Bob Ehrlich’s first priority is to strengthen Maryland’s economy and help the private sector create jobs. To reach that goal, he will treat small business owners as a source of new jobs – not a source of new tax revenue like the O’Malley Administration has the past four years.
Roughly 230,000 Marylanders are currently unable to find work, and the unemployment rate in Maryland has doubled since the O’Malley Administration took office. Approximately 3,000 small businesses have closed in Maryland in the last year alone. Maryland ranks 45th out of 50 states in CNBC’s 2009 “Cost of Doing Business” ranking of the states. Bob Ehrlich believes this status quo in unacceptable.
To help create jobs, he will lower the tax burden in Maryland and cut bureaucratic red tape that discourages entrepreneurs from starting new companies and hiring new employees. He believes we must get government off the backs of job-creating small business owners so they can flourish and invest in people, technology, and Maryland’s future.
When Bob Ehrlich served as governor from 2003 to 2007, more than 100,000 private sector jobs were created in Maryland. Unemployment consistently remained around 4 percent, and business confidence in Maryland reached an all-time high, according to surveys.
Bob Ehrlich will cut taxes in Maryland in order increase prosperity for everyday Marylanders and entrepreneurs. As governor from 2003 to 2007, Ehrlich defeated for vetoed $7.5 billion in tax hikes proposed by the Maryland General Assembly.
Bob Ehrlich opposed the O’Malley’s Administration’s enactment of the largest tax increase in Maryland history in 2007. He believes it had a crippling effect on Maryland families and small business owners who were already struggling under the weight of a national recession. The O’Malley Administration enacted a record $1.4 billion tax increase, including a 20% increase in the sales tax, which disproportionately punishes low and middle income Marylanders. The O’Malley Administration also raised the corporate income tax, making it harder for small businesses to grow and create jobs. Maryland has the 4th highest combined personal income tax in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
Bob Ehrlich firmly believes in lowering the tax burden to help Marylanders get back to work. As governor, he will repeal the O’Malley Administration’s 20 percent increase in Maryland’s sales tax, which disproportionately hurts small businesses and low and middle-income Marylanders.
Bob Ehrlich believes Maryland must begin spending within its means. In the last three years, the O’Malley Administration has plunged Maryland into its largest budget deficits in history without offering any plan to balance the budget. In addition to this deficit, total state spending today is nearly $2 billion higher than it was when the O’Malley Administration took office. When the O’Malley Administration called a special legislative session in Annapolis to “reduce spending,” it actually approved $600 million in new spending just as the state was entering a recession.
As governor, Bob Ehrlich will immediately cut wasteful spending and make government more responsive to the taxpayers. When he served as governor from 2003 to 2007, Ehrlich turned $4 billion in inherited budget deficits into a budget surplus and nearly tripled the State’s Rainy Day Fund. He did so without increasing sales or income taxes. Under his leadership, Maryland was one of just six states with a coveted Triple A bond rating from all three major rating agencies.
Bob Ehrlich believes the environmental, cultural, and economic benefits of the Chesapeake Bay are priceless. He wants his two sons to inherit a Bay that is cleaner and healthier than the one his generation inherited, but the task will require uncommon political leadership.
He is proud to have authored the landmark Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act as governor in 2004. This innovative plan financed upgrades to faulty wastewater treatment plants that emitted millions of pounds of pollution into the Bay and its tributaries every year, harming wildlife and Maryland’s watermen community. As a result of his leadership, the Bay Restoration Act is currently preventing one million pounds of pollution from entering Maryland’s waterways every year.
As governor, Bob Ehrlich will continue to pursue innovative and nonpartisan solutions to restore the Bay and the wildlife that depends on it, and he has a record of delivering once-in-a-generation results for this great national treasure.
Maryland is blessed to have many school districts that have performed at consistently high levels for decades. Unfortunately, those blessings are not extended to tens of thousands of students trapped in failing schools across Maryland.
Bob Ehrlich believes every child in Maryland has a civil and constitutional right to a quality education. As governor, he will dramatically expand charter schools in Maryland to give children and parents stuck in failing schools a choice to move to a better and safer learning environment. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate with greater freedom to help students reach their full potential.
As governor in 2003, Bob Ehrlich authored Maryland’s first-ever charter schools law. As a result, more than 12,000 students in Maryland are currently learning and growing in 42 charter schools across the state. He also strengthened Maryland’s needs-based college scholarship program, helping 37,000 students go to college who could not otherwise afford it.
AUTHORITY: BOB EHRLICH FOR MARYLAND COMMITTEE, TREASURER: H. TERRY HANCOCK