Monday, July 17, 2017

Wyoming Democrats Invite Taxman O'Malley

Rumor has it the Wyoming Democrats just had a pow-wow in Thermopolis, to which they invited an out-of-state speaker: former Maryland governor and former Democrat presidential candidate Martin O'Malley.

One of their reasons for getting together was that there is apparently a "groundswell" against president Trump. They probably know something I do not, but be that as it may. It is always nice to see that Democrats in Wyoming are still active. A one-party system is never good for anybody in the long run. 

That said, I have to admit that their choice of speaker kind of defeated the very purpose of a two-party system here in Wyoming.
Martin O'Malley was governor of Maryland from 2007-2015, and got out of office just in time to make a token effort at becoming the Democrat presidential nominee in 2016. (Perhaps he was really running for Vice President?) As far as I have been able to tell, he did not sign any tax hikes into law during his last two years in office. If I am correct on that point, all his tax, fee and road-toll hikes were concentrated to the first six years of his gubernatorial tenure. 

During those years, though, he was highly prolific. He signed into law a total of 83 increases in taxes, fees and road tolls. That makes for one tax, fee or toll increase every four weeks for the first six years of his governorship. 

Hard as it is to imagine, there are actually more fiscally conservative Democrats out there, and with gubernatorial experience at that. For example, former New Hampshire Governor John Lynch held the line on taxes in general, and even repealed a tax that had been created during his time as governor.

In 2012, Lynch was ranked one of America's ten best governors by the Cato Institute's Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors

Unfortunately, Wyoming Democrats chose to invite Taxman O'Malley instead. From their perspective, the choice is logical. Wyoming Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to raise taxes right and left, and going out of their way to slam a new Gross Receipts Tax on top of all other taxes. 

As we all know, raising taxes is a sport played on the left side of the field, the side that Democrats have long dominated. Now that Republicans are running all over the field, apparently not knowing where they want to go, even the left flank is getting pretty crowded. Therefore, to fend off Republicans and claim left-side football as their game, Democrats had to bring in a coach with a proven track record and expertise in that side of the field. 

In Martin O'Malley, Wyoming Democrats found a man with a rock-solid record of raising taxes, hiking fees and jamming more government down taxpayers' throats. Therefore, if the Democrat strategy was to reclaim the very crowded left side of the football field, they picked the right guy.

If, on the other hand, they had chosen John Lynch they could have started a campaign for 2018 that would have placed them somewhere to the right of Wyoming Republicans. In choosing instead to fight the Republicans on what is now the home turf of both parties, the Democrats made sure that they will lose again here in Wyoming in 2018. Republicans are simply going to show that they are the better tax hikers.

At the end of the day, though, it really does not matter if we have to pay more taxes from our left pocket, or our right one. We taxpayers still end up with the short end of our paycheck. 

Hopefully, some day someone will come along who realizes that higher taxes do not cure everything from zits to the Bubonic Plague.


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