Raise gasoline taxes in a recession? That's crazy!

March 03, 2011

How much proof do the citizens of Maryland need that our legislators are out of touch with reality? At a time when gas prices are rising 10 cents to 20 cents per gallon per week, we hear that the state legislature is thinking about raising Maryland's gas tax. Why not kick us when we are down?

Year after year the legislature has demonstrated fiscal irresponsibility by assuming that the economy is going to always function at a high level and increasing spending accordingly. Local jurisdictions should have anticipated an economic slowdown and planned for their infrastructure needs, but what do they do? They run to the state for a handout because that is what they have always done. They have never had a need to curtail spending because the state always bailed them out.

Now the economy has slowed to a crawl, and what do our legislators do? They raid the transportation trust fund instead of cutting back spending. Why? Because that is what they have always done when they could run to the federal government for a handout.

This is the kind of irresponsible behavior that created massive unfunded pension liabilities throughout the country and in our own state, but what do we taxpayers do? We keep electing the same irresponsible tax-and-spend legislators over and over. This is proof positive that a one-party state is dysfunctional and not operating in the best interests of the people.

It is time for the local jurisdictions to stop whining and going to the state for handouts, and it is time for the state to stop whining and going to the federal government for handouts. Wake up people, the gravy train is over!

Bill Countess, Abingdon

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