Owing Favors

Former Clinton Apparatchik Lanny Davis must owe someone in the O’Malley Administration a favor for his gushing genuflection over O’Malley’s tax and spend plan.

Read all about it below the fold.

I’m a resident of Montgomery County, and under the O’Malley proposal to close the $1.7 billion structural budget deficit the state is facing, I am definitely going to end up paying higher taxes overall, even while some 83.5 percent of other Marylanders will end up paying less. So how can I claim that this plan is good for me, good for my county and good for Maryland?

Hey, if Lanny Davis is so rich he wants to pay higher taxes, I’m not going to stop him. Maybe the O’Malley tax plan should include one of Mike Huckabee’s good ideas when he was Governor of Arkansas: a tax me more fund.

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First, I believe that most people in Montgomery County, as elsewhere, support the principle of progressive taxation.

Have some numbers to back that up? Nope, didn’t think so. The only possible reason that Davis can possible believe that this is true is the fact that he surrounds himself with like-minded urban liberals who all think that the middle classes should be taxed at a high rate in order to spend more and more on social programs. And I’m willing to bet that these same people Davis knows love the idea of “progressive” taxation when it’s someone else paying the freight,

Some of Montgomery County’s elected officials immediately opposed this income tax increase because, combined with Montgomery’s local add-on income tax of 3.1 percent, it would give county residents a total of 9.7 percent in state and local income taxes.

Hold on: elected officials opposing tax increases? Because it is going to screw their constituents? In Montgomery County? This is supposed to be a bad thing? Are elected officials in this liberal bastion opposed to new taxes? Hallelujah!

Second, despite its image of affluence, Montgomery and other suburban jurisdictions suffer from overcrowded roads and schools. So Mr. O’Malley has proposed a 1 percent increase in the state’s corporate income tax, with the revenues (more than $100 million a year in the next four years) dedicated to transportation and education, including stabilizing college tuition after an increase of more than 50 percent in the last six years, and providing long-term security for the Thornton plan’s multibillion-dollar education investment.

The law of diminishing returns tells us that an increase in the corporate income tax is going to cause businesses to either pump less into the economy, or to bail out of the state completely. That’s to say nothing of the citizens who may sell “the hell with this” and move elsewhere. And we have already talked about the education funding fiasco that is Thornton and general education funding.

It is regressive, because rich and poor pay the same rate. But the governor has compensated for this by offering special tax relief for seniors and the working poor. And few could argue that the extension of the sales tax to tanning and massage services cannot be absorbed by those who use these services.

Some call it “regressive”. Others call it “unfair” because some citizens are treated differently than other citizens. Usually liberals call the treatment of one group of people differently than others”discrimination.” In this case liberals call it “justice.”

All parts of the state and all income groups benefit from different parts of this package. That is its genius.

I’m not seeing how me paying more taxes to fund services I don’t use and I don’t want to pay for benefits me. That’s not genius. And that’s extortion when it is done through additional taxes.

The bottom line: The governor is required, under our state’s constitution, to close a $1.7 billion structural deficit. He has chosen an artful and comprehensive balancing act of spreading the pain and benefits equitably.

The middle class seems to be the one getting most of the pain. Billions in new taxes to cover a deficit and then some; up to $3.6 billion more than necessary to cover the deficit. That’s not leadership; that’s irresponsible fiscal stewardship.

Anybody have a better idea?

Yeah. Cut taxes and cut discretionary spending. Don’t steal from me to buy a Rolls Royce when you can only afford the Pinto. Make intelligent choices. How hard is this basic economics stuff to figure out?

The fact of the matter is that the Administration is acting like the kid in a candy store whose mom is paying them no mind as they ransack the Jolly Rancher bin when the Administration should try and act like a mature, fiscally responsible adult. This robbing Peter to pay Paul stuff has never been fair before, is not fair now, and will never be fair or just. Talking about how “genius” this plan in completely laughable and makes it hard to take Davis seriously at all.

I really don’t know how people who want to take more and more from the overtaxed middle classes can look themselves in the mirror every morning and say that they are doing good for the state of Maryland.


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