Cennamology Chief Editor
It cannot be forgotten all the great things the O'Malley/Brown administration has done for our state. From decriminalizing marijuana, to the Dream Act, to the death penalty repeal, and (most important of all, in my opinion) successfully bringing marriage equality to Maryland.
However, on the other hand, they have went a little overboard on the whole taxes thing, to the point where tax payers liberal, moderate, and conservative have become weary. I am currently working on two campaigns in Maryland, and I phone bank for both of them. From those phone banks, I know that it is extremely rare to find a Marylander who does not think the state's taxes are too high. I should add that almost all of the voters who I have called and talked to are registered Democrats.
Because of this, Maryland is in need for a little change. Anthony Brown, who would just be a continuation of what we have now, is an admirable person who has done a lot for the state, but Doug Gansler is the change Maryland needs. This is in no small part due to his tax plan.
Brown using these clips in his negative ads is a smart move politically, because usually Democrats are opposed to lowering taxes on corporations. But when you think about it, Gansler's corporate tax plan is what Maryland needs in the upcoming years.
One reason Maryland needs to lower its corporate tax rate is because of the recent minimum wage increase to $10.10 over the period of four years (by July 1, 2018), which Gansler supported. In the past, when states raised their minimum wages, it was accompanied by tax cuts for businesses large and small, so they could use the money they would otherwise have used to pay taxes to pay their employees a better wage. This way, businesses could comply with the wage increase and not have to downsize. The O'Malley administration did not do this when they passed the wage increase. The wage increase was a good idea and it will greatly benefit workers who are currently not making a livable wage, but passing it without tax cuts for all businesses is risky. Gansler's plan is needed in order for the wage increase to be a success for both employers and employees.
If taxes are not lowered on businesses large and small, many will have to reduce staff in order to comply - a common criticism of minimum wage increases. Studies have shown that after states have raised their minimum wage, there is usually an slight decrease in the unemployment rate, contrary to what many expect. However, as tax cuts have usually followed wage increases, this case may end up being different for Maryland. If Gansler wins and his tax plan is passed, Maryland will be a model for the nation when it comes to minimum wage laws, proving that progressive philosophy works.
Another reason Gansler's plan is needed is to change the perception that Maryland is not a friendly place for businesses. A cornerstone of Gansler's campaign is to make the state competitive with Virginia again, which often tops the lists of most business-friendly states. Maryland is a great place to live and work, the best in the country in my opinion, but to an outsider unfamiliar with the state, it appears to be a place where the taxes go up whenever the sun rises. Also, a recent Gallup poll showed that almost 50 percent of Maryland residents would move if they could because of the taxes. Gansler is the candidate who wants to change this perception, both internal and external. And with his plan to phase the tax cuts in over three years, the revenue to the state will be protected in the meantime.
It must be pointed out that Brown's ads calling Gansler a fake Democrat, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, are simply false exaggerations. Just because Gansler is the only candidate talking seriously about cutting taxes does not make him a proponent of the trickle-down voodoo that Republicans are so fond of. He knows that in order for tax cuts to actually lead to better wages for workers is to have a minimum wage increase, so businesses do not just use those tax cuts to pad their executives' pockets. He knows that there is a limit to how many tax increases the state's population can take, and he knows that the current administration has exceeded that limit. He knows that tax cuts are necessary to change the perception of Maryland many outsiders have, preventing many from coming to this great state to start a business. There is no way to expand the tax base when people from outside and inside the state are afraid to start businesses here.
Many Democrats see Gansler as the "moderate" in the race. In reality, he is a fellow pragmatic progressive, knowing that the core of Progressivism is not overtaxing, and that many progressive policies must be implemented with tax cuts. Not only is he the candidate who will be most able to manage Maryland's finances, but he also supported marriage equality before Anthony Brown, supported the minimum wage increase before Anthony Brown, and supported the campaign of President Obama before Anthony Brown. Therefore, anybody calling Gansler a fake Democrat needs to get their facts straight.
Just because Gansler attracts support from people from both parties does not mean that he is not a real Democrat. It just means that his views are more attractive to a wider variety of citizens. Maryland needs Doug Gansler's plan, and that's why Maryland Democrats should not buy the "fake Democrat" painting of Gansler that Brown is selling.