As your next
Delegate, I will work within the Maryland General Assembly to:
- Ensure that it clearly identifies the essential services that
government should fund
a bipartisan consensus on the definition of “pork,” consistently seeking to eliminate wasteful spending
- Find ways to reward government agencies
that become more efficient and do more with less
- Establish a Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which will enable the citizens of Maryland to have a direct
voice when the state government acts to take an excessive portion of their family funds from their paycheck.
- Defeat any state budget that wastes your
tax dollars or spends them irresponsibly.
It is in the area of State Spending that
I take my strongest stand. Maryland’s state economic conditions are in a shambles. Once again, we
find ourselves facing a budget deficit of over $1.7B over the next 2 years from spending that no one seems to be able to control.
But, Maryland does not
have a revenue problem. We collect more than enough money from the citizenry and the businesses of Maryland. In
fact, Maryland has been ranked 4th highest, in the nation, in state and local taxes paid by its citizens per capita.
Our legislature, though, must get its free-spending habits under control! They must no longer consider
taxes to be a resource that government can just use, at will, to meet its increased pork barrel projects or limited-serving
Many legislators say that our budget
problems were solved this year because the federal government rode in on a white horse to save the day. But,
again, nothing about the O’Malley administration’s handling of the federal stimulus package suggests that it is
taking a responsible, future-oriented approach to this problem. The administration has chosen to use the federal “rescue”
funds to temporarily fill the gap and to avoid taking the necessary measures that would resolve the long-term situation—measures
that would offend its core constituencies: State employees; unionized teachers; construction unions; and
selected local governments.
In other areas of the state budget, there’s
been a similar reluctance to face up to the facts about funding requirements. The pet projects of individual
politicians have overridden the real needs of the citizens of our state, which just keep growing: The need
to expand our roads and transportation system, to cover real Medicaid needs in nursing homes, to address the issues of crime
and drug addiction. Instead, funds that should have been used creatively, to provide public works or to
build institutions of enduring value, have been consistently spent on projects with short-term benefits and without any long-lasting
value or impact.
I find this budgetary Ponzi scheme inexcusable.
Much like a family or business, eventually we’re going to have to balance our state budget by setting priorities and
making tough choices. Raising your taxes again, adding user fees, ploys like taking short-term Federal Government hand-outs,
and postponing the decisions can’t be the right solutions.
If elected, I will work with the legislature to find sensible, credible,
long-term solutions that keep our revenues and our appetite for state programs in a proper balance.