So sayeth candidate for Governor Larry Hogan. I can just picture him tapping his foot expectantly and saying, “Well…”
Obviously he makes some good points or I would have skipped making the post, so here goes:
Martin O’Malley’s latest stunt designed to mask his failed record on jobs and small business, elicited a strong response from Larry Hogan.
“First, O’Malley takes no action to help businesses and working families for three years. Rather, he forced through the largest tax hikes in the state’s history which included higher taxes on business and hard working families. Now, people are suffering; families are struggling; and small businesses all over the state are leaving for greener pastures or shutting down all together,” said Hogan. “No press conference, token commission, or campaign stunt is going to solve the problems he’s caused.”
“Instead of displaying real leadership, he’s decided to fit some traveling sideshows into his busy rock band schedule to show businesses how to get a handout from the government,” said Hogan. “Here’s a real solution for Governor O’Malley, roll back some of the crippling regulations he has placed on businesses in Maryland, and repeal the largest tax increases in history on the eve of the worst recession in 25 years.”
“O’Malley has shown a painful lack of seriousness when it comes to being our governor. We don’t need a governor jetting around the country and embarking on a rock tour around the state. Marylanders deserve a work horse, not a show-pony,” Hogan concluded.
In the last three months, Martin O’Malley hosted a $4,000 per plate fund raiser at the Miami Meat Market and appeared on HBO’s Bill Maher show. Earlier this year, O’Malley’s rock band, O’Malley’s March, released a new album.
Now, I hope Larry Hogan doesn’t come across as an old fuddy-duddy because I’m sure he goes out and plays golf, sails, or does whatever he does for relaxation too. Martin O’Malley plays in a band and I’m okay with that. It doesn’t even bother me that he appeared on Bill Maher’s show since I don’t watch it anyway. (I do have to ask why the fundraiser needed to be in Miami – isn’t Baltimore good enough? To his credit, O’Malley did slum with the locals here on the Shore earlier this year while I was sitting at a wine festival.)
But the main point Hogan makes is a good one, and it appears to me he stops just short of promising to cut taxes should he be elected. He’d be in a unique position among governors because Maryland’s chief executive sets the budget, so he could dictate the amount he wants to spend and make the taxation fit. (Just as an aside, it would not completely surprise me that the next Republican governor would face some sort of constitutional amendment created by General Assembly Democrats to shift the budgetary power to them, creating a situation akin to that on the federal level.)
As I always note, the Founders intended each state to be a laboratory of government. Ideally, each state can compete in whatever fashion it feels necessary to prosper – thus, states like Florida and Texas are successful in bringing residents and business because of their low taxation (although a nice climate doesn’t hurt either). States like New Jersey and New York do otherwise and watch people vote with their feet, saying goodbye to the state. We’ve seen that with achievers in Maryland as well as they move to lower-tax states and guard their income.
With President Obama in office, we in the Free State face a double-edged sword. Parts of the state will prosper simply because Fedzilla is not going to get any smaller for the foreseeable future. Yet those same policies, combined with the tax-and-spend tendencies of a party which has ruled the General Assembly since the Civil War, are killing the rest of the state – particularly rural areas which depend on agriculture to survive and bear the brunt of the misguided environmentalism championed by Obama.
So perhaps it’s not all bad that Martin O’Malley is a jet-setter, provided the taxpayers of Maryland aren’t footing the bill for his shenanigans. Sometimes people are more dangerous behind a desk, and Martin O’Malley may be one of those guys. We’re going to be much more safe once his term of office ends next year and he’s replaced by a more common-sense governor like, say, Larry Hogan (or Pat McDonough, or even Bob Ehrlich – take your pick.)
Then Martin O’Malley can spend his time jetsetting and playing his guitar – maybe I’ll even go to one of his gigs. I’ll use the money I save once my taxes are cut to a reasonable and prudent level.