America was built on the ideas that one could work hard, sacrifice and save, to have a better life. I worked hard for years and years in school, I sacrificed and saved, and now I wake up early every weekday and many weekends to go to work, where I provide services to the public at a very high price to myself, and often to the recipients of my services.
As our lawmakers embark upon the first day of this special session, I wish to call to their minds the very purpose of their being there: to formulate laws. The law exists for two fundamental purposes, to protect individuals' rights and property. I fear that James Madison was correct when he spoke to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 and said, "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
Today, as legislators plan to raise greater and greater amounts of revenue by increasing taxes, and levying fees, they are abridging our freedoms to ever greater and greater degrees. While they believe that they are engaged in a noble cause to help the helpless, to create jobs, build schools, make college more affordable, drive down violent crime, restore the Chesapeake Bay and defend our AAA bond rating, in reality, government can only play a very small and limited role in a very few of these. Lawmakers err in their assumption that government not only can do it well, but also should.
They take more and more money from those of us who wish to create businesses, hire more people, donate to our churches and charities, and save for our own futures, as well as that of our children. While the Democratic Party claims to be the party of equality and tolerance, its representatives tax discriminately, wielding the scythe of power, over those who have worked the hardest and achieved the greatest success, and they do so in the name of the poor. While this modern-day Robin Hood approach plays well politically, especially among the class of dependents we have created in this country over the past half-century or so, let me remind them that plunder is still a crime, even if it is done from behind the shield of law. This legalized plunder is no less morally reprehensible.
Suffice it to say, the realities of Greece and the Eurozone, the U.S. credit downgrade, the fall of every significant political exercise in Keynesian economics, and the flight of high wage earners from Maryland should aid you in recognizing, at the very least, that taking more and more from those that earn is not the answer.
Please don't believe that the majority of us are favorably impressed with your boast of presenting a budget with the smallest increase in spending in years as a noteworthy achievement. Instead, recognize us all equally: cut all taxes, cut back the abundant and wasteful bureaucratic spending, stop raiding designated budgetary trusts and funds, stop fear mongering over necessary belt-tightening, and stop wasting time on pet projects like gay marriage and gambling when you are at work on the job I gave you, shepherding my very hard earned tax money, in the time you had to do the job!
I will leave you with one last thought, as I must now get to work: "A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species." — James Madison, Essay on Property, 1792.
Dr. Jef Fernley, Worcester CountyCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun