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The Talk: The economic case for towing kickbacks

Loyola economics professors Andrew Samuel and Jeremy Schwartz take stock of the Baltimore police towing scandal and conclude that it was made almost inevitable by the highly restricted "medallion system" the city has long imposed. They say the scheme might actually have made the towing system more economically efficient.

Marta Mossburg measures Gov. Martin O'Malley's recession rhetoric against three high-profile Republican governors -- Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin -- and finds our governor's words to be "deflating." It is, she says, as if he is trying to "lobotomize instead of inspire."

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Del. Jill Carter is setting herself up for a lifetime of political infamy by her effort to hold the gay marriage bill hostage to get special consideration for two other issues she's interested in. Say what you will, but everybody else who has been part of this issue so far has been nothing but sincere. Now Delegate Carter -- who is a cosponsor of the legislation -- has chosen to reduce it to petty political horse trading.

On the editorial page, we say there is no excuse for Baltimore's failure to meet the terms of a federal lead abatement grant and give support to Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold's effort to place sensible restrictions on binding arbitration with public safety unions.

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Apropos of the union standoff in Wisconsin, Baltimore police union president Bob Cherry argues that there's good reason for public safety unions to be treated differently than other workers.

Michael O'Hanlon and Cathryn Garland, parents of a child on the autism spectrum, make the case for Maryland to require health insurers to pay for effective autism therapy.

Please vote in our poll of the day: Would you be personally affected by a shutdown of the federal government?

And there's still time to try our interactive exercise that lets you figure out how to balance the federal budget.

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