- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Losing 6,500 businesses, 40,000 jobs and 31,000 taxpayers is not “making headway” (“Maryland making jobs headway,” Letters, Thursday). On the contrary, the state’s economic dashboard is blinking red.

Maryland saw the largest taxpayer exodus in the region between 2007 and 2010, with nearly 31,000 residents leaving the state, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service figures. When it comes to retaining businesses and the state’s ability to produce jobs, Maryland again seriously lags the region. In fact, 40,000 lost jobs is the second-highest in the region after Pennsylvania, and the 6,500 business that have left or shut down also is second-highest, after only Delaware. These numbers come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, respectively.

What’s more, the O’Malley administration has a well-earned reputation for cherry-picking data. Politifact, a media watchdog organization, analyzed a bogus claim Gov. Martin O’Malley made in a TV appearance with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell about job growth in the two states and found Mr. O’Malley’s claim to be false.

Furthermore, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation caught the O’Malley administration falsifying data on a state website in a failed attack on my organization, Change Maryland, in July. But Change Maryland did not grow to 19,000 Democratic, independent and Republican members by accident. The O’Malley administration has raised taxes and fees 24 times, annually removing an additional $2.4 billion out of the productive economy.

Speaking of productivity, instead of writing letters to the press, the governor should redirect his economic development and labor secretaries to assess the damage tax-and-spend governing is causing the economy.

LARRY HOGAN

Chairman, Change Maryland

Annapolis

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