Politicians' answer to any problem: Tax more

January 11, 2012

I was not surprised there was not one word about any plans to cut government spending during the upcoming 2012 legislative session in your recent report ("A big 'to do' list in Annapolis," Jan. 9). That's because there are no plans.

It is just not in Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch's DNA to cut state spending and relax the government's footprint on taxpayers' backs to fix the estimated $1 billion state revenue shortfall this year.

Clearly, the big tax fight this session will be the proposed gasoline tax hike. Governor O'Malley seems to want a 15-cent increase (64 percent), while Senate President Miller wants a 10-cent (43 percent) hike to the current 23.5-cent tax. Speaker Busch has fudged his position on the proposed increase; I suspect he is testing the winds for re-election.

Should a gasoline tax increase be passed, everyone, whether you buy gasoline or not, will pay the increase through higher costs for goods such as food. Manufacturers' and suppliers' transportation costs will rise, and they will just pass the increase on to consumers. Those who buy gasoline will pay twice; Once at the gas pump and once at the store.

The politicians' fix for any problem is always the same: Tax more. And to our detriment, we continue to pay the tax increases while re-electing these same people.

Ron Wirsing, Havre de Grace

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