Odds and ends number 69
It’s not meant to be a weekly Saturday fixture, but thus far in 2013 it was worked out that I’ve done an O&E post each Saturday. (I have to look the prior one up to see what number I am on – can’t duplicate the series, you know.) So once again I have a boatload of items which deserve anything from a sentence to a few paragraphs, but not enough for a full post by themselves.
First of all, the news is full of angst over the Sandy Hook massacre, mainly because the knee-jerk reaction has been: we need more gun laws. But MDYR president Brian Griffiths called Governor Martin O’ Malley’s new gun provisions just simple posturing:
Instead of introducing supporting meaningful proposals that would actively reduce gun crime, O’Malley has decided to sign on to proposals that will have only one meaningful impact: to inhibit the ability of law-abiding Marylanders to purchase and possess firearms.
Yet I suspect one proposed Maryland gun law will go nowhere. Delegate Pat McDonough is slated to introduce “The Criminal Gun Control Act,” which, as he terms, will:
…prohibit any offender convicted of a criminal act involving a gun from receiving any form of early release. This proposal would include parole, probation, or good time early release credits. The bill would also disallow a plea bargain.
After claiming 40% of all Baltimore City gun murders were perpetrated by felons with previous gun law violations, Pat added:
The solution to gun violence is not to destroy the Constitution and law abiding citizens’ rights to bear arms. Politicians are hypocrits (sic) when they attack good citizens and pass laws that benefit criminals like early release.
I thought, though, there was already an extra five years tacked on to a sentence for committing a crime with a gun. Perhaps someone in the judicial system can clue me in on why that’s not effective.
Meanwhile, Maryland Shall Issue is more succinct and to the point:
Respectfully tell those you speak with that you are against Gun Control in all its forms. You do not need to pick the magazine limits, or discuss the definition of so-called “Assault Weapons.” You must make your representatives understand that all Gun Control must be off the table.
Compromise is not possible when it comes to fundamental rights. Our lawmakers must be told that we will not willingly give up any of our rights. They will need to take them from us.
Maryland faces elections in 2014. Make sure they know we will remember who stood for our rights, and who wanted to deny your fundamental right.
Of course, when the chips are down and government has overstepped their bounds, there is the option of non-compliance, a route that Patriot Post editor (and one of my few bosses) Mark Alexander is vowing to take.
I hereby make this public declaration: In keeping with the oath I have taken in the service of my country, I will “support and defend” Liberty as “endowed by our Creator” and enshrined in our Constitution, “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Accordingly, I will NOT comply with any defensive weapons ban instituted by executive order, legislative action or judicial diktat, which violates the innate human right to defend self and Liberty, as empowered by “the right of the People to keep and bear arms.”
After all, wasn’t it Hillary Clinton who said “we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration?” Last time I checked, inalienable rights endowed by our Creator trumped laws which violate same.
Now it’s time to turn to another issue where our state government is failing us: economic growth and opportunity. I talked about one aspect of this the other day, but Change Maryland and Chairman Larry Hogan also had some suggestions for Martin O’Malley on rebuilding Maryland manufacturing:
Since 2007, Maryland lost 20% of its manufacturing employment base, the 10th worst decline in the country. Over 26,000 manufacturing jobs vanished during that time.
“It is unacceptable that the state’s most powerful elected officials do nothing with numbers as clear and convincing as these,” said Hogan.”These are the results you get when economic development is nothing more than cherry-picked pie charts and bar graphs in the Governor’s power point demonstrations.”
Just over a year ago, (New York’s) Governor Cuomo forged a three-way agreement with the senate majority leader and assembly speaker on executive proposals to cut taxes and create jobs in advance of the 2012 legislative session. The corporate income tax rate for Empire State manufacturers was cut to 6.25%. Maryland’s rate is 8.25%. New York’s decline of year-over-year manufacturing jobs is 1.4%, less than half of Maryland’s decline during the same period.
Hogan urged that, like so many other areas where O’Malley has followed Cuomo’s lead, a tax cut for businesses should be considered. Yet the advocacy group stayed on O’Malley this week like white on rice, also condemning his bloated budget:
This budget increases spending 4% over last year, to a record $37.3 billion, and does nothing more than continue the spend-and-tax governing that Martin O’Malley feels will further his political objectives.
Nowhere in this budget document is any mention made to helping Maryland’s blue collar workers and other regular working people. However, we’re all told to wait for some undefined sales and gas tax increase later on that will hit poor people the hardest.
Missing is any understanding whatsoever on how to bring jobs and businesses back to Maryland.
Hogan had more criticism for the Governor:
Martin O’Malley also showed again today in the budget briefing slide show for reporters why he is the most partisan governor in America, lauding the President for wanting to raise the debt ceiling and blaming in advance the U.S. House of Representatives for any largess that may not come Maryland’s way.
Martin O’Malley only wishes he had a debt ceiling, but unfortunately for hard-working Maryland families he has to raise taxes and fees on an almost annual basis to maintain the wish list he calls a budget. The $37.3 billion docket proposed for FY2014 is the largest in Maryland’s history and is a far cry from Bob Ehrlich’s last budget in FY2007 that totaled $29.6 billion. (Ehrlich’s last budget, by the way, was 12% higher than the $26.4 billion tab the previous year, in FY2006.) Up 4 percent from last year, O’Malley speaks of “cuts” but those cuts are only in his fantasies because the budget is 26% higher than it was seven years ago and up 41% from FY2006 levels. For most of the rest of us, we’ve not seen a 41% increase in our salaries since 2006.
It’s worth pointing out on the whole job creation issue that small businesses across the country fret about the impact of government, with the results of a new survey by the advocacy group Job Creators Alliance pointing this out. Taxes were the number one issue, with fully one-quarter of the 600 small businesses survey placing it atop the list. Add in the effects of Obamacare and government regulations, and the response swells to nearly half of those surveyed.
The group was pessimistic in its assessment, stating:
As America’s small business owners look forward at 2013 they do so with a great deal of concern about the obstacles Washington is placing in their path. As the engine of job creation, pessimism among small business owners does not bode well for job growth this year.
Lest we forget, 7 to 8 percent unemployment seems to be the “new norm.” Of course, if they untied the hands of the energy industry we could do a lot better. (That includes Marcellus Shale, Governor O”Malley, but not your pipe dream of offshore wind.)
But to get jobs, we need a better educational system and that means giving parents a choice in where to send their child for their education. National School Choice Week begins next Sunday, but no local organization on Delmarva has yet stepped up to participate in an event. (There are 22 in Maryland, but all of them are on the Western Shore. No events are planned in Delaware or on the eastern shore of Virginia.)
As it turns out, my fiance made the choice to send her child to a private, faith-based school. It’s good for her, but it would be even better if money from the state was made available to cover her tuition and fees. Years ago I volunteered for a political candidate whose key platform plank was “money follows the child” and I think it makes just as much sense today.
So that’s yet another wrapup and cleaning out of the e-mail box. We’ll see if I go four Saturdays in a row next week.