Delegate Mike McDermott's opinion: Maryland's business climate needs replenishing
August 28, 2013
Maryland’s governor made an appearance on the Ocean City Boardwalk the other day to laud the success of the beach replenishment program, which began 25 years ago.
If only the other problems faced by our state received the same attention, we would be like Virginia — dealing with billion-dollar surpluses instead of deficits.
Perhaps beach erosion is easier to see, but similar destruction is apparent elsewhere across Maryland for those who care to look.
The erosion of Maryland businesses more closely resembles Ocean City when the Inlet was formed; our response has been lackluster.
When Gov. Martin O’Malley and
his Senate choir took over from the Bob Ehrlich administration, Maryland had risen to No. 26 in the rankings as a state in which to do business.
That ranking has now fallen near the bottom of the barrel at No. 41.
If Ocean City had received similar attention 25 years ago, Ocean Pines could be advertising ocean-view property. When the situation dictated business relief, the liberal-progressive response was to increase the regulatory environment. Instead of reducing the tax burden, they doubled down in every imaginable way.
In fact, the past seven years has seen 72 tax and fee increases signed into law. The same folks who seem to understand the effects of storm surge and high winds on a strip of sand can’t seem to make a connection between a weak economy and the severe stress being leveled against business and industry in Maryland.
You pump sand onto the beach, not away from it. Maryland has been taking from businesses and, at the same time, reducing the amount of discretionary dollars in the pockets of consumers.
Compare this approach with other states in our region. The Democratic plan for Maryland’s economic development is welcome news to surrounding states whose ratings already reflect better policies: Delaware is No. 14; Pennsylvania, No. 19; West Virginia, No. 23; and Virginia, No. 27.
We should be leading the way with natural gas development and exportation; instead, we opt for a moratorium, costing us billions. We should have protected our grain and poultry farming interests, yet we are watching the decline of both with each new storm surge of regulations.
We should be sheltering our families from these destructive economic winds, not taking more from their paychecks.
Maryland’s Democratic leaders keep government interests afloat at the expense of all else.
A 29 percent increase in spending during the worst recession in our history is absurd.
They believe government spending will result in job creation.
By that theory, we should pump sand from the beach out into the ocean so we can achieve replenishment.
Increasing taxes on income, sales, gasoline, electricity, rain and septic do not “replenish” our people.
Fee increases for businesses from 50 percent to more than 500 percent do not “restore” our economy.
“Erosion” is apparently in the eye of the beholder, but O’Malley and his Senate Democrats must have sand in their eyes if they are missing all of these signs.
Mike McDermott represents District 38B in the Maryland House of Delegates.