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Friday, January 13, 2006

Updated commentary: What do PG legislators really stand for?

(Updated 13 Jan 2006; see bottom of message for a response)
There's an old saying "that actions speak louder than words."

We all know the words that our Democratic legislators like to use. They claim to be for the common people, for higher taxes from corporations, for full employment, equality of everyone under the law.

But when it comes time for action, what are these senators really for--how do they vote?
  • Reduced employment opportunities
  • Reduced corporate tax revenues
  • Higher prices for working people
  • Discriminatory laws
Wal-Mart is one of the largest employers in the state. The company provides employment opportunities for hundreds, even thousands of people who might not otherwise have jobs, especially senior citizens. The company has, or had, plans to hire hundreds of people in economical disadvantaged parts of the state.

But our senators and delegates singled out one company, only one company, for discriminatory treatment that will probably reduce those employment opportunities and may well reduce current employment in the state.

Wal-Mart pays millions of dollars in taxes, and their customers pay millions more. These taxes support out always money-hungry state and local governments.

But our senators and delegates, who have with few exceptions complained for years that the state needs more money from corporations, have singled out one company, and only one company, one of the biggest taxpayers in the state, for legislation that will almost certainly reduce the taxes that corporation pays.

Wal-Mart keeps consumer prices down. They sell at low prices and they provide competition the prompts other companies to sell at lower prices. These low prices are particularly important to the low-income and working people that the Democratic Party claims to protect.

But our senators and delegates have voted for high prices. They have singled out the one company, and only one company, that probably has had the greatest influence on keeping consumer prices low, and will drive that company to raise prices, most likely leading to higher prices for everyone.

Some of our senators and delegates are products of the civil right movement, where they fought for laws to ensure that everyone was treated equally.

Those same legislators have voted for a discriminatory bill that is the opposite of what they claim to stand for.

Now, I know that some of these senators and delegates will try to confuse the issue by talking about health insurance issues. That may be a valid concern.

But this bill does not address health insurance needs generally. It ignores over 99% of Marylanders without health insurance. Statements claiming concern over health insurance needs do not explain why they singled out one, and only one, employer of less than one half of one percent of the uninsured people in Maryland, for this discriminatory travesty of justice.

Why have our senators and delegates voted in a way that will certainly harm more Maryland residents than it helps?

I don't know. I do know that as the elections approach I will be focusing what they actually do in this session of the General Assembly, and not on what they say, since they've demonstrated a such a huge difference between what they say and what they do.

Partial list of online reports (will be updated as the story develops).
Wyatt's reports quote well known demagogue, Sen. Gloria G. Lawlah (D-26) making very harsh comments about this company that employs and provides low prices to so many of her constituents, and say that Del. Anne Healey (D-22) "compared Wal-Mart to a schoolyard bully."
  • Post, 12 Jan 2006, 13 Jan 2006 (by John Wagner, Washington Post Staff Writer).
  • Wall Street Journal, 13 Jan 2006 (by Kris Hudson, Staff Reporter; will only be online briefly)
  • Reuters, 12 Jan 2006 (by Bryan Sears)
  • Wal-Mart press release, 12 Jan 2006
  • There are 786,000 uninsured people in the state of Maryland and less than one-half of one percent work for Wal-Mart. Clearly, the legislators who voted for this bill have let down hundreds of thousands of Marylanders in need. . . .
Del. Doyle A. Niemann's reply

1 comment:

  1. This bill did not single out Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart singled out itself as the only large employer not to provide health benefits at the minimal level required by the bill. Eight percent of payroll is half of what employers who do provide this benefit are willing to do. They are placed at an unfair disadvantage because Wal-mart fails to meet this minimal obligation. The bill was supported by large and small businesses as well as health advocates and organized labor.