Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yes Governor, You ARE An Ideologue

The Washington Examiner looked at the different approaches Governor O’Malley and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are taking to balance their respective budgets. Virginia has gone the route of spending cuts and Maryland is set to once again raise taxes.

No news there given the McDonnell and O’Malley’s respective philosophies.

However what struck me was O’Malley’s juvenile attempt to paint McDonnell as a rigid ideologue and himself as the pragmatic manager.

"We understand that attracting businesses and keeping businesses is a slightly more complicated exercise than simply keeping your sales tax or property tax or income tax lower than your neighbors," O'Malley said, claiming Maryland maintains better schools, creates jobs at a faster pace and made college more affordable than Virginia. He called Virginia's low-tax philosophy an "ideological obsession."

"We're not ideological in Maryland," O'Malley said. "Gov. McDonnell subscribes to a much more ideological, no-taxes-on-anything doctrine which he is trying to follow, and we'll see which of the two states create more jobs in the years ahead."

Forget for a moment the red herring that state budgets aren't about creating jobs but running the government--“We’re not ideological in Maryland?” Excuse me, but there’s more manure in those five words than the farmer next to my neighborhood uses to fertilize his fields.

O’Malley is the ultimate ideologue. His entire record reflects a rigid progressive ideology. Since he took office O’Malley has raised taxes by $3.6 billion and jacked up spending by $6.5 billion. Of course, those facts haven’t stopped O’Malley from trying to play fiscal conservative, claiming $7.5 billion in fictitious budget cuts. His budgets have ballooned over 20% since 2008. O’Malley isn’t a fiscal conservative he just plays one on TV.

O’Malley the pragmatist says his tax hikes represent a “balanced approach” to the budget deficit. Where is the balance in only raising taxes and spending and no real cuts? Looks more like an ideological obsessed approach to me.

Look at the rest of his initiatives: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, Solyndra style offshore wind legislation, gay marriage, and Plan Maryland. Whatever you think of those policies, they are NOT non-ideological, they read like a grocery-shopping list of progressive policy goals.

Still don’t think O’Malley is a progressive ideologue? Read through portions of his 2010 State of the State address, his notions on the relationship of the individual to the state would make progressive dashboard saint Herbert Croly jump out of his grave and applaud.

Painting himself as an open-minded pragmatist and his opponents as unyielding ideologues is rhetorical trick mastered by President Obama. So it is no surprise that O’Malley, who wants Obama’s job, is hiding his own rigid ideological record behind this same straw man argument.

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