Fitting that Gov. O’Malley’s 2012 State of the State address was spewed forth on the eve of Groundhog Day. Just as Phil Connors – the Bill Murray character in the movie named for the annual celebration of the weather rodent – finds himself reliving the same day over and over again, the citizens of Maryland are caught in the same nightmarish warp when it comes to the preaching and performance by this state’s highest elected official.
Wednesday, as Maryland’s lamest of ducks tried to convince the rest of his badelynge (along with the citizenry and more ambassadors than a U.N. brunch) that the state of his state is strong and steadily improving, the Guvnah dipped into his well-worn bag of political cliches in an attempt to convince one-and-all why he must deep-sea dive into our pockets yet again.
One’s first thought may have been: ‘If this General Assembly tries to get in my pants one more time I’m filing sexual harassment charges,’ but after hearing – nay, enduring – the nearly 35-minute assault on both our intelligence and our bank accounts one’s immediate reaction would be that ‘we’ve heard it all before.’
We’ve heard about the state’s desire to create jobs (at least 30 times during an address that sounded more like a lecture); we’ve heard about the importance of astronomical education spending; we’ve heard the fictional accounts of all the spending that was supposedly cut; and we’ve heard all about the ‘tough choices’ that have been made to help close a more than $1 billion budget gap created by those who are now attempting to fix it.
Tough choices? What’s so difficult about using the power of government to confiscate more of the taxpayers’ dollars?
The most difficult decision this governor has made is which synonym to use to mask the words ‘taxes’ and ‘fees,’ and it seems as if he’s decided that ‘investments,’ ‘enhanced investments’ and ‘balanced approach’ will suffice in fooling an electorate that – in spite of our high “education ranking” – our government seems to think is as bass-ackwards as Jethro Bodine.
Remember: whenever a liberal uses the word ‘balance’ what he/she really means is ‘higher taxes.’
After President Obama’s State of the Union address Yahoo published an article that described his speech as written for those at an eighth grade reading level. Comparatively, O’Malley’s sermon must have been composed with elementary schoolers in mind.
“Bridges are not like trees,” the governor enlightened us; “they do not grow stronger with age.”
Well, tunnels are not like daffodils either, Mr. O’Malley (daffodils come back each spring – tunnels have their tolls raised on a whim) and neither one of those inane observations explains why your past tax increase efforts have not delivered as promised.
Tree images as traffic infrastructure do not explain why the transportation trust fund has been raided to the tune of billions of dollars. Foliage metaphors do not clarify the failure of an increased sales tax (in 2007) in fixing this state’s fiscal disaster. Shrubbery similes fall a bit short when defending the need to increase tolls and auto registration fees; both of which were raised to help mend the broken infrastructure that now can only be fixed by an increase in the gas tax.
For six years running we have heard the same tired tale over and over ad nauseum: just one more tax and our kids will be smarter, our roads will be smoother, our sky will be bluer, business will spring from the ground like so many wildflowers and of course, the mighty Unicorn will return from extinction to wander the green groves of Maryland that were saved through smart growth.
Slots were to have accomplished all that – as was the Millionaire’s tax, the increase in the corporate tax, the cigarette tax, land recording and birth certificate fee increases, the raising of home improvement licensing fees, the alcohol sales tax, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
And now the next pile being shoveled across the stable floor is that an increase in the gas tax will really truly accomplish what the other umpteen taxes failed to do.
And one wonders why we feel like the leading actors in a Hollywood comedy.
In 2011’s SOTS address this governor asked “everyone to do more.” In 2012 he wants “increased investments by all of us.”
In 2011 we were told that the tough choices would move our state forward. In 2012 we were told that the minimal movement of our state was the fault of George W. Bush.
In 2011 we were told that the “most important job we create is the next one,” and in 2012 we were told “the most important job we create is the next job.”
What we haven’t been told – in 2007 through 2012 - is why the most genuine thing about Martin O’Malley is his disingenuousness.
And on top of all the other septic swill seeping from that Cistern on the Severn there comes a plan to help bankrupt all of Maryland’s local governments through a dumping of the bloated pension costs on to their books.
Translated: O’Malley already went through the Federal Stimulus dollars like the pre-colonoscopy PEG solution goes through the intestines so now he wants to grab on to local revenue with the same post-mortem clutch Charlton Heston has on his gun.
Just for fun let us enter the governor’s world of make-believe and pretend that we are on the road to recovery. Let’s say that many of our fellow citizens are climbing out of the hole caused by the fiscal mismanagement perpetrated by both the government and Wall Street. Let’s imagine that the creation of more government jobs is a stupendous accomplishment.
If one does drift into that world of ‘Believe” then one has to ask: why would the leader (and I use that term loosely) of this state take this opportunity to put his foot on top of his citizens’ collective heads and push them back in the ditch through an overwhelming assortment of taxes and fees?
Because this is what politicians like O’Malley, Senate President Mike Miller, and Speaker Michael Busch do: they burgle our money so we can pay for more government.
It happens to be who they are – especially when they’re backed by one-party rule that is just as adept at thievery as they are.
In the film, Phil Connors awakens on February 3 to find the time loop has broken. His repetitious existence has finally changed.
In O’Malley’s groundhog world nothing ever changes – and don’t get your hopes up as February 2, 2015 approaches. The next “balanced approach” governor is already being groomed, and given the only thing that matters to Maryland’s Democratic Party is raising taxes we’ll be reliving this movie for many years to come.