As of this writing, more than 200 people have been murdered in the city of Baltimore so far this year. Mayor Catherine Pugh, who until recently seemed primarily focused on finding out why the police were working so much overtime, waited for months to unveil a crime strategy. Attorney General Brian Frosh, whose office has a charter to target organized crime like the heroin smuggling networks turning Baltimore into a shooting gallery, is busy suing President Trump. Our senior United States Senator, Ben Cardin, who is from Baltimore, is busy with a social media blitz designed to find somebody else to blame for the fact that the FBI is not moving to Prince George's County.
In short, the Democratic Party, at every level — local, state and federal — remains completely ineffectual and continues to fail the people of Baltimore at every turn. This is no new development. That fact is that the Democratic Party has failed Baltimore and every other major American city for the last 50 years. What were once the shining examples of American progress have become abandoned shells inhabited primarily by those who do not have the means to move elsewhere.
Baltimore was once one of the great industrial cities of America, home to steel mills, shipyards and factories. Workers from all over the planet came to make their future.
Those days are long gone. Baltimore is on any given day the homicide capital of the United States in terms of murders per capita. Life expectancy in much of West Baltimore is on a par with that of North Korea. The unemployment rate among young black men is close to 40 percent.
Children as young as 3 are diagnosed with PTSD because of the constant violence that surrounds them. Thousands of homes sit vacant.
Baltimore's schools are an abject failure. Thirty percent of Baltimore's students never graduate high school. Twenty-one percent of Baltimore's students test as proficient in English, less than 20 percent as proficient in math.
All of this despite 50 years of the so-called war on poverty and Democratic rule in the city. All of this despite the fact that Maryland spends more per student on education in Baltimore City than in any other jurisdiction in the state. All of this despite the fact that the Democratic Party has held a virtual monopoly on elected office in Maryland for decades. The General Assembly is overwhelmingly Democratic. Seven of the eight Congressmen from Maryland are Democrats. Both sitting U.S. Senators are Democrats.
Here is the truth of the matter: Baltimore was built by private enterprise; the free market created jobs, built fortunes, paid for schools and constructed the neighborhoods and homes that still stand today.
Years of failed policy have driven those jobs out of state and, in many cases, out of the country. Business has fled. If you want to revive Baltimore, give its citizens hope and build a world in which young men can dream of something other than a future in the drug trade, you need to bring back that business, create jobs and retool the educational system so that our young people can hold those jobs.
The Democratic Party's obsession with high taxes, burdensome regulation and massive, wasteful government programs does none of that. These are the policies that created the problem in the first place and now perpetuate the death spiral in which the city is trapped. That will remain true until such time as the people of Baltimore, and by extension Maryland as a whole, stop blindly supporting a party that has failed them consistently for decades.
What Baltimore needs are government policies, at every level, laser-focused on job creation and the expansion of free enterprise. That means cutting taxes. That means reducing excessive regulation. That means reducing wasteful government spending. That means encouraging competition and innovation in education through school vouchers and charter schools.
These are policies focused on a simple but profound truth. The government does not create jobs. The free market does.
It is no wonder that the mayor, attorney general and Senator Cardin avoid even confronting the issues at hand. They have no answers; they are the problem.
If you want to change the result, you need to change the players. The Democratic Party has had 50 years to make good on its promises to the people of Baltimore. It has failed, totally and absolutely.
It's time to try something new. It's time to try success.