Because they tax. And they spend. So they tax some more, so they can spend some more. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, having failed up from the job of Baltimore mayor, wants to impose a massive new tax on gasoline.
On Monday, the governor announced a proposal to apply the state’s 6 percent sales tax to gasoline.
The state already levies a 23.5-cent gas tax, and the sales tax proposal would be on top of that to generate new revenue for transportation infrastructure needs. The O’Malley administration said the proposal would raise the price of gas by about 6 cents a gallon in the first year, 12 cents in the second year and about 18 cents in the third year.
This, from the same fellow who imposed a tax on millionaires and saw them flee the state in droves. The boy governor evidently hasn’t learned much from that experience.
Here’s what happened, looking back a few years. When times were good and the state’s coffers were full, the Democrats ramped up state spending on all sorts of new social programs. I lived in Maryland at the time, and remember thinking that eventually all this spending would catch up with the state. Now that the economy has turned sour the spending has caught up. Rather than cut back, though, the governor is proposing a new tax that, among other things, will strangle the non-government economy in the ironically nicknamed Free State. Maryland already has a high state income tax, and a high tax burden overall. But it’s lucky in one respect: Its proximity to Washington ensures that it will have an abundant supply of overpaid federal workers to inflate its economy.
Not for the first time, I am so glad I left Maryland when I could. Love the people, the history, the coast and food. The politics leave a whole lot to be desired.