While 'The Guv' Was Gone, He Was Doing State Good

THE WAY IT IS

March 31, 1991|By Jeff Griffith

"Well, the legislators got another piece of the Guv."

"Huh?"

"Yeah, the Guv is always runnin' off all over the world when he should stay home and take care of problems here."

"When did he do that?"

"Aren't you paying attention? The guv went off to Kuwait twoweeks ago. The president of the state Senate said he shoulda stood at home. And the speaker of the House of Delegates said the Guv shouldn't have gone neither. He said the Guv shoulda stood at home and helped the poor people here."

"Help the poor people? Good Lord! When the governor got back and submitted his supplemental budget, the legislature wouldn't even introduce it. That budget contained funds for kidney dialysis and developmentally disabled people and for additional staff at the state hospitals. The supplemental budget included money for food for expectant mothers and for infants who could end up malnourished. Who's trying to take care of the so-called poor people?"

"Well, not the Guv. He shouldn't have spent all that money running off to the Middle East."

"What money? The entire trip was covered bythe Kuwaitis. 140 people went, including 12 members of Congress and the CEOs of 60 major corporations from all over the U.S. Our governorwas the only governor invited."

"Big deal. He should have been here. The legislature had important business to do."

"Really? Name one thing the legislature did while the governor was away. Name one thing the legislature has done all year. Besides, he was only gone two working days."

"Well, at least they killed that stupid Linowes taxincrease."

"Yep. That was a brilliant move. They killed a comprehensive tax reform package that would have helped the poor and the middle class. Then the Senate started to nickel and dime us to death with a cigarette tax and a snack tax.

"Both of those were in the Linowes package, for cryin' out loud. But they don't make sense without the rest of the package. Then the House passed a capital gains tax. That makes sense -- an increase in the capital gains taxes just stiflesinvestment. That means fewer jobs. That will surely help the poor and the middle class.

"I seem to remember that the governor asked for a snack tax last year and the legislature not only said no, the legislature said hell no. The governor wanted to target the money for the developmentally disabled. Now we have the snack tax, but money for the disabled is dead. That makes sense, too, eh?

"OK, but the Guv still shoulda stood at home. What good does he do flying all over?"

"Look at it this way: 60 CEOs and our governor go to Kuwait. Our governor has a personal invite from the Kuwaiti ambassador. President Bush even gives personal approval before our governor can go -- probably security reasons.

"The Kuwaitis expect to spend somewhere between $150 billion and $200 billion on rebuilding. Of that amount, they figure 70 percent will go to U.S. firms. Of the 50 states in the U.S., which one do you figure has the inside track? Not North Dakota, pal. Now our state has a shot at business that could mean megabucks for Maryland businesses. Not a bad two days work."

"Phooey. The trip was just another grandstand play by Willie Don."

"Listen, bozo, thegovernor was invited because the ambassador was impressed by his offer of volunteer medical support. Over 200 of our local doctors and RNs offered to go to Kuwait to provide free medical care. The governor delivered that message on behalf of those good citizens. Obviously, the ambassador was impressed by both the attitude of our medical community and the attitude of our governor.

"And one more thing. If theleaders of our legislature are angry because our governor had the golden opportunity to attract some serious money to our state, how do you imagine the legislators feel in the other 49 states? Their governors got to stay home, their governors got no shot.

"Our governor atleast got to play. And that's the way it is."

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