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As Long as We Remember...

January 8, 2013

Prisoners in Marylandís Sweatshop

Steve Gottlieb

Happy New Year! Believe it or not, 2013 is here and the harsh despair of 2012 is in the history books. What a year it has been for those of us who call Maryland home. We can only hope 2013 is not a repeat, but don’t hold your breath.


Let’s recap some of the less optimistic highlights. First, and these are no particular order, income taxes were raised on residents making more than $100,000 a year. Same-sex marriage and support to criminals in the form of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants became the law in Maryland.


With a nod to special interest groups involved in the gambling industry, a special session was called specifically to approve opening another casino and expanding gambling in Maryland to include table games. Certainly there are more issues that can be discussed, but these are some of the more newsworthy highlights.


Oh, yeah, the country re-elected President Barack Obama to another four years.


If we look back to when Gov. Martin O’Malley took office in 2007, according to the grassroots organization ChangeMaryland, he ensured taxes and fees were raised more than 20 times on Maryland citizens. These encompassed things like income tax hikes, new alcohol taxes, higher tolls on Maryland roads and bridges, and include one of the largest tax increases ever when he and The General Assembly increased the sales tax from 5% to 6%.


It seems like every time we turn around there is a new tax. However, there doesn’t seem to be any decrease in state spending. In fact, even with all the tax increases our state still operates at a deficit.


So, if this is past history, what purpose could be served by reliving these painful examples of fiscal and moral decay?


The answer is simple. A look at the past can give you insight into the future. If history is in fact a teacher, then hang onto your wallets as more tax increases are heading your way.


Already mentioned in the news is a gas tax hike and possibly attacks on how far a person drives each day. Now imagine the average gas price consistently being over $3 a gallon, and the amount of miles driven in order for people to live and work in this area. That adds up to quite a hit in the pocketbook Maryland taxpayers may have to endure.


That doesn’t even account for the taxes we don’t know the governor and legislature want to levy. Let’s also not forget their continued assault on our Second Amendment right of self-defense that is bound to take center stage beginning with the opening of the 90-day General Assembly session tomorrow along with more attempts at infringing on personal property rights.


ChangeMaryland also released a report stating that 31,000 residents left Maryland between 2007 and 2010, which was the length of time Governor O’Malley’s millionaire’s tax was in force.


So, if roughly 31,000 of the state’s wealthiest people choose to leave and the tax bill still needs to be paid, to whom does that burden fall? Hopefully, you’ll see that as rhetorical and realize the rest of us pick up the tab for people who already paid more than their fair share who are being punished for being successful. These wealthy people had the means to escape the tyrannical and lecherous reach of Governor O’Malley and the Democrat led legislature.


What about the rest of us? What about the average citizen in Maryland who works hard, pays their taxes and obeys the laws and regulations heaped upon them by an ever-expanding state government?


Are these average citizens able to just pick up and leave, move somewhere where taxes are fairer and government is less restrictive?


The answer is usually a resounding no! In this economy, jobs are not that easy to come by and may not be available elsewhere. Also, the housing market is so poor that quite a few people are under water on their mortgages and cannot afford to sell at a loss.


So basically, those people, who do not agree with or support increasing taxes, increasing spending and the moral decline within Maryland, are stuck due to lack of resources. They are trapped like rats on a sinking ship or more aptly, they are prisoners of the state of Maryland, and Governor O’Malley is the warden.


A common theme often repeated when discussing these issues with Democrats and liberals is “well, if you don’t like it move someplace else.”


Yes, those with the political power are more than willing to rub salt in the wounds of those who are not in a position to respond by voting with their feet and their money.


Get used to it. The majority of us will continue to toil in the prison sweatshop called Maryland and every once in a while someone will get lucky, make parole and move to someplace that is really free.


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