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April 26, 2012

Hypocrisy At Its Finest

Blaine R. Young

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that is true in general, the one you will see when you click on this link ( is worth at least a million.


This picture was published on Tuesday above the fold in the Business Section of The Frederick News Post. In and of itself, it speaks volumes about the approach the O’Malley Administration has when it comes to helping small business in the State of Maryland.


As the owner and co-owner of small businesses in Frederick County, I am very well aware of how difficult it is to make ends meet. In a small business the owner generally not only has to manage his finances, his employees and his customer relations, but also has to wade through the increasingly complex and burdensome morass of government regulations. Not to mention having to scrape enough money together every quarter to pay all of the different taxes charged by every level of government.


And what is Gov. Martin O’Malley’s solution to the problems facing our small business people? It is to send 10 career government bureaucrats to Frederick, in the middle of the day on a Monday, to tell our local entrepreneurs what the state is doing for them.


And just what is the state doing? I can give you a quick answer to that question. The state is not doing much.


One of the “special assistants” the Governor’s office sent to Frederick was proud to report that there are 130 state regulations which are under review to be “repealed, revised or streamlined.”


The problem is that Governor O’Malley is now entering his sixth year in office. So, apparently his idea of being proactive and taking the initiative to help our small business owners is to take six years to identify 130 regulations for further study. Thanks a lot, Martin.


Government doesn’t have to take this long to help business. The Frederick Board of County Commissioners went to work right away when it took office in December 2010, and developed a Business Friendly Action Item list that grew to over 260 issues.


In its first year the commissioners took action on over 50% of these items, and the rest are following and are on schedule to be completed by the end of its second year. It seems to me, as one of these commissioners, that the difference between the county’s approach to small business owners and the state’s approach is that here we actually do care about small business, while it seems that the state cares more about talking about small business to make the governor look good as he prepares to run for national office, than to actually get something done.


Take another look at that picture. You will see nine state bureaucrats, one federal bureaucrat, and one lonely local bank president. That’s right, in a supposed symposium to help small business, we have 10 government career bureaucrats and one person who is actually involved in running a local business. Doesn’t that seem a little out of proportion to you?


If the governor really wanted to help small business, he wouldn’t waste our tax dollars sending 10 public sector bureaucrats to Frederick to sit on a stage and talk to an almost empty theater about government and business. He would instead stop increasing taxes on business owners and everyone else in this state, and let us take a little bit of our own money and invest it back into the local economy. I am convinced that we could certainly spend it more wisely than those 10 government employees who were on that stage.


And if those 10 bureaucrats were wondering why there were so few people in the audience, if they actually had a clue about small business they would know that on a Monday afternoon small business owners have better things to do then listen to a bunch of government talking heads talk down to them. Small business owners don’t have a lot of time to waste, as it takes a lot of effort to make a buck these days, and even more effort to make enough to pay all of the taxes.


The governor has proven time and time again, by his actions, not his words, with his tax and regulatory policies, that although he says he loves jobs and loves business, he actually hates employers. Business owners get hammered every year with more and more government taxes and regulations, in spite of what this panel may have tried to tell us.


And I think it is very noteworthy that when these 10 bureaucrats drove into Frederick County some of them may have seen the new “Open for Business” signs that have been placed on county roads at the county line.


However, I doubt many of them did see it, as most of them probably came up here on state highways, and the state rejected our request to place the signs on its highways.


So much for the State of Maryland being “Open for Business.”


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