DeMarco Gets it Wrong
Last week the Baltimore Sun published my letter to the editor arguing that the rationale behind another cigarette tax increase was weak. Right on cue, lobbyist extraordinaire Vinny DeMarco pens his own letter to the Sun saying I’m wrong. I figured he’d write a rebuttal, and am glad that he now finally spells my name right when painting me as a stooge for Big Tobacco. It took him a few years to get the spelling of my name correct, so maybe it will take him another couple years to get the actual facts about youth tobacco usage correct, too. In order to help him out for the upcoming legislative session, I’ll explain why the numbers he cites in his letter are factually incorrect.
The Culture of Dependency Reaches Far
My MPPI colleague Marta Mossburg wrote a very good op-ed on how we’re becoming the United States of Welfare. While Marta’s op-ed discusses all types of government transfer payments, too often we tend to have a narrow view of those who receive these payments. If we really want to address our culture of dependency, we may be moving into uncomfortable territory for some conservatives.
Preserving Corporate Welfare
Who could be opposed to cutting funds for a government program that subsidizes U.S. corporations’ overseas advertising? I’ll give you two guesses on which U.S. Senators voted against the following amendment to the farm bill: “To reduce funding for the market access program and to prohibit the use of funds for reality television shows, wine tastings, animal spa products, and cat or dog food.” If you guessed Maryland’s senators Mikulski and Cardin, you’d be right.
Leave Soda Ban in New York
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently banned some New York retailers from selling sodas in containers that exceed 16 ounces. While New York City is usually on the forefront of nanny statism, Maryland often follows closely behind. Any Maryland politicians considering following in Bloomberg’s footsteps (and there seems to be a few who are) should leave Marylanders and their soda preferences alone.
The Maryland Journal
Last year, we had the crazy idea to put out a scholarly journal (on top of our other policy work) entitled The Maryland Journal. This year, because we are gluttons for punishment (why else would we continue to advocate for limited government in Maryland?), we’ve done it again. And so, I am pleased to announce that we now have a new edition of The Maryland Journal available online as of today.
The Uselessness of the Minimum Wage
Despite bits of good news on employment in recent months, U.S. demand for labor remains very weak, with more than 40 percent of working-age adults currently jobless. The employment situation has been especially hard on workers with limited education and job skills, because their labor is not of great value to employers.
So It Goes
Polls show about 57% state-wide support for slots in PG County, which means legalizing more gambling sites than we originally planned a couple years ago (when we realized that the state was too broke to worry about silly things whether or not gambling is wrong or if it hurts the poor). I would say that about sums up my feelings too: I really don’t care if we allow gambling or not, but the limited government proponent in me feels like more freedom is generally better. That’s like a 57%.