February 22, 2012
Americans could scarcely be blamed for viewing any proposal to "simplify" taxes with skepticism. From Steve Forbes' flat tax of 1996 to Herman Cain's recent 9-9-9 proposal, efforts to make taxes simpler have usually meant - at least when held up to closer scrutiny - shifting the budgetary burden from the rich to the working class. But what President Barack Obama revealed today appears to be a far more reasonable attempt to reduce the nation's corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent (and allowing manufacturers an even lower 25 percent)
January 27, 2012
It is unbelievable how much fuss there has been over Mitt Romney's taxes (Romney tax returns: A wealth of insight," Jan. 25). He paid what the tax code required, and it is not illegal to be rich. To put this in context, I have 343 acres in West Virginia, and my property tax bill is $174. In Maryland I have six acres and my tax bill is 20 times what West Virginia charges me, plus I get better service in West Virginia. I also sit on the Marcellus Shale Run, and I am in negotiations to sell drilling rights.
January 5, 2012
Editor: This is a response to the Open Forum article "Being Uncompromising …," which was a response to an editorial "Just like sausage. " Pat [Patrick McGrady], I read both the Dec. 28 editorial and your response to the editorial and I have to say when I read your response all I heard in my head was "blah, blah, blah. " It really had no relationship to what was in the editorial, and was more a rant on how the Republican representatives in Annapolis can't get any of their pork barrel legislation passed because of the mean old Democrats. But I suspect there was an ulterior motive to your article, and here is what I suspect it was. An encrypted cipher within the text which relayed the following message to your Republican cronies… "Hey guys, I tried to get those bills passed that would cut your taxes and put more loopholes in the tax code so you all can make more money on the backs of the middle class, so you all can get that larger yacht and the fourth home in Costa Rica. But those dog-gone Democrats messed it up. Well I'll try again next year!
November 8, 2011
I am troubled by the assumption of PlanMaryland opponents that they have an inalienable and eternal right to our tax dollars to support their high maintenance and energy consumption lifestyle. The purpose of the PlanMaryland legislation, like smart growth before it, is to withhold state funding for bad choices about how and where to live made by local government. If they persist in turning cornfields into vinyl McMansions, they shouldn't do it on my tax dollars. It's bad enough that any corporate functionary should get a mortgage interest deduction for living in a house with a profligate carbon footprint and commute on roads newly built on some of the best farmland on the planet.
October 24, 2011
Earlier this month, the president's jobs bill failed in the Senate. Now the White House intends to break up the bill and gin up sufficient Republican support to pass key pieces. "We will now work with Senator Reid to make sure that the individual proposals in this jobs bill get a vote as soon as possible," said President Barack Obama in a statement released shortly after the Senate vote. This piecemeal approach might be politically expedient, but the provisions the White House is pushing are still a whiff policywise.
August 24, 2011
The United States tax code is so backward that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays only 17 percent in income taxes, a rate even lower than that of his secretary. Or so he claims. While I have great respect for Mr. Buffett, and while I agree that our tax code could benefit from major adjustments, Mr. Buffett's statement is misleading. And he knows it. Even worse, when Mr. Buffett implies that wealthier Americans are under-taxed, it gives public officials cover to pursue disastrous policies such as Maryland's failed millionaire's tax, and the pending sales tax on interstate Internet purchases known as the "Amazon tax. " Taxing the rich and protectionism may poll well, but these policies demonstrably hurt the same middle class and lower-income citizens they purport to protect.
July 22, 2011
Regarding your editorial "Cut, cap and empty gesture" (July 20), your view is perplexing considering the facts. Prior to President Obama's takeover of the government, both Democrats and Republicans drove the increase in federal spending. Since President Obama was elected, federal spending, not counting war spending, has exploded. Republicans have gotten the message that the spending cannot be sustained and will eventually lead to ruin, and they at least have a plan. The Democrats have not. Instead they use scare tactics and class warfare.
July 11, 2011
In 2007, Maryland's legislature significantly changed the tax code to increase revenue in order to close the state's deficit. It created an even more regressive tax code increasing the sales tax and hurting the poorest among us the most. To the surprise of a majority of legislators, the deficit only got worse. This is just further proof that Adam Smith's version of economics holds more validity than any Keynesian form of economics. Tax increases do not close deficits. They only make things worse for the overall economy.
June 29, 2011
Maryland lawmakers voted this year to raise the sales tax on alcohol by three cents on the dollar. But when the increase kicks in Friday, bar patrons could see prices going up by twice as much. Chalk it up to pub economics: Bar owners, who typically include the sales tax as part of a beverage's advertised price, don't like dealing in pennies, nickels or dimes. Prices, particularly at the local joints, are set in 25-cent increments. "If you are tending bar, and it is a Saturday night, you can't make change," explained Andrew Burke, the owner of John Steven Ltd., a bar in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood.