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By Kendel Ehrlich | March 29, 2012
Next Tuesday, Marylanders will cast their votes in the Republican presidential primary. Considering the critical challenges facing our nation - unchecked out-of-control spending, runaway entitlement programs, staggering unemployment numbers, skyrocketing gas prices, extremist threats, and a fragile-at-best economy - this may be the most important election of our lifetime. We all know that America has to do more than "hope" for "change," and that's why I am backing Mitt Romney.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
Hiring by Maryland's largest employer — the federal government — has fallen by more than 40 percent nationally over four years, and the state's job market is feeling the pain. Years of tightening budgets have brought federal hiring to the lowest levels in at least a decade. And each month for more than a year, Maryland has posted a decrease in federal employment from the previous year, creating a drag on overall employment. The decline in federal jobs has been a major contributor to Maryland's spotty employment performance in recent months.
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NEWS
August 21, 2013
As a Maryland resident and advocate for increased business opportunities for small and minority businesses struggling to survive in today's uncertain economy, I find the recent article about the State Highway Administration's Sign Shop fabricating 8,500 to 9,500 signs per year troubling ("Sign shop helps you on your way," Aug. 17). There are many private sector sign shops in Maryland that should be doing this work. Making signs is not a legitimate function of government. This is an example of government in-sourcing at its worst where the government has no business being in this business and taking away jobs from small and minority businesses.
NEWS
August 22, 2014
The news about Maryland's rather disastrous economy is not at all surprising ( "Maryland sees one of nation's largest job declines in July," Aug. 18). For almost eight years, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown have orchestrated the devastation of the Maryland private sector including the loss of the bulk of our Fortune 500 companies and thousands of small businesses, the Draconian increases in state taxes and fees while average personal income has significantly decreased, the dramatically expanded regulation of commercial activities by incompetent bureaucrats who administer programs that mostly are counterproductive and/or senseless, the departure from Maryland of thousands of high-income citizens seeking employment and entrepreneurial opportunities widely available elsewhere, and a growing disconnect between education and employment.
NEWS
December 13, 2012
Your Thursday article concerning Social Security workers complaining about pay raises ("Facing the fiscal cliff," Dec. 6) shows how these employees feel entitled because they are federal employees. They fail to realize the private sector is also encountering pay freezes, increases in health insurance and layoffs. Private sector employees do not enjoy the lucrative benefits provided to federal employees. What they do is get a second job to send their kids to college. So stop the whining and get another job if you want more money.
NEWS
May 19, 2012
Thomas Schaller make a case for how the private sector can be just as if not more flawed than the public sector ("Sure, government is flawed - but markets are too," May 16). One aspect of the comparison that he (perhaps intentionally?) failed to mention, however, is that in the private sector, dissatisfied customers always have the option of switching to a different vendor, bank, insurance carrier, etc. That's not the case with any government agency. That is where the private sector excels over the public sector.
NEWS
May 18, 2012
I agree with Thomas F. Schaller that there is waste and imperfection in the marketplace as well as government ("Sure, government is flawed - but markets are, too," May 16), but the pivotal difference is choice. I maintain the option to purchase goods and services from competing entities in the marketplace. If I do not agree with the business practices of a certain company, a competitor will get my money. In order to increase revenue, a company must produce enough quality to elicit demand.
NEWS
July 12, 2011
On July 8th, the government reported that the country added only 18,000 new jobs in June, further confirming that businesses are not hiring. Commentators and many government officials act mystified by these disappointing results, but as someone who works with and invests in small companies, it is not hard for me to understand what is going on. Our government policies discourage private sector job growth. Instead of reducing the costs and red tape incurred by businesses to hire new domestic employees, we have added a major new cost by mandating that businesses provide health care benefits or face federal penalties.
NEWS
June 11, 2012
Demonstrating once again that a sound bite is worth 10,000 words, President Barack Obama has been raked over the coals in recent days for what amounted to a six-word aside: "The private sector is doing fine. " He said it a press conference last Friday in the context of how the economy is recovering, and how jobs are being created overall but certain segments (housing, construction, teachers, police and firefighters) are not performing as well. Never mind that he later in the day clarified his remark to note that the economy is "not doing fine" or that Mitt Romney subsequently made his own gaffe — responding to President Obama by saying the country does not need more police, firefighters or teachers.
NEWS
April 19, 2012
The press is having a field day with the General Services Administration "team building" outing in Las Vegas on the taxpayers' dime. However, every day chartered jets land there and other exotic destinations, loaded with employees of corporations doing the same kind of activities and writing it off as a "business expense. " Doctors attend "seminars" at drug company venues with sunny beaches, gambling or golf, all listed as "business expense. " As we all know "business expenses" are deductions from income that means the tax payers are actually paying for the same kind of excess!
NEWS
June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court didn't kill a key underpinning of public sector unionism Monday, but it surely put it on life support. The court's ruling in the Illinois case Harris v. Quinn, which related to the mandatory collection of so-called "fair share" fees from home health care workers whose wages are negotiated by a union whether those workers choose to belong to the union or not, was a relatively narrow one. It turned on the court's decision to draw a...
NEWS
June 15, 2014
The city-owned Hilton Hotel lost only $2.9 million dollars in 2013 ( "City-owned Hilton lost $2.9 million in 2013, audit says," June 11). And that's it's best performance. If it was in the private sector, the management would be discharged and the place closed. What's going on here? Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thinks that it's progressing. Shows how much business acumen she has. F. Cordell - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
SPORTS
June 8, 2014
Problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs' medical system have been years in the making, and it's shameful that it took a scandal like the one now engulfing the department to prompt Congress to act. But the bi-partisan deal announced Thursday by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Arizona Sen. John McCain appears to be a solid effort to put veterans' needs, not politics, at the forefront of the national response to the debacle. Inspectors general have found thousands of instances of veterans who had to endure long waits for care and cases in which VA officials sought to cover up the delays through secret wait-lists and other means.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2014
Tina Bahadori says a career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given her the chance to achieve something that 25 years in the private sector didn't offer: a legacy. Bahadori's years working for consulting, advocacy and lobbying firms brought her success and money. But as national program director for the EPA's chemical safety and sustainability research, she says, she's effecting change. "There is nothing more rewarding and legacy-building as a scientist who works in the environmental and public health arena," said Bahadori, a chemical and combustion engineer with degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
NEWS
April 9, 2014
Perhaps lawmakers and federal employees should be less concerned about themselves and more concerned about the morale of their employers, the American taxpayers ("Half of federal workforce considering private sector," Feb. 23). Lawmakers passed the health care bill without reading it, promised we could keep our insurance and doctors and pledged to reduce insurance costs, none of which happened. Rep. Elijah Cummings didn't care about the 73,000 Marylanders who lost their health care.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
Regarding the April 4 story "Sharfstein tells Congress contractors are to blame," it is almost unreal to see how all the leaders in Maryland government, particularly Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, are all trying to slip any accountability in wasting $200 million or more of taxpayers' money. There is simply no accountability at any level in the Maryland government. Here's how this situation would play out in private sector where I work: CEO: "Tell me Sharfstein/Brown, what happened here?"
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2013
Chief Kevin Cartwright, for years the primary spokesman and public face of the Baltimore Fire Department, is retiring at the end of this month to take a public relations position in the private sector. His city salary of nearly $100,000 is now up for grabs. Cartwright, who has been a member of the fire department since 1989 and a spokesman since 2002, confirmed his departure on Wednesday. "I've kind of been entertaining the idea, for a little bit, of pursuing some new challenges," he said.
NEWS
April 6, 2014
It appears that Maryland lawmakers think that Maryland voters work for them; they have raised taxes and fees 80 times on Gov. Martin O'Malley's watch ( "House rejects bid to block pay raises," April 1) There are a lot of Marylanders who work full-time jobs and make less than $43,500 dollars a year. In the private sector the employer, like Maryland voters, decides if an employee deserves a raise. Let's not forget that if these lawmakers are so unhappy with their salaries, why do they spend millions of dollars to get elected and re-elected?
NEWS
March 30, 2014
Max Romano's commentary makes some good points about the on-the-ground shortcomings of Obamacare in calling for universal single-payer health care coverage in the U.S. ( "Obamacare is not universal health care," March 27). Mr. Romano faults "an expensive and overly complex" private sector insurance system for discouraging Americans from obtaining health coverage because they would have to "spend a significant portion of their incomes" to pay for it. His alternative? He proffers government-run public health insurance in which all Americans would enroll as the "only way" to address this issue.
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