Since I covered David Craig in depth on Wednesday, it’s probably good to consider what Ron George said in his formal announcement, also on Wednesday. His campaign was kind enough to forward his remarks on to me.
And the way it was written it gives me an opportunity to see what his priorities would be as a governor. I already have a idea of where he stands on issues through Ron’s votes in the Maryland General Assembly, but in this announcement we can determine what the overall themes may be as the campaign progresses. Assuming these are presented in the order of importance, it’s clear that the top priorities for George are (in order) economic growth, ethics and campaign finance, spending and taxation, public safety, education, energy independence, transportation, environment, and protecting our rights. I might quibble with the order somewhat, but it appears that Ron laid out a broad agenda for himself.
In considering the overall plan, it’s clear to me that Ron is betting that reducing the tax burden will spur enough growth to cover whatever state spending is required; moreover, he’s pledging to reduce spending by cutting out waste. I did a little research not long ago and found that if Maryland had simply reduced its spending to match the national average per-capita spending among the fifty states, we would have negated the need for any of Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown’s 40 tax increases. (It’s telling that George doesn’t use the Change Maryland figures as much as David Craig does – there’s an obvious influence of Jim Pettit working in David’s campaign.)
But I guess I need to understand better how the sales tax rebate Ron is proposing would work. Maybe it would work better along the I-95 corridor but I’d rather take my tax-free Delaware bird in the hand than a 20% rebate in the bush, provided I kept the proof of purchase in the first place.
Another point George made was repealing the gas tax and “rain tax,” challenging the EPA in court if necessary. These are strong words from a guy who I detailed bragging in a previous campaign about being “nicknamed the Green Elephant.” So I guess I have to naturally question how this particular line in the sand came about when he helped enact the O’Malley/Brown green agenda.
It’s unfortunate that my fiance’s daughter will be a freshman in high school by the time George would be inaugurated, and probably would be well into her high school years by the time the scholarship for non-public school students idea would come to fruition – like the MSEA would ever allow THAT to occur. There would be a run away from public schools like you wouldn’t believe were this to happen, and MSEA needs those union dues.
And I know we’re only weeks into a campaign which may last for another 17 months if George wins the GOP primary, but I can’t wait to hear how he fleshes out the last several parts which he’s left sort of undefined. What methods will be encouraged to promote energy independence? What is a proactive transportation plan? I know I have my thoughts on these subjects.
Moreover, while I would presume Ron is referring mostly to the Second Amendment when he promises not to infringe on my God-given rights I would hope he won’t violate the Fourth Amendment in his quest for public safety or the Fifth in being a “green elephant.”
When Ron comes this way I hope to get some answers.