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The Tentacle


April 17, 2012

Lies Are Leading to More Taxes

Shawn Burns

When times are good, money is flowing and life is relatively easy. It is also during good times that many among us become fat and lazy.

 

On the flip side, when times are tough and the well dries up, that is when people tighten their collective belt both literally and figuratively. Difficult times lead to difficult decisions. On the plus side of living through a difficult economic period is that it is usually a time of increased creativity and innovation.

 

Since the start of the Great Recession, both across the country and across the state, we have seen our share of difficulties. From drastic increases in unemployment, foreclosures and companies of all sizes filing for bankruptcy, virtually all of us have been forced to make changes.

 

There are, of course, a few exceptions such as Maryland’s legislative and executive branch.

 

It has been reported that taxes and fees have risen in Maryland by as much as 53 percent since 2000. When was the last time that the General Assembly concluded a session without increasing some tax or fee?

 

During the last five years in particular, Marylanders have had a front row seat to the train wreck that is passed off as leadership in Annapolis.

 

Year-in and year-out the message from Annapolis is that Marylanders are rich and can afford all of the tax and fee increases forced upon them. Listen closely and the only thing that is consistently heard in Annapolis is the mantra of “increasing revenue.”

 

In fact, State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (Prince George’s/Calvert) was recently quoted saying that the gas tax could and should pass in a special session because Marylanders can afford it.

 

Senator Miller has also been quoted as saying that lawmakers must “show some leadership” and support the tax increase. That mentality from him is reason enough that Maryland should institute term limits on our legislators.

 

But term limits is a topic for another day.

 

Back to Senator Miller’s talk about leadership.

 

Where was his leadership and the leadership of Gov. Martin O’Malley when they both agreed to shift money, year after year out of the transportation trust fund to be used to help them balance the general fund?

 

Governor O’Malley and Senator Miller have flat-out lied, and continue to lie to the taxpayers of Maryland. They promised us that the existing taxes collected to meet our transportation needs would be used only for that purpose.

 

Hundreds of millions of dollars that were collected from the existing transportation taxes Marylander pay were not used for transportation projects. Senator Miller and Governor O’Malley collected the money with a smile and wink and then blew our money on other things.

 

"We would prefer that we not continue to kick the can down the road and continue to delay long overdue transportation projects," O'Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guilory recently told WBAL News.

 

And Ms. Guilory added: "The governor’s plan provides a sustainable source of funds into the Transportation Trust Fund, allowing us to make progress on the backlog of projects that are badly needed."

 

The governor continues to lie to the taxpayers of Maryland.

Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Miller refuse to acknowledge that the backlog of transportation projects is a result of their continued raid of the existing transportation trust fund. The backlog is the fault of these gentlemen, but they continue to perpetuate their lies. And let us not forget that their solution is for the taxpayers to pay for their lies, mismanagement and lack of leadership in the form of higher taxes.

 

The existing gas tax has already been a reliable and sustainable source of money for the transportation trust fund.

 

Lie after lie after lie. Senator Miller and Governor O’Malley’s past and present lies have, are and will continue to hurt the taxpayers of Maryland.

 

While the majority of us are continuing to dig out from the economic difficulties of the last several years, Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Miller have proven that they are neither creative nor innovative.

 

By their actions, they have shown that they love being fat and lazy and will do whatever it takes to stay that way – all at the expense of the taxpayers of Maryland.

 

s72burns@gmail.com

 



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