“Democratic governors, with the support of our president, are leading their states forward—putting job creation first, balancing budgets, protecting priorities, making the tough decisions, right now, to create jobs and expand opportunity.” —Martin O’Malley (D)
1) Forward or Backward?
Let’s look at Democrat O’Malley’s Maryland and Republican Bob McDonnell’s Virginia.
Maryland’s July unemployment rate: 7.0%—steadily increasing from 6.5% in January
Virginia’s July unemployment rate: 5.9%—holding steadily from 5.8% in January
In 2011, Bechtel moved his 600 jobs from Maryland to Virginia—home of Republican Governor McDonnell—even after O’Malley’s economic development department offering $9.5 million (of tax payers’ money) in government aid to keep Bechtel. Not so long ago, Northrop Grumman also moved its head-quarter from California—home of another Democrat governor Jerry Brown—to Virginia in 2010 instead of Maryland. Afterward, O’Malley seemed lost when he said the Northrop Grumman “was a win for Washington region” as if the Redskins won the Super Bowl.
Well…O’Malley has had many other “regional wins” when other companies like SAIC, CSC (Computer Science Corporation), Hilton Worldwide and Volkswagen North America all chose McDonnell’s Virginia over O’Malley’s Maryland.
(For those NBA fans, you should think of O’Malley’s Maryland as Los Angeles Clippers and McDonnell’s Virginia as Los Angeles Lakers—in all of those Lakers’ championship years, one must think the Clippers’ must feel like O’Malley when he lost to McDonnell)
Why companies have often chosen Virginia over Maryland—the 2 states are actually like 2 big cities next to each other?
—corporate income tax: MD: 8.75%; VA: 6%
—sales tax: MD: 6%; VA: 5% (4% for state and 1% for local)
—gas tax: MD: 23.5 cents per gallon; VA: 17.5 cents per gallon. O’Malley pushed (and got) an additional 18 cents per gallon.
—top personal income tax: MD: 8.95%, VA: 5.75%.
In May 2012, Maryland’s legislators and O’Malley just raised the tax rate on individual taxpayer making more than $100,000 (joint-filers making over $150,000). O’Malley thanked legislators for making “the right votes to keep our state moving forward. . . ”—on the other hand, O’Malley gave tax breaks for casino owners
The answer is not just because of the lower corporate income tax, but Virginia’s lower taxes overall will enable companies to better attract quality (and happy) employees than Maryland.
—MD: $9,405 spent per student/spending on education: $18.5 billion (33.1% of total spending)
—VA: $8,444 spent per student/spending on education: $24 billion (34.9% of total spending).
Student Performance Ranking—National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) for low-income children in 2011:
MD: 4th grade reading: 217; 8th grade reading: 255;
4th grade math: 235; 8th grade math: 270;
VA: 4th grade reading: 216; 8th grade reading: 257;
4th grade math: 235; 8th grade math: 277;
As you can see, VA is barely (very barely) better than MD in low-income students ranking.
Overall, 38% of VA’s 4th graders ranked “proficient” or higher—compared to MD’s 37%.
And, 32% of VA’s 8th graders ranked “proficient” or higher—compared to MD’s 36%.
The two states are quite similar in the overall student performance ranking.
2) More from O’Malley
“Let us not be the first generation of Americans to give our children a country of less.” —Martin O’Malley (D)
Let us not pass more debts—over $5 trillion in the last 3 years—to our children.
Let us not spend our children’s future money now.
“Let us return to the urgent work of creating more jobs...” —Martin O’Malley (D)
Well, Maryland’s unemployment rate went from 6.5% in January to 7% in July.
3) Make your choice
If O’Malley’s Maryland is Obama’s America in his second term and…
If McDonnell’s Virginia is Romney’s America in his first term…
Who should you vote for in November?