Thursday, October 16, 2008

The More Things Change...

Well I couldn't have written it better myself:

"Although last year's historic tax increases were meant to lead to the end of the state's deficit problems... ," begins last night's Kapital-paper's third paragraph (above the fold!) on $350 million in budget cuts being contemplated by the Board of Public Works.

Yes, the Kapital. Even they get it now. It gets better:

"Even if voters approve the slot machines referendum on Nov. 4 Maryland still will have an almost $1.5 billion deficit in fiscal 2011," and billion-plus deficits as far as the eye can see.

I kid you not. And all of this without attribution. No 'he said, she said,' statements of plain fact. Nope. It appears that Liam Farrell has done his homework, getting the cold, hard facts from the state Department of Legislative Services. Getting tired of transcribing press releases, he decided to go out on a limb and state the obvious without having to get a source.

So, in four, count 'em, four short paragraphs of liberal newsprint, the Kapital komes klean. If only we had seen this kind of reporting before "last year's historic tax increases," maybe we would be in better shape today.

It may not be too late, though, to save Maryland from the clutches of Kathy Snyder and her misbegotten band of bring-home-the-bacon buffoons at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce who are pushing for slots. Perhaps she will whisper in voters ears about how wonderful things will be if only we write 15,ooo slot machines into the state constitution. Maybe Ms Snyder can put a pretty face on the ugly lies that the slots lobbying machine has been peddling about concerned citizens like you and me; lies highlighted in a recent UMBC report on the financial and social impact of slots (see

But let's get back to tax increases and their net effect on revenue. I predict that Mr. Farrell will be shocked at a future date when Maryland or some other state where he may be reporting, fails to realize the promised land where the state treasuries are overflowing with treasure from recent historic tax increases. Perhaps he will ask a future Democratic candidate (Ms Snyder?) for high office whether, given the long dismal history of tax increases, the candidate's plan will actually lead to the end of the state's budget deficits.

"Well, Mister...what's your name? Farrell? You see when you raise taxes you take more money in. It's a simple concept. Instead of taking 5 dollars from you, we take 10. That's what we call an increase in revenue."

"But Senator Snyder, in 2007, my readers will recall, Gov. O'Malley and the General Assembly raised taxes exorbitantly. This lead to a net drop in revenue which lead to my paper, the Annapolis Kapital, to run a story that basically repudiates this simple concept. What makes you think it will work this time?"

"Because, Mr. Farnell, in a Snyder administration, I will be doubling the number slot machines and proposing a new amendment to the state constitution that would lift restrictions on where slots can be placed so that, if the people of Severna Park, for instance, don't want to see their gambling dollars being spent in other counties, they can have their very own slots parlor. Doubling the number of slots machines will double the amount of revenue. It's a simple concept."

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