As the Sun’s Dec. 26 editorial correctly noted, the harm to Marylanders from the federal tax bill will go far beyond any tax increase some will experience (“What Maryland needs to do to cope with the GOP tax bill”).. These massive tax cuts, which primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, will dramatically increase deficits and threaten the investments that grow the economy and help working families.
Maryland’s economy faces an additional level of risk from this tax bill, given the large number of residents and businesses here that make their living from the federal government. That’s why I am concerned about Gov. Larry Hogan’s response to the tax bill, which seems to primarily focus on reducing state revenues at a time when we will need more, not less, state investment.
Our state is already struggling to maintain public services. We also have significant unmet needs in education and other areas. These challenges would get much worse if Congress, as leaders have promised to do, returns in the new year to make massive cuts in health coverage through Medicaid, food assistance that helps ensure struggling families don’t go hungry, medical research that helps cure diseases, and infrastructure that helps businesses get goods to market, to name a few.
We will need to take action at the state level to respond to this bad tax bill and federal budget cuts. However, further reducing state revenues would be the wrong response.
Benjamin Orr, Baltimore
The writer is executive director of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy.
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