Delegate Tony McConkey's Official Blog

Republican Response To Maryland State Of The State Address

maryland-state-of-the-stateResponse of Senator David Brinkley, Senate Minority Leader, To The Maryland State Of The State Address

Governor O’Malley just delivered his final State of the State Address. As you heard, he’s very proud of his accomplishments as he considers a run for President of the United States in 2016.

On the Failed Health Exchange Rollout
Governor O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown had hoped their crowning achievement would be Maryland’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Instead, it is the model of governmental and bureaucratic malpractice. Additional information is coming out about the colossal failure of this initiative every day. We still do not know how many Maryland families have been harmed by this failure because they couldn’t obtain coverage or lost the coverage they previously had.

On the Need to Investigate the Failed Rollout
Back in December and again last week I asked for an investigation by the Joint Legislative Policy Committee that can compel testimony and hire technical consultants to find out who knew what about this rollout, when they knew it, and what we can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Others have since joined my call, but to no avail. I find it odd, and I’m sure you do too, that this administration won’t even respond to the inquiries of Representative John Delaney, a Democratic member of Congress from Maryland.

On O’Malley’s New Budget
The Governor touts that he has reduced spending by $9 billion. But the reality is this: his first budget was just over $29.5 billion; the budget he submitted to the Legislature last week is nearly $39.5 billion. Now, maybe it’s my public school math, but that’s an increase of about $10 billion, not a reduction as the Governor claims. In fact, that’s almost 33% more spending over the course of their two terms.

On the Burdensome Rain Tax
One economist joked that, since the days of Pharaoh, shoguns, emperors, kings, queens, and dictators have all tried to discover a way to tax the rain; but by God we did it in Maryland! The Texas Governor even commented that in Texas, they pray for rain, but in Maryland, we tax it.

On Maryland’s Dependence on the Federal Government
Maryland is both blessed and cursed by our proximity to, and dependence on, the federal government. We reap the benefits of all those jobs for some Maryland residents, but we’re also subject to the whim of the Federal Government if there’s sequestration or even an entire shutdown like we witnessed last fall. Financial advisors remind their clients of the importance of diversifying their portfolio. Maryland has to learn this lesson by not depending too much on Federal largesse.

On O’Malley’s Economic Policies Hurting Businesses
Business owners are the risk-takers who provide that bit of opportunity for those workers and their families. I hope that these people are successful. We should all hope that they’re successful so they can hire more people who want to care for themselves and their families. That’s who I’m talking about, and day after day, more and more of them are asking “Why am I doing this here?”

On the Unintended Consequences of a Minimum Wage Hike
If I, as the business owner, only have so much to allocate to payroll and I wish to remain in business, two things are going to happen: fewer people will be on my payroll and I will look long and hard at automating what parts of my operation I can, perhaps putting even more less-skilled employees out of work. Aren’t we seeing that already with self checkout at grocery stores and retail outlets? Do you remember that we once had full service gas stations?

On a Bright Future for Maryland
Maryland is a great state. We are positioned to make tremendous strides with our universities, our commitment to education is second to none, and amazing opportunities in biotech and cyber-security lie in front of us. But a thriving private sector and the jobs it creates for Maryland families is our pathway to that future.

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