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Blue State Blues


What do you get when all levels of state government are controlled by Democrats? Something like this (via The Washington Post) [emphasis mine]:

During brief appearances before the Senate and House of Delegates, [Maryland Governor Martin] O'Malley congratulated lawmakers for a special session in which they raised taxes by $1.4 billion a year, directed him to cut $550 million from next year's budget and agreed to allow voters to decide in November whether to legalize slot machine gambling.

"Important work remains to be done," O'Malley told House members. "As we proved before, progress is possible."

Which is code for "prepare for even higher taxes."


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Comments (12)

And this is why my wife and... (Below threshold)

And this is why my wife and I are moving from the People's Republic of Maryland to begin with for West Virginia. When Annapolis raises taxes on the state, the SCM (Socialist County of Montgomery) always taxes on a surcharge as a county tax.

Welcome to Maryland
If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It!

Yep, saw all that coming an... (Below threshold)

Yep, saw all that coming and beat you out of there.

I'm amused by the ever-so-s... (Below threshold)

I'm amused by the ever-so-subtle "Welcome to Maryland -- Enjoy Your Visit" non-welcome welcome sign. Visit and spend lots of money, but don't stay.

Which I suppose is ok, considering the Maryland tax structure.

We had a sign just like that on the Oregon-California border years ago. Oregon didn't want any of those dirty Californians and their dirty California $ moving here and harshing our mellow. Then Oregon's timber-based economy went to crap and the governor went down to the border and, in a symbolic gesture, dynamited the sign. I guess we needed California's $ after all.

"Taxes are what we pay f... (Below threshold)

"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., expressing a concept that is beyond the capacity of short-sighted conservatives to understand

"And this [high taxation] is why my wife and I are moving from the People's Republic of Maryland to begin with for West Virginia." -- Rdvrk219

This recently came out within the past week:
"Maryland Education System Ranks in Nation's Top Three" http://somd.com/news/headlines/2008/7001.shtml

And West Virginia? Well, let's just say that Education Week gave out grades of "F" (for "failing" the students) to three states regarding Kindergarten-to-12th-Grade achievement, with West Virginia being one of these three (the others being Alabama and Mississippi -- no surprise there)


So, from Mr. Hermann's last... (Below threshold)

So, from Mr. Hermann's last link, how are we to make decisions about education when such bastions of advanced learning like Kentucky and Arkansas finish higher than California, Connecticut and Providence Plantation? And what does it mean when states like Texas and New Hampshire (no income tax) do better than most high tax states?

Answer: higher taxes do not correlate to better education.

herman... RicardoVerde just... (Below threshold)

herman... RicardoVerde just bitch slapped you.

Is your cheek red and stinging?

Okay, marc, you wonder if I... (Below threshold)

Okay, marc, you wonder if I've been stung, when Ricardo failed to mention that in the ranking the top five states are blue, eight of the top ten states are blue, the bottom seven states are all red, with red easily being the color of most of the bottom 25. Nope, not stung at all, for I never thought that every blue state would beat every red state (in part because some blue states, like California and Connecticut, have Republican governors who get in the way).

But maybe we're getting a little off topic here. Whereas Ricardo wants to compare all kinds of states, the original post focussed on Maryland, a land where foresight should lead to a merry future.

"Taxes are what we pay f... (Below threshold)

"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,

Precisely whom are we paying ? And for what ? - for others to not be uncivil towards us ? Wouldn't that be better described as extortion ?

Also, Mr. Holmes, Jr. worded the phrase poorly. Taxes are more appropriately described as money taken (vs. money paid - the problem being that there's implication of some sort of voluntary action at the root).

Herman attempts to confuse ... (Below threshold)

Herman attempts to confuse the issue by introducing "red/blue" into the equation. It simply doesn't wash.

Here in New Hampshire, we just recently turned blue. (I'm in black over that, but that's about as irrelevant as Herman's point -- or Herman himself.) But we STILL have NO sales tax, NO income tax, one of the lowest overall tax burdens, and our students consistently rank near the top.

Meanwhile, just south of us lies Massachusetts, which has a sales tax, an income tax, and a jillion other taxes, and spends considerably more per student than we do. And their test scores are much lower -- and quite a few of their schools perform so poorly that they have lost their accreditation.

But if you want a real horror story, compare the per-student expenditure in Washington, DC versus the results.

Herman wants to argue that a good education is a simple matter of throwing money at it. What a pity for him that if one weighs the issue on that criterion alone, there actually appears to be an inverse relationship between dollars spent on education and actual results.

Kind of like how lower tax rates result in higher tax revenues, or giving stimulants to hyperactive kids calms them down. It's counterintuitive, but it holds true.

Herman, Herman, Herman... I understand why you'd want to change the issue to a red state/blue state argument, but that was a really, really pathetic attempt. You'll have to do better next time.


"Here in New Hampshire, we ... (Below threshold)

"Here in New Hampshire, we just recently turned blue." -- Mr. Tea

Your state turned blue back in 2004 when Kerry got more than half its votes, and it's 2008 now, Mr. Tea, in case you weren't aware. (Essentially, NH rejected Bush in 2000 as well, but all those foolish Naderites cost Al Gore the election). Mr. Tea, do you use the term "recently" from a geological point of view?

"...and their [referring to the pupils of MA] tests scores are much lower [than those of the students of NH]" -- Jay

Definitely not according to this link:


Note that Massachusetts ranks first in the country with a grade of "B" and that NH has, alas, gotten one of those George Bush "C"s. Which is a higher grade, Mr. Tea, "B" or "C"?

"Herman wants to argue that a good education is a simple matter of throwing money at it." -- Mr. Tea

It's not so much the money, Jay, as what the money buys. You know, items like library books, computers, chalk and blackboards, laboratory equipment, etc. (Yeah, I know you conservatives don't see any need for laboratory equipment given your creationist tendencies, but I'm confident you'll find the other items mentioned to be of value).

"I understand why you'd want to change the issue to a red state/blue state argument..." -- Mr. Tea

Actually, I had wanted to keep the focus on Merryland, and the comparison to West Virginia arose only because Rdvrk219 was moving there from MD, because he/she felt taxes were too high in the Merry State. It was RicardoVerde who brought into discussion other states with his superficial analysis.

Herman, you posted the link... (Below threshold)

Herman, you posted the links ranking the states by test proficiency scores. What good is such a list except for comparison purposes?

It's odd that you didn't point out DC in your list of F getters. Maryland gets to count the affluent DC suburbs in its stats but doesn't have to include the poor DC kids. They would probably beat Mass if they could do the same with some Baltimore neighborhoods.

Snarkiness aside, if even a few low tax states are in the upper group of high performers it shows that high taxes are not necessary to produce well educated students.

We researched the areas of ... (Below threshold)

We researched the areas of West Virginia and looked at schools and chose the best of the area.

I have too many friends who have moved to the "good school" areas and have to sacrifice themselves and their relationships with their spouses and children in order to pay the monthly nut - let alone anything else.

The area of WV we are moving too does not make us do this.

Again: "Welcome to Maryland - If You Can Dream It; We Can Tax It"

And, as stated before - high taxes and per student diem does not equate to better education (ex: DC)






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