one likes this tax, so you substitute a tax on those making more than $1 million a year.


Estimates are that there are about 6,000 Maryland millionaires, about 40 percent of whom live in Montgomery County. Certainly these individuals could slough-off the new tax without batting an eye. However, they know this tax is just as egregious as the extra penny sales tax, simply because it is a tax.


Gov. Martin O’Malley is still trying to solve his budget problem on the income side of the ledger. The irony is that millionaires know cuts need to be made on the expense side…that’s why they are millionaires and not legislators.


Remember back when candidate O’Malley accused Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich of his “too cozy relationship” with the power companies? Now, after a couple of hundred thousand dollars in bureaucratic studies, O’Malley’s Public Service Commission announces there was no collusion in previous energy auctions.


In an effort to look “green,” our tricky leprechaun governor has pushed his “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.” This bill was debated and amended and has now created another level of government working to build bureaucracy to new levels.


This is a “feel good” bill that could hurt the Maryland business community more than the computer tax would have. The citizen’s little pot of gold will be $175 a pay-off that won’t even pay for your increase in sales tax.


Citizens of Maryland should celebrate Sine Die each year. Danger lurks in Annapolis when spendthrift Democrat leaders meet up with a tricky Irishman. We’ve witnessed increased taxes, misappropriation of funds, pork in the capital budget and continued amnesty for illegal aliens.


Next session their goal should be “primum non nocere”…do no harm.

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