From Senator Nancy Jacobs, Minority Leader (Cecil/Harford):
The voting records of Maryland’s elected officials on supporting business have just been released. That survey by Maryland Business for Responsive Government ironically comes just as Maryland learns it ranks dead last in job growth last year.
Governor O’Malley claimed his priority was “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” during the legislative session. But, U.S. Department of Labor numbers for May put our state last in job expansion. Democrats must change their mindset. Lip service isn’t enough. They must vote to help business expand in this down economy.
The numbers certainly won’t surprise Marylanders who’ve been searching desperately for work. When those job seekers apply for a position they discover they are vying against hundreds of other candidates. And we are not speaking about the chronically unemployed here.
We must ask the Governor and all Maryland Democrats, isn’t it finally time to become truly business friendly? Take a look at the Democrats rankings this year from the business group: http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102875309002-24/Roll_Call_11final_6.22.11.pdf. I am honored to receive a 100 percent ranking. Other Republican’s fare well too. Notice that Democrats have dropped significantly in their support of business compared to the same survey in the past.
Governor O’Malley would have you believe Maryland fared better than other states through this extended recession. But the dependency on state and federal jobs won’t keep our state afloat anymore. Governments are being forced to finally shrink as the private sector did years ago. Despite this, the O’Malley Administration and democrat leadership in Annapolis chose to increase fees and taxes this year, rather than facing the hard facts and cutting spending. For business to grow we can’t have business as usual.
There are better solutions but it will take creativity and thinking outside the box. Some of them might alienate traditional Democrat voters, but let’s lead and not pander. How about using the scalpel to slice entitlements; cuts never considered palatable in the past.
Let’s also commit to no new taxes! The Maryland legislature passed an alcohol tax this session which takes effect July 1. That will hurt business. Liquor stores which border other states say they won’t be able to compete when people can easily avoid the new tax a few miles away. Even non-border liquor stores and bars across the state will suffer from this new tax.
Now a gas tax hike may be considered at a special legislative session this fall. What a horrible time to talk about increasing the cost at the pump when families are struggling and businesses that ship goods are trying say alive.
In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell is keeping taxation, regulation and litigation at a minimum, and its working. Our companies may leave Maryland for Virginia now. Take a lesson from that state; be more business friendly. Our companies will stay and expand and other companies will want to come.