(October 14, 2009) The latest rankings were released recently from Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation, two highly respected barometers of a state's tax and business climate, and if you were hoping to see improvement in Maryland's dismal numbers, you're fooling yourself. Marylanders are overtaxed, overregulated, and either unemployed or underemployed, and our state budget is imploding. The only people who seem to be raking in the cash these days are our jobs-hating Governor, Martin O'Malley, and his enabler in the state Senate, Thomas V. "Mike" Miller.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Mike Miller's fundraising efforts appear to be recession-proof:
"The recession didn't seem to dampen attendance at Miller's fundraiser at Pazo, a tapas restaurant in Harbor East. The $1,000-per-ticket event drew scores of lobbyists, lawmakers and local luminaries such as Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos."
I'm sure these people were rewarding Mike for increasing their taxes and making it more expensive for them to live here. Do you think Peter Angelos or the "scores of lobbyists, lawmakers and local luminaries" at this ritzy restaurant care one whit about the struggles of southern Maryland families burdened with job losses and a record-breaking tax increase? Are they endorsing with their $1,000 tickets the fiscal malpractice that led us to a nearly $1 billion shortfall in the current budget, knocking it out of balance and forcing Annapolis to make rapid and painful spending cuts? Were they drawn to this high-dollar event to praise a projected $2 billion deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, and a projected $2.7 billion deficit the year after that?
At least Mike had the presence of mind to milk the cash cow in his own state, and there are apparently plenty of benumbed bovines willing to part with their cash to buy the Senate president's favor. Come on now - you didn't think they were shelling out $1,000 a pop because of the great job he's doing keeping the state out of debt, did you?
As the budget news gets worse every day, where is the governor? Out of state - wouldn't you be under the circumstances?
This past Sunday he was passing the plate at the Meat Market in Miami Beach - yes, that Miami Beach - to raise some Florida cash for his Maryland reelection campaign. Maybe he's had his fill of beggaring his neighbor here at home, or maybe Mike is raking in the cash and not leaving any for his friends. Maybe he can't raise enough money in his home state because our individual tax rate, the rate he slapped on us two years ago, is the 4th highest in the nation. Maybe the Meat Market was too appropriate a fundraising venue for him to pass up.
While he and Mike are counting up the cash to add to their already bulging campaign accounts, Forbes annual rankings of the best states in which to do business show Maryland two places worse than last year in costs of doing business, going from 40th to 42nd. That means only eight other states had higher business costs than Maryland. According to the Tax Foundation, we held steady on our business tax climate - only five other states are worse than ours. Only Oregon depends more than Maryland on individual income taxes, which means you and I are carrying the burden of our state's mismanaged budget on our backs.
Given these horrific figures and their tangible and negative impact on people's lives, one has to wonder: For what exactly are these men being rewarded with these contributions? Apparently, politics is one of the few professions where one is rewarded more for incumbency or longevity than achievement.
Ron Miller, of Huntingtown, is a conservative blogger and activist, former and future candidate for the Maryland Senate, and communications director for the Calvert County Republican Party. Ron is a regular contributor to RegularFolksUnited.com, RedCounty.com, and ProLifeUnity.com. You can also follow Ron on his website TeamRonMiller.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook.