Just a 64 percent tax hike from O'Malley?

October 24, 2011

As readers of The Sun for over 40 years, we have never read a letter to the editor composed with such animosity than the recent letter from William Smith ("Gas tax brings out whiners," Oct. 19). Being high net worth individuals, we can easily afford another $3 to fill our gas tanks if, in his complete stupidity, Gov. Martin O'Malley gets away with adding 15 cents to the existing 23.5 cents per gallon we pay.

After all, it's only a mere 63.8 percent increase. If we remember correctly, Mr. O'Malley ran on a no tax increase platform. What part of increasing the tax on gasoline by 63.8 percent is not an increase?

Mr. O'Malley is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall in fiscal 2013, and this is an attempt to fix his shortfall. However, Mr. O'Malley took nearly $100 million from the Transportation Trust Fund to balance this year's budget. The jobs that he wants to add by raising the gas tax by 63.8 percent could have been added if he didn't drain $700 million from this fund the previous two fiscal years. What is he doing with the funds collected for tag renewals, license renewals, highway tolls that he's increasing, and I could go on and on. Not even our real estate taxes have decreased even though our home has lost 40 percent of its value.

We have never received much benefit from the tax dollars we paid into public education in this state. Our son went to private school, which was paid for by his parents and not with a tuition break like the one he favors giving illegal immigrants (another O'Malley abomination). As far as Social Security benefits that we'll receive, we have been payroll taxes for over 40 years in order to receive this benefit. Mr Smith, Social Security is not "free" — it's been deducted from every paycheck we've earned.

Mr. Smith seems ready to send everyone that doesn't agree with him to "Outer Mongolia." Well, we think he should lead the parade out of Maryland and take Governor O'Malley with him. And, for the record, Mr. Smith, gasoline prices are headed higher, not lower, and it hurts the low income earners in Maryland, not the conservative millionaires.

Mr. Smith should definitely not go to Washington or Annapolis, but straight to "Outer Mongolia." I just wonder how much in taxes Mr. O'Malley would charge for that trip.

Steve and Ginny Phillips

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