Originally published November 18, 2008
In his commentary "O'Malley, Dems taking heat unfairly," Delegate Galen Clagett argues that Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly have adequately controlled government spending, and the recently enacted $1.4 billion tax is alleviating the state's budget deficit.
On his first point, O'Malley has in fact increased government spending. According to the non-partisan Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the governor's first budget increased spending by 5.6 percent and his second budget increased spending by 3.7 percent. It's also important to note that O'Malley raided $1 billion from the state's rainy day fund to fund his first budget.
On Clagett's second point, O'Malley is trying to dig out of a budget deficit by obtaining a larger tax shovel. The Maryland Comptroller's Office has already projected that the revenue gains from the tax increases will be almost $500 million less than expected. In fact, income tax, sales tax, and tobacco tax revenues are all down. To quote Ronald Reagan, "When you tax something, you get less of it."
The lesson we can learn from this is: High tax rates discourage consumer spending, business production, and ultimately lead to decreased tax revenues.
Authority Hough for Delegate, JoeyLynn Hough, Treasurer