Reax to the late departed session

Two pieces of opinion tonight from other folks then one from me. How does that sound?

Let’s begin with the Republicans in our House of Delegates, thanks to Carrie Simons-Sparrow:

As the 2008 General Assembly Session comes to a close, House Republicans review the events of the last 90 days.

“The 2008 Legislative Session has been another disappointing example of Governor O’Malley’s failure to provide responsible fiscal leadership”, said Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell. “Government continues to grow virtually unchecked and the appetite for taxes has not been satisfied. The Democrat Leadership is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the taxpayers with empty rhetoric about spending cuts and sound fiscal management. For virtually every cut that has been made, the Governor has found somewhere else to spend those dollars. For every job that has been cut, additional positions have been added. Their fiscal restraint is an illusion. This budget is contingent on the largest tax increase in Maryland’s history and there has been no true effort from the leadership to reduce spending.”

(snip)

“For all of their lofty rhetoric and election year promises, the Governor and Democrat Leadership have done little to address Maryland’s energy issues”, said Minority Whip Christopher Shank. “In 2006, they promised rate relief and a solution to our looming energy shortage. While they’re busy patting themselves on the back over the BGE settlement, they have codified an 85% electric rate increase and passed feel-good energy policies that will serve to further increase rates. All I see here for the ratepayers are broken promises.”

Of course, the main office of the Maryland GOP had their reaction too, in a release called “O’Malley’s Budget – The Spending Spree Continues”:

In the final days of the regular Session, the General Assembly passed a $31.2 billion budget, which represents more than 4% in new spending over the previous year’s budget.  The Senate voted 38-7 and the House of Delegates voted 109-31 in favor of the budget.

Dr. Jim Pelura, Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, released the following statement:

“This 2008 Legislative Session represents a continuation of the assault on the citizens of Maryland by Martin O’Malley and his supporters in the General Assembly.  We must not forget that this budget has, as its foundation, the massive tax increases of the Special Session from November 2007. Marylanders from all walks of life are feeling the harmful effects of these taxes and, with the passage of this budget, will continue to be repressed by them.

“Our economy cannot withstand this assault. Jobs will be lost, businesses will relocate, and dollars to the Maryland treasury will dwindle. To think that the Maryland government can tax itself into prosperity is foolhardy and delusional.

“This Session not only resulted in a greater government grab of the hard-earned money of Marylanders, but also brought a significant increase in the size of the Maryland State bureaucracy. It is just as true today as it was during the Special Session: Maryland government does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.

“The Maryland Republican Party believes in and will continue to promote the idea that low taxes, smaller government, and a robust private sector will ultimately result in more jobs and greater prosperity and freedoms for all our citizens.”

While to me this year’s entire General Assembly session was a downer, there were a couple bright spots over the last day or so because the job-killing and so-called Global Warming Solutions Act was killed along with the implementation of speed cameras in highway work zones statewide. (By the way, I have nothing but respect for highway workers so we should make an effort to follow the posted speed limits when they’re working. I just object to the Big Brother aspect of speed cameras and the fact they’re solely for revenue enhancement, not safety.)

The one problem we on the right side have is that memories are pretty short and by 2010 most of the more asinine items will simply become standard operating procedure like we’d always had them. People do not think about how things were before a lot of restrictions and fees were placed on them, instead believing the hollow promises and class warfare practiced mainly by the majority party. That tactic seems to work well in Maryland’s three largest municipalities. I don’t forget these things but it’s a sad statement of our times that many who are affected most shrug off these sorts of things off and don’t make any effort to change them. If they did, in 2010 the GOP would at least double its numbers in the General Assembly and Marylanders would throw Martin O’Malley out on his ear because he’s sure not doing the job that either he promised or the people support (as evidenced by his mid-30’s approval rating compared to Governor Ehrlich’s mid-50’s approval number when he lost re-election.)

So I break things down a little bit. If I can convince one reader a day that my viewpoint is correct, I’m doing at least some of my job. The next part is to make that reader active and convince one other person him- or herself the next day, even if it’s simply to get them to read my viewpoint. If I can do that for each of the next 936 days or so until the November 2010 election here in Maryland we may surprise some folks.

I plan on doing my part, how about you?

Oh, and one other thought: it would be helpful if our party’s flock in the General Assembly stuck together on some of the major issues. Having half your Senate delegation vote for the O’Malley budget doesn’t send much of a message does it? Nor does putting togther an alternate budget that conceded the O’Malley tax increases.

Crossposted on Red Maryland.

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