Beware of Gov. Martin O'MalleyFriday, April 19, 2013
Maryland made national news recently for a "rain tax" to start July 1.
The tax, an unfunded mandate originating with the Environmental Protection Agency and cemented by the state legislature and governor last year, means homeowners, businesses and nonprofits in certain counties will pay a fee based on the amount of "impervious surfaces" on their property. It is supposed to raise about $482 million annually. Satellite imagery will help counties comply with the law, designed to reduce runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.
Call it the 'Drones for the Bay' program. The "Free State" is a Petri dish for progressive causes and perpetually tries to out-California California for increasing the size and reach of government, so the new law is not surprising to those of us who live in Maryland even as it may seem laughable to people across the country.
What's next, 'a tax on sun?' the masses in other states might snidely remark. Yes, and it will be coming to a state near you if Martin O'Malley has his way. So pay attention to the Democratic governor who said in August 2010 that "Maryland will lead the country, not only economically, but morally."
In six and a half short years in office Gov. O'Malley has transformed the tiny state from a comfortable suburb of Washington to a model of progressive orthodoxy, high taxes and crony capitalism in a bid to take his show on the road to the White House.
Two stints as head of the Democratic Governors Association raised his national profile and the buff governor, who fronts a rock band called O'Malley's March, could be coming to a bar near you if you live in a politically important primary state. Last Friday he polished his international credentials in Denmark speaking as a panelist on "progressive governance" with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark.
The Washington Post and Politico place him in the top tier of Democratic candidates vying for the White House in 2016, or at least vice president if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to run. He's been working hard to be in that pack.
In the last two years alone he won big battles in the state legislature to allow same sex marriage, give some illegal immigrants in-state tuition, end the death penalty, underwrite an offshore wind farm, ban certain guns and make gun licensing requirements stricter. He also pushed to raise the gas tax, and won. It is one of the 37 tax and fee hikes enacted during his administration totaling $3.1 billion, according to research by Change Maryland.
Through executive order he has also limited growth in rural counties, along with property, income and sales taxes in those areas to push development into areas friendlier to "transit- oriented development" – otherwise known as government-directed development or more simply, crony capitalism. In his words, it means the government is not going to subsidize "stupid land use decisions."
Gov. O'Malley says he is not driven by ideology but by what "works." As he said in a recent Politico article, "We're not arguing for bigger government. We're arguing for more effective government, and also smarter investments."
But everything he calls for means bigger, more expensive government – without an economic payoff for the masses. The state needs to add 157,000 jobs to get back to precession levels of the percentage of people working, according to the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, and has lost about 6,500 small businesses since he took office. The state also consistently ranks near the bottom of surveys on business friendliness and was put on a credit watch by Moody's because of its dependence on the federal government, "above average debt burden and large unfunded pension liabilities relative to the size of its economy."
Even his success stories are not successes. He loves to talk about Education Week's top ranking of Maryland's public schools, for example. But that publication's report weighs spending more than achievement. Test score data shows Maryland has some of the largest gaps between white and low-income minority students and the number of remedial classes offered at community colleges and the state's flagship school, the University of Maryland at College Park, is skyrocketing under his watch because students are graduating from high school without basic knowledge of math and writing.
So go ahead and laugh at the foibles of liberal Maryland. But if Mr. O'Malley's political trajectory, which started at the Baltimore City Council, continues apace, the last laugh may be on America.
Marta H. Mossburg writes frequently about national affairs and about Maryland, where she lives. Write her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @mmossburg.
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If our laws in the USA are based on the US Constitution, then is it valid to state that if you violate the constitution you have broken the law? If this is true and it is illegal for a citizen or anybody in the USA to conspire to commit a crime (you name it, whatever crime you want to insert here – murder, theft, kidnapping, etc.), then should it not also be illegal for someone or a group to conspire to break the constitution?
In particular, if it is against the constitution to infringe on the people's right to bear arms, is it not also against the constitution to debate on how to do just that (known in criminal law as a conspiracy to commit an unconstitutional or unlawful act)?
Why can't we get a federal marshal to arrest these people we elect when they break the law by conspiring to violate the constitution? They are sworn into office to uphold the constitution! Would not this hold them to greater accountability (knowing they would be arrested)?Thanks,Eddie
Bidwell comment: Eddie, when I see a "Shame on You, U.S. Senate" posting on Facebook or listen to Rachel Maddow's coverage of the Senate's voting against gun control measures, I have similar thoughts.
The Americans that want gun control measures cannot understand why Americans would not support them. They are missing something... You see, by the founding fathers creating the second amendment, the right to bear arms became supreme law. It became an inalienable right. It became a precedence and a priority. As outlined by the Constitution, Americans have the right to bear arms. If we pass gun control measures, a precedence would then be set that other inalienable rights are up for discussion and could be eroded. I was encouraged to see so many Americans upholding the rights carved out by the Constitution this week.
I do not understand how this article explains the Schizophrenic behavior of voting Americans in states like Michigan that constantly elect "Liberal Democrats" (whatever that is) at the Federal level and for Governor. Yet, the State Legislature is dominated by "Conservative Republicans" (whatever THAT is).
I have found that ALL professional politicians are self-absorbed and not proper "public servants". As such, there IS no concept of principle and public good. Simply put, the real explanation is that there is no explanation. The government school system has failed in its mission to educate the citizenry. Human beings are still largely "monkeys with shoes and cell phones". Regards. – Anonymous
Bidwell comment: You make an excellent point. I would dare say that in business as well as public service, if we do not hold our leaders accountable and there is no consequence for taking shortcuts, human nature and greed usually win out.
That is why a group like ours (The Project) is so important. On Stansberry Radio yesterday, Porter discussed The Project. He explained that the goal is to limit government sovereignty to enhance individual sovereignty by pushing for amendments. He explained that another way to do this would be to change the nature of suffrage so that you don't allow someone to vote if they don't have some measure of equity in society. I think it makes a lot of sense...
If you want to listen to the show in its entirety on Itunes, click here...
To watch it on the Stansberry Radio website, click here...