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Standing on principle (in part)

This item from the Maryland GOP just came across my e-mailbox this morning. Nice to see that we’re back in fighting mode now that the 90 Days of Terror is about to resume:

The Maryland Republican Party has established a Commission for Citizen Tax Relief to investigate Maryland ’s record of over spending by the Democrat controlled leadership in Annapolis. The formation of this Commission is in response to the historic tax increases from the 2007 Special Session, the Democrat policy promoting bloated state budgets and the anticipated $1.9 billion deficit in the upcoming budget year.

For the past two years, the MDGOP has closely documented the Annapolis Democrat’s agenda of burdening Maryland citizens with increased taxes to fund new and expanded government programs. “Today’s tough times make it imperative for the Maryland Republican Party to hold Governor O’Malley and his supporters in the General Assembly accountable for their chronic over spending,” stated Chairman Pelura.

The Commission will be directed by Charles Lollar. Lollar hails from Charles County where he is Chairman of the Charles County Republican Central Committee. As a former Marine Corps Officer and local Charles County business leader, Mr. Lollar brings extensive experience in corporate accountability and budgeting.

This Commission is comprised of two dozen Maryland Republicans and citizen activists. As Director, Lollar will lead the Commission towards sensible budget and accountability recommendations that will provide much needed tax relief for Maryland citizens. During his introduction as Director, Mr. Lollar stated to the MDGOP membership at their Annual Fall Meeting, “We need a balanced budget with fair cuts across the board…just as we all are tightening our belts at home, the State should be doing the same.”

Members of the Commission will be visiting each county in Maryland to engage citizen participation. These town hall meetings will begin in late January and will give Marylanders the opportunity to review the Commission’s initial budget analysis and to provide input.

“It is time for the fiscally-challenged Governor and his supporters in the General Assembly to come to grips with the economic impacts of their runaway tax increases and uncontrolled spending. We need a balanced budget with fair reductions and accountability across the board,” added Pelura. “ Maryland’s working families know that fiscal responsibility isn’t a choice, it is a must. Fiscal responsibility does not have partisan stripes, it is something we should all strive to achieve.”

In doing this, the Maryland Republican Party indeed is making a first good step because this effort serves to provide an alternative with grassroots support.

However, another contention I’ve made that’s not noted in the press release is a push to make the Democrats and Governor O’Malley publicly justify where they’re spending those rapidly-declining tax dollars we provide. Certainly one of my favorite whipping boys is Program Open Space, but there’s a number of other funds which were created pell-mell by the General Assembly and codified into state law that have either not served their purpose or become sacred cows, never to be touched by the hands of those who would hold Annapolis politicians accountable for the money they spend. While I certainly can’t say that our state budget needs to fit on both sides of a regular sheet of paper, the hundreds of pages to which our budget annually runs are filled with programs that either don’t work, can be trimmed, or can be done much more efficiently in the private sector.

In economic times such as those we’re faced with, the operative term should be “leaner and meaner.” Surely those bleeding hearts on the left who consider any reduction in even the unchecked growth of government spending as one which creates “victims” would stress the “meaner” part, but that’s just a fact of life in Maryland we’ll have to deal with. Being right doesn’t always equate with being popular, at least not popular with the news media and their editorial boards.

But taking the time to explain our side while simultaneously pushing for those who create the budget to justify extracting more money from hard-working Free Staters (whether in families or not) is something citizens should simply expect. It’s unfortunate that the Maryland GOP has to create a Commission to do the job everyone in our General Assembly and state government in general should be doing as habit.

I look forward to seeing what the Commission comes up with and putting in my two cents.






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