If you liked what I had to say before about the Eastern Shore’s version of the Three Stooges – Rudy Cane, Norm Conway, and Jim Mathias – then you should like this piece.
I was shocked to go to my mailbox today and not find a full-color 4-page mailing from Jim Mathias expounding his so-called independence and love of us peon taxpayers. But a phrase on the first mailing belies his true intentions:
In the State Senate, (Jim will) push to cut wasteful government spending and reinvest the proceeds in small business jobs and the Eastern Shore.
Certainly that sounds innocent enough when taken on the surface. But that doesn’t mean government spending will be any less. Instead, Jim seems to believe that the problem isn’t that government is Maryland isn’t too large or overbearing; the problem is that it just spends money in the “wrong” places.
- A 2007 proposal to cut General Fund expenditures by $116 million
- Zeroing out funding for stem cell research in 2008 ($15 million)
- A 2008 proposal cutting expenditures by over $400 million
- Another 2008 proposal to cut $215 million to replace the expected ‘tech tax’ revenue
- Still more 2008 proposals to cut the budget in lieu of the ‘millionaire’s tax’ (see below)
- A 2009 effort to cut the budget by over $600 million, even allowing Governor O’Malley to pick and choose reductions
- Shifting over $125 million in money devoted to the Geographic Cost of Education Index in the 2010 budget to address future educational needs – otherwise, money tends to go to more urban districts at the expense of rural areas
- A proposal to shave over $300 million from this year’s budget, in part by capping executive branch pay
Even in the 2007 Special Session, where Jim Mathias stood against his party on tax increases, he still voted for the budgetary shell games (which included a prospective tax increase at the county level) and not to make more meaningful cuts. Meanwhile, Norm Conway voted to increase income and corporate tax rates in that session, and in 2008 all three voted in favor of the millionaire’s tax, which drove capital out of the state.
And as far as accounting for the stimulus dollars that Governor O’Malley has desperately needed over the last two years as a fix to his junkie-style spending habit, our merry trio voted against an attempt to put the funds under the normal budgetary process and have Governor O’Malley report where the money was spent.
So when Jim Mathias, Norm Conway, and Rudy Cane try to sell their fiscally conservative soap at your door, it’s easy to find the real truth if you know where to look. We can do much, much better.
By the way, I’m not done yet. More at a later time.