Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 23, 2013

Beware of Maryland governor

(Continued)

The Washington Post and Politico place him in the top tier of Democratic candidates vying for the White House in 2016, or at least vice president if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to run.

He's been working hard to be in that pack. In the last two years alone he won big battles in the state legislature to allow same sex marriage, give some illegal immigrants in-state tuition, end the death penalty, underwrite an offshore wind farm, ban certain guns, and make gun licensing requirements stricter. He also pushed to raise the gas tax, and won. It is one of the 37 tax and fee hikes enacted during his administration totaling $3.1 billion, according to research by Change Maryland.

Through executive order he has also limited growth in rural counties, along with property, income, and sales taxes in those areas to push development into areas friendlier to "transit-oriented development" - otherwise known as government-directed development or more simply, crony capitalism.

In his words, it means the government is not going to subsidize "stupid land use decisions."

Gov. O'Malley says he is not driven by ideology but by what "works." As he said in a recent Politico article, "We're not arguing for bigger government. We're arguing for more effective government, and also smarter investments."

But everything he calls for means bigger, more expensive government - without an economic payoff for the masses.

The state needs to add 157,000 jobs to get back to pre-recession levels of the percentage of people working, according to the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, and has lost about 6,500 small businesses since he took office. The state also consistently ranks near the bottom of surveys on business friendliness and was put on a credit watch by Moody's because of its dependence on the federal government, "above average debt burden and large unfunded pension liabilities relative to the size of its economy."

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