Maryland Millionaires Missing

The People’s Republic of Maryland is about as left as they come. The state has so many Democrats in the largest, most heavily populated subdivisions that all the others combined cannot overcome the deficit. This means a lot of Democrats win elections and the same ones win over and over and…

The previous governor of the state was a Republican, the first one in about 40 years. He assumed office with a deficit and left with an excess. He did some things I did not like but was moderately conservative which in this state is way right.

When Democrat Martin O’Malley defeated Republican Robert Ehrlich in 2006 the surplus disappeared not long after O’Malley took office. He had to pay his special interest buddies off and make good on the promises to people who got him elected. It was not long before a special session of the legislature was called in order to discuss the budget problems. We all knew that meant a tax increase.

In that session the Democrats raised the state sales tax 20% (from 5 to 6%) and they raised the income tax on the “rich.” Up until that time the rate in Maryland was the same for everyone but the Democrats decided that the rich needed to pay more to redistribute the wealth to others. Many of us warned that the wealthy would pick up and move or would find ways to reduce their taxable income. No, they would grin and bear it, or so said the Baltimore Sun.

The Wall Street Journal has an article that discusses the tax increases and how Maryland has one third fewer millionaires than it had last year. That’s right, one third of the millionaires are no longer around. Some of this is because of the economy but many of them just packed up and moved on.

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

O’Malley and his Democratic buddies could not get spending under control. Well, the reality is, they did not want to. They continue to pass unfunded mandates and though the law requires a balanced budget they can’t seem to manage that. The solution was simple for them. Being the good Democrats they are, they raised taxes on the rich. Some of the rich voted with their feet and now the state is taking in less money than it anticipated so the not so rich are going to end up footing the bill.

One other issue along these lines is the slot machine fiasco. Ehrlich tried to get slots through legislative action and the Democrats shot him down because “that is no way to balance a budget.” O’Malley, who was vehemently opposed to slots, was elected and all of the sudden slots are a good idea to raise money. They put it on the ballot as a referendum which means it becomes part of the state Constitution. It is never a good idea to put something like this in the Constitution. It passed and now they are stuck with the rules which can only be changed with another referendum. If they had legislated it they could have changed it with the legislative process.

Now we have slots that can’t be put into place because the rules are all screwed up. We have gone 7 years since Ehrlich introduced them which means if they had enacted the slots then they would be in place and generating revenue.

Maryland can’t get its act together because it is run by liberal Democrats and, like nearly every state run by Democrats, it is run poorly and in the red.

The people of Maryland need to wake up and start voting out all the people who keep making the messes. Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was the definition of insanity.

The people of Maryland are insane.

Cross posted at Grizzly Groundswell

Big Dog

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28 Responses to “Maryland Millionaires Missing”

  1. Blake says:

    I can’t blame them for fleeing- I would also, if I was going to be taxed as they are. I would find an island in the Caymans or somewhere, and hole up, as they say. This country will be so screwed up for at least the next two years, that fleeing with all of YOUR money makes sense. It should not be the gubmint’s money- they should only have just as much, no more, than they need for basic services. The rest of the services should be supplied by the state. If the state is so incompetent as to go bankrupt, perhaps that would be a good wake up call to change lawmakers, no matter the party.

  2. Barbara says:

    All of the government now is a joke with democrats in office who don’t give a hoot about anyone except themselves. People in Maryland put the same people in over and over again with the same results. There should be a limit on how long someone can serve in Maryland, but how do you go about getting this done?

    • Darrel says:

      You pass term limits which are somewhat undemocratic because they keep the public from re-electing potentially a very good candidate.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      • kayfromcarroll says:

        Term limits will never get through the Maryland legislative process. The only hope is the Constitutional Convention in 2010, which gives the electorate the chance to effect change.

        go to mdconcon.org or google Maryland constitutional convention 2010 for info.

  3. Darrel says:

    BLAKE: “Maryland can’t get its act together because it is run by liberal Democrats and, like nearly every state run by Democrats, it is run poorly and in the red.”

    DAR
    Actually, you have that ass backwards (big surprise). You guys like to go on about “welfare” and “income distribution” so lets take a look at which states are carrying the weight and which are the moochers, shall we?

    ***
    Check this out:

    1. New Mexico- $2.03

    2. Mississippi- $2.02

    3. Alaska- $1.84

    4. Louisiana- $1.78

    5. West Virginia- $1.76

    6. North Dakota- $1.68

    7. Alabama- $1.66

    8. South Dakota- $1.53

    9. Kentucky- $1.51

    9. Virginia- $1.51

    10. Montana- $1.47

    What is that you ask? That is the Redistribution of Wealth Top Ten.

    That’s right.

    For each dollar those states pay to the Feds, that’s what they Get Back.

    Talk about “Welfare.”

    Confused? Seriously? Okay.

    For every $1.00 Mississippi pays in Federal Taxes, they Receive $2.02 in Return (That’s Chimpy Math).

    Get it Now?

    That, is “Wealth Redistribution,” on a National Level.

    And you People have the Audacity to Whine about “Socialism?”

    Are you… Kidding Me?

    Look here, “Red Staters,” without the “Redistribution of Wealth,” your States would have Exactly-

    Jack Squat…

    Oh, just in case you’re wondering about the Rest of the List.

    Eighteen out of the Top 20 Welfare Recipients are “Red States.”

    And Good Old Commie California?

    California gets $0.78 for every Ducket they Pay (That’s 78 Cents).

    Yep, those Old Commie Buggers are not only Paying for their Stuff, they’re also Paying for YOURS!

    Hardly seems Fair. Especially the way you “Real Americans” constantly Bad Mouth the “anti-American, Leftist Coast.”

    …Get It Together, Wingnuts!

    If you don’t like “Socialism,” MOVE!

    Get a Job, in a CITY!

    Get off the Farm, and Return the Subsidy Money.

    You have a Problem with the “Redistribution of Wealth?”

    Excellent.

    Get on the Horn, after reading the rest of this post, and tell your State Rep:

    Hey, Bootlicker, we don’t need that New School or that New Bridge…or Roads. The people who Earned the Money Should Get to Keep the Money.
    ***

    Source:

    http://fairlane.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/wingnuts-wealth-redistribution-and-what-was-palin-wearing/

    See the order of the states here:

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html

    Notice the BLUE states at the bottom.

    D.

    • Blake says:

      I do so wish that you would actually READ the posts Darrel- once again, you attribute quotes to me that are not mine.
      Assuming again, are we?

  4. Darrel says:

    BLK: “In that session the Democrats raised the state sales tax 20% (from 5 to 6%) and they raised the income tax on the “rich.”>>

    DAR
    This is profoundly dishonest right-wing math spin. Going from 5% to 6% is raising the tax rate 1% not “20%.”

    If a $100 product goes on sale for $95 we would say it is a sale of %5 off. If it is further lowered to $90, we say the sales price is 10% off (or we have given another 5% off). We would not say we have lowered the price 100% because we doubled the original 5% rate. That’s just stupid.

    And regarding taxing the rich. Good. Soak them. I don’t judge the success of a country by how many millionaires and billionaires it can create but rather by how robust it’s middle class is, how few ghetto’s and impoverished it has, and how it treats it’s elderly people.

    Canada has no ghetto’s, and they have enough millionaires. America can do better. The rich will take care of themselves, it’s what they do best. The idea that the rich are over taxed in the US is ludicrous. I’ll refer to Warren Buffet to teach you about this:

    ***
    I Should Pay More Tax, Says US Billionaire Warren Buffett

    By Andrew Clark
    The Guardian UK

    Wednesday 31 October 2007

    The United States’ second-richest man has delivered a blunt message to the Bush administration: he wants to pay more tax.

    Warren Buffett, the famous investor known as the “Sage of Omaha”, has complained that he pays a lower rate of tax than any of his staff – including his receptionist. Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52bn (£25bn), said: “The taxation system has tilted towards the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It’s dramatic; I don’t think it’s appreciated and I think it should be addressed.”

    During an interview with NBC television, Mr Buffett brandished an informal survey of 15 of his 18 office staff at his Berkshire Hathaway empire. The billionaire said he was paying 17.7% payroll and income tax, compared with an average in the office of 32.9%.

    “There wasn’t anyone in the office, from the receptionist up, who paid as low a tax rate and I have no tax planning; I don’t have an accountant or use tax shelters. I just follow what the US Congress tells me to do,” he said.
    ***

    Read the rest here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/31/usnews

    D.

    • Big Dog says:

      And you know so much Darrel then explain why Maryland is way behind in revenue since the tax increases. A lot of people are going to Delaware and other states where taxes are lower or there are none. Some folks moved out and others found ways to decrease their taxable income.

      He was warned this would happen but Democrats can’t help soaking people to get money from them no matter what will happen.

      • Darrel says:

        Might GW Bush’s great depression II have something to do with this?

        Yes.

        ***
        Maryland tax revenues falling short

        Excerpt:

        “Tough economic times have pushed Maryland’s tax collections down about 17 percent in April, and general revenue is on pace to fall well short of state forecasts for the rest of this year, according to state Comptroller Peter Franchot… [snip]

        And note:

        “Corporate-, sales-,and tobacco-tax collections have shown growth, however. Mr. Franchot said those are only because of tax increases passed during the 2007 special session of the General Assembly. So far, corporate-tax revenue is up 6.3 percent, sales-tax revenue is up 1.4 percent, and tobacco- and alcohol-tax revenues are up 17 percent.”

        Source:

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/14/maryland-tax-revenues-falling-short/

        D.

        • Blake says:

          Actually, the Depression II occurred on the watch of all the liberals who were elected in 2006- things were ok until then, even though Elmer Fudd (Barney Frank) had done his dead- level best to screw fannie mae and freddie man into the ground, and Franklin Raines (one of Barama’s mentors) had left from the position of CEO of Fannie Mae with 60 million or so dollars, leaving nothing but a ruined company.
          Don’t blame Bush for what was not his fault here.
          This is all on the libs.

        • Big Dog says:

          No, the economic downturn created by the Democrats in Congress might. Franchot is putting his best spin on it but he knows that people are leaving. I live here and can tell you they are leaving. They claim it is economic times but many members of the legislature are telling stories about constituents who are leaving to live the number of days required in a home in another state so they can claim not to be residents of MD and therefore pay fewer taxes.

          As for the numbers, we have an additional 1.4 BILLION dollar debt. That is 1.4 B on top of the debt we had when they started. The taxes collected are misleading since many people are going to VA to buy tobacco and businesses are leaving the state.

  5. Big Dog says:

    No Darrel,
    The rate was raised from 5 to 6% which is adding 1% to the sales tax but it is a 20% increase (1 is 20% of 5).

    As for your numbers. Go to those states you claim take all the money and then see where it is redistributed. I am willing to bet that the LIBERAL cities get most of the money.

    You can rail all you want but lower taxes increase revenue to the taxing authority. Raising taxes on the rich is UNDEMOCRATIC (since you used that term with regard to term limits).

    The bottom 40% of wage earners pay no taxes and they (as well as wage earners who pay little in taxes) consume more of our taxes (falsely called government money) than they provide. The wealthy get less than what they pay in.

    We all derive the same benefit from government so we should pay the same rate.

    If Buffet pays a lower rate it is because he games the tax system. But I think he lied.

    The top 20% of earners pay most of the taxes in this country.

    • Randy says:

      Actually no, Darrel is correct. A 5% rate is 5% of 100%. If you raise it to 6%, it’s a 1% increase. While 1 is certainly 20% of 5, 1% isn’t 20% of 5%.

      • Blake says:

        1% IS 20% of 5%- it is not 20% of 100%- but ANY increase is troubling in this time, unless you are Barama, with the free home, and the free food, and the free limos, and the free helicopters, and the free Jumbo Jet- at what point do you think he feels ENTITLED to all of this? His values have been skewed from the beginning, and someone who really cared about the American people would not be doing all that he is doing.

        • Big Dog says:

          People have a hard time understanding the percentage of tax increase and the increase in the tax rate.

        • Randy says:

          I stand corrected. Though it is more honest to say that the tax increased by 1%. Millionaires aren’t leaving the state because the sales tax increased 1%. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have a great wealth of millionaires in Chicago. Chicago, which is in Illinois, which is where we pay more in federal taxes than we get on the dole from the federal government. So for all the states Darrel mentioned above I say, “you’re welcome”.

    • Darrel says:

      You presume, with no supporting argument, that the “Liberal cities” get most of the money in those red states but how does this explain or even address the different ranking of the states? It doesn’t. Sorry. Not buying it.

      How is raising taxes on the rich… “UNDEMOCRATIC”? That makes no sense. It’s actually called progressive taxation and goes back to 1862 in the US. Our democratic government enacted this.

      Here is an exchange John McCain had during a town hall meeting. I’ll let him explain it to you:

      ***
      Audience member: “Why is it that someone like my father who goes to school for 13 years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he’s a doctor.”

      McCain: “I think it’s to some degree because we feel obviously that wealthy people can afford more.”

      Audience member: “Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism?”

      McCain: “Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.”
      ***

      BLAKE: The bottom 40% of wage earners pay no taxes…>>

      DAR
      Actually, that’s rubbish. They pay FICA which goes into general revenue and gets used exactly the same as all the rest. Plus, they are taxed on all of it while the wealthy are only taxed up to $102,000. After that, it’s clear sailing.

      BLAKE: We all derive the same benefit from government so we should pay the same rate.>>

      DAR
      Thank you for completely agreeing with Warren Buffet’s point.

      D.

      • Blake says:

        The wealthy do not get their fair share back- the poor do.
        Personally I would like to see a Constitutional Convention with the SOLE PURPOSE of abolishing the 16th amendment, and have a flat tax instead- eliminate the IRS and the ten thousand pages of unreadable regs.

      • Big Dog says:

        I think I said I was willing to bet that was the case and that i would like to see it broken down that way.

        How is it undemocratic to have term limits? We are not a democracy we are a republic but that aside, if we want fairness how is it fair for someone to pay more of his income than others?

        What entitles you to my money? That is what it boils down to.

        • Darrel says:

          BIGD: “How is it undemocratic to have term limits?”>>

          DAR
          Earlier in this thread I said term limits:

          “are somewhat undemocratic because they keep the public from re-electing potentially a very good candidate.”

          I am not arguing for or against them. There is a good and bad side to them. People are free to enact such laws (democracy at work). But the drawback is that sometimes they stop an excellent candidate from being re-elected by a populace that would like to vote and hire them again. In that sense they are “somewhat democratic.”

          BIGD: “how is it fair for someone to pay more of his income than others?”>>

          It’s called progressive taxation, look it up. Wiki has a good blurb on it. Very few are against it, even the very rich (see Buffet). This is because the rich benefit immensely by having their taxes keep the system working smoothly (and clearly to their profound benefit). The wealth generated by a Wal-Mart for instance doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It needs a society, and roads, and utilities, and an educated populace with health care access and a functioning society that can afford to buy their products.

          Taxes in the US are relatively low for first world countries. And this shows. We have a much greater disparity between rich and poor than other countries tolerate. Repub’s tend to make the problem worse, Dem’s tend to level the field more.

  6. Big Dog says:

    I would be more than happy to remove subsidies for farmers. I don’t care how much milk and eggs cost nor do I care what beef costs. I think farmers should be able decide how much to produce and to manipulate the market to be able to earn income.

    I think your numbers are pretty skewed and the bulk of the money goes to welfare programs in liberal cities within blue states.

    As for Buffet, he probably has income that is considered capital gains so it is taxed at a lower rate. Most wealthy people are not receiving money that is considered capital gains.

    • Randy says:

      Actually, many rich people derive a large portion of income from capital gains. How do you think most wealthy people are earning their money?

      • Blake says:

        And you would punish people for success?

      • Big Dog says:

        I have no problems with it I just think they should not complain that others are paying more in taxes when they are, as I said, gaming the system.

      • Big Dog says:

        And if they feel that badly about it the treasury will take donations to pay the national debt. All the rich Democrats who claim we do not pay enough don’t send millions to the treasury to pay off the debt. Why do you suppose that is?

        As for Darrel’s claim about Social Security being a tax on the poor and that it goes to the general fund.

        This is misleading. The SSA is required to purchase a government bond with the excess money taken in. In the real world the money would be invested and the bond could be redeemed but in government the money is spent and the bond is a worthless piece of paper. This is what government does.

        As for the SS tax (FICA) the wealthy only pay into it on the first 106,000 of income but no matter how much they make they will cap out in SS benefits at about what a person making 150,000 would and if they make too much in retirement, they will have their benefits reduced.

        They paid in and they are entitled. If you raise the cap or remove it them rich people should be able to draw a hell of a lot more in retirement than a guy who made 10 grand a year.

  7. Big Dog says:

    No Randy, 1% increase was not what made them leave. It was the nearly 3% rise in income and the taxes placed on all the services that were formerly tax exempt.

    Maryland had the largest tax increase of any state (largest one time increase).

    Couple it with the already over taxed everything and the fees for all you do and it was bye bye for them.

  8. Big Dog says:

    I know what a progressive tax is but I asked you how it was fair. I doubt that many wealthy people like it but those who do generally know how to game the system to pay less, like Kerry’s wife who earns millions each year in nontaxable bonds.

    The question was, how is it fair. How is it fair for a wealthy person to pay more as a percentage of income than anyone else? The whole meme with you guys is making it fair. This is not fair.

    Is it any wonder the wealthy hide money and look for ways to avoid taxes. Don’t tell me they like it. Look how many tax cheats that have been exposed among the Democrats this past year. Look how many people have money in off shore accounts.

    If they liked it, they would pay it. If they felt they needed to pay more they could write checks to the treasury. They do not do it because they want to keep their money.

    If everyone paid the same percentage of income we would have more revenue and everyone would have a stake in the country.

    As it stands right now, I don’t care what people who pay no taxes want done. They don’t pay in so why do they get to say how to spend it.

  9. Caped Crusader says:

    kayfromcarroll is right about how those of us in Maryland should approach the method to create new legislation that we feel is long overdue, and won’t pass the General Assembly anyway.

    It is vital that people become aware of a single question that pops up on the voting ballot only ONCE every 20 YEARS.

    And that asks if the people want to hold a state Constitutional Convention.

    Whatever legislation may come out of this convention is voted on BY THE PEOPLE and NOT the GA.

    Head on over to mdconcon.wordpress.com and read more about it.

    You won’t be disappointed.