From the Desk of Maryland House of Delegates Candidate Lenny Thompson
One of the major issues on voters' minds this election is getting government spending under control. While the public appears ready for reductions in government programs in general, it remains to be seen if we are ready to support cuts to
specific programs with powerful constituencies.
I am ready to make specific cuts, the most prominent of which is to abolish the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development and the repeal the plethora of Robin-Hood-in-reverse corporate welfare programs designed to transfer wealth
from the public coffers to private, for profit businesses. Corporate welfare is indicative of our modern political economy, which privatizes the profits of large businesses while socializing their losses.
Real economic growth is the result of thrift, initiative, risk taking and entrepreneurship, not government giveaways. Our present system of relatively free enterprise (guided by the invisible hand of the marketplace) is not perfect but does a
far better job of allocating business capital than do politicians (guided by the equally invisible hand of lobbyists, political action committees and party bosses). We need to offer businesses a handshake, not a handout!
We need to get the State out of the business of providing loans, grants, tax breaks and subsidies to out-of-state, multi-national, multi-billion $$ foreign private business corporations whose top officers and directors pay themselves millions
of dollars a year in salaries, bonuses, stock options, deferred compensation and golden parachutes. Providing government economic assistance to foreign corporations is a slap in the face of hardworking small businesses who don't receive government handouts.
Many foreign corporations who receive government assistance pay proportionally less in Maryland income taxes than do Maryland corporations that are not on the dole. We need to:
- repeal the Maryland Tax Increment Financing Act, which allows those with political connections to earmark their property taxes for their own benefit;
- repeal the Maryland Economic Development Revenue Bond Act, which enables local governments to facilitate low-interest, tax-free loans to those with political connections; and
- bring an end to the economic development wars that states and local governments wage against each other.
The better policy is for state and local governments to call a cease-fire in the use of monetary incentives in their competition for business prospects. My proposed Mid-Atlantic Compact on Economic Development Incentives (on the web at:
http://www.frederickcountymd.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=10937) provides a framework for states to do so.
Read position papers of other candidates running in the 2010 primary