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January 26, 2012

Into The Looking Glass Darkly

Amanda Haddaway

Although we’re only two weeks into this year’s state legislative session, a trend is already emerging with our governor. When Martin O’Malley’s mouth is moving, he’s talking about taking more money from our pockets.


The governor’s budget proposal actually increases the state spending and expected revenues by three percent over last year. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo about the financial woes of many Marylanders. He also hasn’t experienced the reality that many households are making do with less and reducing personal spending as a result of our current economic situation.


Has the governor’s mansion been enveloped by a bubble that blocks out all news and current events? It sure seems so with this reckless spending mentality.


Governor O’Malley also has a skewed view of what being rich entails. His new definition includes households that make more than $100,000 per year. Many readers will be surprised that they are now wealthy by Maryland’s standards. It certainly doesn’t feel as good as it should. The newly proposed upper echelon is what most states consider middle class.


Then there’s the proposed increase to the state’s sales tax. Governor O’Malley is floating the idea of a one percent increase to the state’s current sales tax of six percent. Several leading Democrats have already said that the idea is a non-starter, but it – yet again – illustrates that our governor has no clue about the state of our state.


He is a smart man; however, he seems to have lost sight of a basic mathematical principle. If there isn’t enough money to pay for everything, then spending must be reduced. His solution is to continue increasing taxes and fees to cover his spending problem. This is clearly not the answer.


He claims that “he doesn’t like asking for this” in reference to his budget proposal, but his statements are simply lies. Here’s a thought: if you don’t like asking for it, then don’t. Figure out an alternative plan that doesn’t penalize hard-working Marylanders.


The state has already had a mass exodus of millionaires due to the surtax imposed on their income, and many businesses are following suit. If taxes are raised and tax deductions are reduced, regular citizens are going to vote with their feet and move to neighboring states.


We’re already seeing this trend with Marylanders going to Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware to buy goods. This will only continue, if not increase, with additional taxes levied on the consumers of Maryland.


Governor O’Malley also serves as the Democratic Governors Association chairman. He visited South Carolina recently to criticize presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney on job creation.


According to The Washington Post, Mr. O’Malley was quoted as saying: “Whether you look at Mitt Romney’s background as a speculator, as a corporate raider, or you look at his background as a governor, he has never succeeded in actually creating jobs.”


That’s an interesting stance to take considering that Governor O’Malley is not known for his stellar credentials on empowering job creation in our own state.


The same article referred to Governor O’Malley as a “surrogate for President Obama.” Most Marylanders have heard the rumblings about the governor’s desire to elevate his political career to a national level, but perhaps a look in the mirror would do the governor some good before he criticizes others on their shortcomings.


The Maryland General Assembly session continues through the beginning of April. Hold onto your wallets!


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