2/11/14 - 2014 General Assembly Session, 1st Month Legislative Analysis

2/22/14 - The Latest Anthony Brown Commercial

4/3/14 - A Tale of
Two Cities


3/8/14 - Homeless Worker Renovation Program

3/8/14 - Single-Room Occupancy

Doug Barry

Historian, Political Philosopher, Veteran

 The Issues

Our Government in Maryland has been taking us down the wrong path for a long time. Laws have been structured without regard for our ability to pay for them, and then have been followed by a series of tax increases. In 2014, the Governor has now suggested that the counties raise taxes to cover their education needs. The state needs to manage the budget more wisely. We need to make all of our departments and agencies work more efficiently. We need to encourage private investment instead of scaring it away. We have been lucky because our proximity to Washington allows us to benefit from Federal jobs, but we can't always count on luck. When the government shut down last October, Maryland was hit hard.


Crime and Safety


Health Care


There are places all over the country that are enjoying successful programs and policies. North Dakota has successfully diversified the economy to the point where they have an ongoing shortage of workers. The Georgia Works program helps retrain workers to match the needs of employers. We can re-work programs that have been successful elsewhere to meet the needs of Maryland.


  • Work to provide incentives for businesses to locate to Maryland
  • Seek entrepreneur tax credits to offset the self-employment tax and encourage people to start businesses
  • Work to modify Maryland's unemployment system to remove penalties for taking part-time and lower paying work
  • Help Maryland compete with states trying to lure businesses away from Maryland


The employment problem in Maryland is a complex issue. We need to take a multifaceted approach towards bringing jobs back into our communities. First, we need to encourage private enterprise to invest in Maryland, and to keep investors from feeling like they will be penalized if they come to Maryland. We should provide tax credits for those who start businesses or create jobs. The state will not lose money. When we provide tax credits we are not spending money (many people calculate the numbers as if we are). The state will make tax revenue from individuals gaining jobs when they were previously unemployed. Plus we would no longer have to pay them unemployment benefits or for other social services. Tax credits will also partially offset the self-employment tax. The Federal government penalizes self-employed individuals. We can not offset that completely, but we can help people get started in business by compensating for at least part of the tax.

In addition to creating employment, we need to stop penalizing the unemployed. The current system discourages temporary work, part-time work and self-employment. Those who try to work their way out of the unemployment line are penalized financially. Those who work for a week have to apply to have their unemployment reopened. Instead, when someone makes more than two-hundred dollars in a week, we should take off one dollar of benefits for every two dollars they earn, so that the more they work, the more money they will make. Also, before stopping their benefits, we should ask the additional question, "Have you found full-time employment?" If not, they should not have to reapply. Their benefits would just continue as normal. This would also have the benefit of cutting administrative costs, and be a step towards running our government more efficiently.