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Consequences come with Hogan's election [Letter]

What does a Larry Hogan administration mean for Maryland? Here are my predictions for the next four years.

He will probably focus on four major areas: Big tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires; deregulation, including environmental laws and laws beneficial to the public interest; privatization of public assets and public commons; and major cuts to social programs and public education. You need look no further than other states with Republican governors to see what the future holds.

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He will likely propose major cuts in taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals and propose cuts to programs that benefit the majority of Marylanders. He will also likely propose increases in fees for most Marylanders to pay for those millionaire/billionaire tax cuts. This allows Republicans to say they didn't raise your taxes. Remember Gov. Robert Ehrlich?

Get ready too for major cuts in public education. Republicans love to call this education reform, but what it really means is major cuts in the education budget resulting in large increases in tuition at our public colleges and universities. This will add to the financial burden of students and families. It also means major cuts to local public school budgets and the transfer of tax dollars to private, for-profit schools where the bottom line takes priority over student education.

We will also see him go after the state health care exchange, which now insures tens of thousands of residents that would not otherwise have health insurance. Marylanders can forget any further increase in the minimum wage for the next four years, and we may even see an attempt to repeal the minimum wage.

He will probably attempt to roll back major gains in environmental regulations that protect our air, water and food. You can forget about renewable energy initiatives or any efforts to address climate change. Natural gas fracking in Western Maryland is a done deal. Again, I predict he will put profits above the health and safety of Marylanders. After all, what's the problem with a little fire or toxic chemicals coming out of your faucets?

Just remember that when Republicans talk about reform, they mean giving billions of taxpayer dollars to big business and cutting programs that benefit average working Americans. You may want to consider voting the next time you have the opportunity because not voting has real consequences for people.

David J Iacono

Westminster

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