Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Than One Star

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) has been doing a nationwide swing to promote the virtues of his policies in the Lone Star state. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) reminds him that being 49th in high school graduation rates and 50th in health insurance coverage is nothing to brag about.
[W]hile Perry likes to promote the job creation in Texas during his time in office, he leaves out a critical point: The jobs “miracle” he touts is driven by low-paying, non-sustainable jobs. This year, Texas — tied with Mississippi — leads the nation for the percentage of hourly paid workers earning equal to or less than the minimum wage. More than one in 10 workers nationwide earning at or below the minimum wage works in Texas.

The fallacies of his argument don’t end there. Even on Perry’s preferred metric for comparison — taxes — businesses fare quite well in Maryland. According to the Anderson Economic Group, Maryland’s businesses have the seventh-lowest business tax burden, while Texas ranks 17th. Additionally, both established firms and new investments do well in Maryland. The conservative Tax Foundation ranks Maryland as having the eighth-lowest tax burden on mature firms, while Texas ranks 12th. Ernst and Young ranks Maryland as having the 12th-lowest tax burden on new investment; Texas has the 20th-lowest burden.

My administration has made Maryland a better place to do business by focusing on middle-class and sustainable jobs. In addition to being No. 1 in median income, the median wage for hourly workers in Maryland is $14.17 vs. $12.00 in Texas, which lags the national median of $12.80. And while Texas leads the nation in minimum-wage workers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Maryland first in the nation in innovation and entrepreneurship, second in concentration of science, technology, engineering and math jobs and third for its “talent pipeline.”

How did we make this possible? By investing in our schools, which Education Week has ranked No. 1 in the nation since 2007. Maryland did more than any other state to hold down rising college tuition costs. We modernized infrastructure and invested in growing sectors such as biotechnology and life science, green technology and clean energy, aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

These investments didn’t come without a price. First, my administration cut more in state spending than any governor in Maryland history. We also had to ask the wealthiest Marylanders to pay a bit more by making income taxes progressive for the first time in state history.
Even though I now live in Virginia, I'm still a Marylander at heart (and a product of those top-ranked public schools, to boot). Governor Perry might not want to be so eager to put his state side-by-side with mine. Some states deserve more than a single, lone star.

1 comment:

PG said...

Mostly good points by O'Malley, especially regarding tax burden and investments in education and health care. However, this -- "the median wage for hourly workers in Maryland is $14.17 vs. $12.00 in Texas, which lags the national median of $12.80" -- seems a bit of useless data unless analysed with regard to the cost of living.

Also, because Perry's ad campaign is mostly targeted at business owners and executives, not at regular workers, why should he care if the little guy gets screwed? For some people, that's a feature, not a bug. "Come to Texas: the workers here don't expect much in the way of health insurance or wages."