In order to advance a liberal political agenda and appeal to voters, Democrats have been busy promising more and bigger giveaways at the expense of American middle class and small businesses. This can be observed at every level – locally in Montgomery County, at the state level in Maryland, and nationwide at the Federal level.
One of the richest counties in the country, Montgomery County is running a shortfall of $238 million. Instead of having a sound approach to the budget and eliminating wasteful spending, Executive Leggett (D ), ultra-liberal Council members, Democratic Congressional Representatives Delaney and Van Hollen all push for more spending, such as a light rail Purple Line and Bus Rapid Transit System in Montgomery County. Together, the projects will cost at least $4.4 billion dollars. Though there is very little public information available on the projects, Forbes magazine reported that the Purple Line initially was estimated to cost $2.4 billion and the costs exceed its benefits. Unfortunately, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) refuses to release to the public the software that they used to estimate the cost. The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) will require at least another $2 billion. Unfortunately, the confused Montgomery County Council doesn’t know what to tell the public about who will finance it and how to justify these projects. Councilman Berliner suggested that the BRT would be piecemeal. He said, “we will focus on MD. 355 and U.S. 29. This we can do.” However, Councilman Elrich has another solution how to pay for the projects – impose a special property tax on already overburdened businesses in the county.
Montgomery County Delegates, State Senators and Governor O’Malley (all Democrats) have already increased Maryland’s gas taxes to pay for half of the Montgomery County transportation projects. Recently, on January 1, 2015, our gas taxes were increased again by 3.5 cents. Thus, total 31 cents/gallon MD gas tax + 18.4 cents federal gas tax = 49.4 cents/ gallon. Moreover, the Bus Rapid Transit System will only lead to further congestion in suburbs of Washington, DC. Montgomery County elected officials have a history of failed and over budget transportation projects like the Silver Spring Transit Center that are rarely covered by the national and local media. In 1993, the initial estimates of the project were $26 million. In 2013 it was increased to $120 million and recently to $141. 2 million the project is still under construction and four years behind schedule with the State and Federal governments picking up the tab.
On the state level, O’Malley left behind a fiscal mess to welcome newly sworn in Governor Hogan with over an $802 million shortfall in the state budget, despite 40 tax increases including O’Malley’s signature “Rain” tax on Marylanders. Nonetheless, when O’Malley’s lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown ran against Larry Hogan in the past election, he promised universal free pre-school with no means of financing it.
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On the federal level, President Obama in his recent State of the Union speech said he wants community colleges to be free. However, his budget proposes to tax middle class 529 college saving accounts. He also wants universal pre-K but there are no funds proposed for it. Obama failed to address for the nation how he plans to cut the budget deficit and grow our economy. Instead he was pondering Representative Delaney’s (MD-6) infrastructure act (Partnership to Build America Act) that initially was introduced in 2014 and reintroduced again in January 2015 in the House that will cost the U.S. government $70-$100 million in tax breaks to multinational corporations that earned income overseas.
Currently, the U.S. has over $18 trillion in debt, over $120 trillion unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), 11 million people on disability, and 51 million on food stamps. Our debt is not sustainable. We are standing at the cliff of a debt crisis, yet Democrats are saying yes to free stuff and no to budget cuts so we can put our fiscal house in order. By acquiring more debt we are not only destroying the future of our children and the retirement for our older generation, but also risking the confidence of other nations in the U.S. dollar. Our monetary system is completely based on trust and confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to meet its obligations.
The world is watching us. Global economic growth is slowing and other significant economies are about to enter a recession phase. Chinese officials are already preparing their citizens for upcoming economic hardship. At the same time China is the biggest US debt holder (over $3 trillion), yet their citizens don’t have even close to the benefits that US residents have. We should consider whether such countries will be able or willing to sponsor Democrats’ irresponsible spending.