Maryland’s Tax Hikes Haven’t Prevented Deficits

Published September 2, 2008

Dear Editor:

In spite of Governor O’Malley’s increased taxes on cigarettes, corporations, and “millionaires,” Maryland’s deficit continues to grow (August 31, “State facing deficit up to $1 billion, official says”). Legislators need to be wary of going back to the proverbial well when it comes to raising taxes in order to fill the $1 billion hole.

Winston Churchill said “the idea that a nation [or a state for that matter] can tax itself into prosperity is one of the crudest delusions which has ever befuddled the human mind.” Burdening taxpayers with increased taxes will serve only to prolong the state’s economic slowdown rather than prevent future deficits.

Implementing fiscally responsible policies will go a long way towards stabilizing future budgets. Maryland needs to focus on limiting tax and expenditures to balance the budget, and it should employ free-market solutions in place of costly government programs and services.

John Nothdurft ([email protected]) is the budget and tax legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.