Beyond Tea-Party Somnambulism!

Posts tagged ‘Maryland’

The Fight To Keep Corporations Paying A Fair Share!

The following is submitted by Guest-Blogger, Burkely Hermann, from Baltimore. He is an online blogger, in his own right, and a student who writes about National, State and International issues, in order to educate the public.

Recently, on my blog, I launched a campaign to combat, what I believe, is a bad proposal that will harm Maryland. Its called the #STOPBS campaign, which comes from the first letters of the sponsors of companion bills in the Maryland House and the Senate. It aims to make the bill that seeks to lower corporate income tax rates in the State, die, effectively telling legislators “it’s not okay.”Most already know that on the Federal level, politicians are trying to lower the Federal corporate income tax rate. But right now, it is happening in people’s backyards, in State legislatures across the country.  Senator David Brinkley (R-Dist. 4), who proposed SB 34, seeks to lower Maryland’s corporate income tax rate from its current 8.25% to 6%, a 2.25% drop! Brinkley, who has gotten campaign contributions, since 2005, from corporate giants, like Bank of America, Comcast, BGE and Constellation PACs (among many others), as I detailed on my blog, believes that such a tax break will make Maryland competitive with the State of Virginia. The sponsor of the same bill in the House, concurs.  HB 261 is sponsored by Del. Kelly Schulz (R-Dist. 4A). Hearings in the House Ways & Means Committee are scheduled for February 26th.

Republican Sen. David Brinkley

Republican Sen. David Brinkley

Conservative Del. Kelly Schulz

Conservative Del. Kelly Schulz

In order to denounce such arguments for this tax break, one must look at what this bill actually does. The net loss in tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2014 would be over $381 million dollars. These cuts in Fiscal Year 2014 would include a decrease in funds for transportation by $63.1 million, most of which goes to the State transportation budget, a decrease in funds for Higher Education by $22.9 million, and a decrease in revenues from local highway users, by  $6.1 million. As a result, the current State budget deficit, which is already insurmountable, would increase, and $37,000 dollars would be needed just to notify the 62,000 corporate filers in the State about the new rate reduction. All of these numbers are thanks to a report by the Department of Legislative Services on the matter. To summarize, these cuts would hurt students, as well as reduce the amount of money going to maintain an already failing infrastructure, which will make matters worse, and local governments, which are already feeling budget cuts.

Michael Hudson explained this in a CounterPunch article he wrote last August: “Unlike the U.S. federal government, most states and cities have constitutions that prevent them from running budget deficits. This means that when they cut property taxes, they either must borrow from the wealthy, or cut back employment and public services…Cities are defaulting from California to Alabama…This has become the main cause of America’s rising unemployment, helping drive down consumer demand… Most urban revenue is a free lunch created by taxpayer-financed roads, schools, sewers and water systems….State and local pension funds are $3 trillion behind because they are only making 1% returns these days…Debt-ridden austerity and downsizing government is being urged as if it is inevitable, not a policy choice to put bondholders and the 1% over the 99% – a reward for the lobbying money it has spent on buying politicians and misleading voters, to believe that cutting property taxes and cutting taxes on the rich will help the economy.” Hudson proposes that we default, but I believe there is something more imperative that we must deal with.

Times are tough for Americans. Nearly half of America is at or near the poverty level.  Cases of individuals suffering from depression have increased in areas affected by SuperStorm Sandy. Youths, from 5th to 12th grades, are optimistic about their future, but adults are not so sure, according to recent Gallup polls. This is not the time for corporations to get a tax break. People are suffering and justice is not furthered by corporations not paying a fair share in taxes. Simply put, it is matter of fairness, equity and justice. They can cough up the money. They can stay afloat. There is no danger there. Over the past few years, corporations have been hoarding cash, and now hold more cash than ever before.

This is why I urge you to help spread this message, far and wide, across Maryland, by signing this petition, telling your legislators you want corporations in Maryland to pay their fair share of taxes and not to reduce the current tax rates. Share this with your friends; tell everyone you know about it. If enough people are mobilized, we can stop this in its tracks and let legislators know that now is the time to create jobs, invest in schools and improve infrastructure, not lower taxes for corporate entities!

The GOP Strategy…Keep The Truth Secret!

The following is a post that is circulating in the online LTE sections of small-town papers around the State.  It appears to be from a “local” writer, but I think it is clearly a piece of Bongino

Dan Bongino – An “outsider”, born in NYC and a resident of MD for a couple of years!

campaign literature.  I have responded to it online and added my response in the Comments section.

There is an old saying which states “liberal policies care about the poor in theory- it’s the real poor they have a problem with”. Having spent many years in poverty as a child, I am intimately familiar with the pain of hunger and the burning desire for a better tomorrow. I will not be lectured by elites about their intentionally cryptic notions of “fairness”. It is my personal relationship with a past filled with painful memories of waking up hungry and the realization that it wasn’t just a bad dream that motivates me to confront an ideology that has imprisoned generations in an endless state of poverty. This sentence, imposed by decades of bureaucratic mismanagement, is marketed to the disadvantaged among us as a “gift” from self-anointed political philanthropists.

I refuse to accept the misguided notion, blindly propagated by institutional elites, that the political party best representing the interests of struggling lower income communities is the liberal wing of the Democratic party. When I analyze the issues I encounter most on the campaign trail, the economy and healthcare, I am deeply troubled by the quality issues in our prize city of Baltimore.

The Baltimore economy has been struggling to attract new businesses for decades. An exodus of tens of thousands of its citizens has not helped, as those leaving have taken their intellectual capital with them. A litany of new taxes and a “bureaucracy first, people second” approach to governing has led to an environment where the remaining citizens are viewed simply as tools to support the bureaucracy rather than the inverse. A well written op-ed piece by Steve Hanke and Stephen Walters in the Wall Street Journal on this very subject uses this stunning statistic which sums up the utter failure of Baltimore’s reliance on liberal economic ideology, “in 1950, the city’s median income was 7% above the national average. Today it is 22% below it.”

To add to the economic absurdity, the Mayor of Baltimore has now raised the “temporary” bottle tax, as if the chimerical dreams of a flourishing economy and streams of tax revenue were simply being subdued by the tax rate and not the underlying economic principles. We as Republicans must walk proudly into these communities, as I regularly do, and profess our ideas for growth, which are blind to socioeconomic class. I refuse to accept that a proud city, with infrastructure, public transit, access to the northeast corridor, a world class port and proximity to another major metropolitan area (Washington D.C.), should be relegated to a second class economy. I will not stand idle, while the good citizens of this great city are subjected to another minute of this “ignore the results” ideology.

With thousands of struggling lower income citizens utilizing Medicaid as a primary means of seeking access to healthcare, and ever increasing enrollment into the program, one would think, absent the facts, that the program serves the poor well. With their numerous speeches about “fairness” and “equality” it is easy to see why so many are misled. However, when we look again at the actual results of their “generosity” with our money, the story changes dramatically. An oft quoted University of Virginia study has shed light on the results on this program. The statistic that should ring alarm bells reads, a Medicaid recipient is 97% more likely to die after surgery than a person with private insurance. Wait, it gets much worse, a Medicaid recipient is 13% more likely to die after surgery than a person with no insurance at all. In what dictionary does this suffice as a definition of “help”?

With this piece I ask, rather I implore those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale; please vote for change in 2012. Please allow us a shot at repairing decades of damage to your economy, your education system and your access to quality healthcare. Vote for change and hold us accountable. The worst possible outcome would be more of the same and you have a subsequent election to change it back if dissatisfied. Please stop going on blind dates in the voting booth. I will not stop sounding the siren and will fight for every vote in every Maryland community. And for those who continue to tell me I am wasting my time I ask you, “what are you doing to fight for those who need us most?”

Dan Bongino is the Republican nominee for United States Senate in Maryland

 

Rep. Andy Harris’ Response To The President’s Jobs Proposal

The following is Rep. Andy Harris’ (R-MD) response to the President’s speech to the Joint Session of Congress.  Excuse me, Mr. Congressman, but you have GOT to be kidding, right?  You must be drinking at the Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rick Perry (R-TX) trough, where minimum wage (and less) jobs are king and migrant workers are preferred over American teens.  I challenge the Congressman to tell us what “job creators” he spoke to on the Boardwalk: the arcades, the temporary food vendors, the seasonal musicians…WHO?

"We need more Boardwalk Job Creators!"

The “Job Creators” on the Boardwalk bring in part-timers (no benefits) from foreign countries (THAT’S the way to support the youth of America) who, at the end of the summer, either go back to their countries or stay and go to school here.  Meanwhile the “Job Creators” close up their Boardwalk enterprises and kick back for the winter, while collecting unemployment benefits.  GOOD WORK IF YOU CAN FIND IT, HUH, CONGRESSMAN?  Oh, wait…you did!

President Obama’s Jobs Plan: Stimulus II 

“Over Labor Day weekend, I met with many small business owners on the Ocean City Boardwalk – a common theme I heard from those potential job creators was their desire to get government out of the way so that they could do what they do best: grow their businesses and create American jobs.  President Obama’s newest spending plan is nothing more than a second Stimulus bill.  Just like the first Stimulus passed by the previous Congress, it will not create jobs, but instead delay recovery, increase the debt and grow the size of government.  I believe that common sense ideas like a balanced budget amendment, elimination of job-destroying regulations and making America energy independent will create American jobs and get us out of this recession.”

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