For those in need of a good chuckle, Americans for Tax Reform recommends checking out the Democratic Governors’ Association’s twitter feed. The latest gem came this afternoon, when the DGA sent out a tweet touting Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s denunciation, during an appearance on Fox News this morning, of Republican opposition to Harry Reid’s millionaire surtax in the U.S. Senate.
O’Malley began by referring to the current economic doldrums as “the Bush recession,” despite the fact that President Obama is in his third year in office. The good news is that the electorate isn’t buying such nonsense anymore. A new Gallup poll released this week found that, for the first time ever, a majority of Americans now blame Obama for the current economy and not Bush.
The funny thing about O’Malley's critique of Republican opposition to a tax hike on high earners is who it is coming from. O’Malley, better than anyone, should be familiar with the unintended consequences and folly of raising taxes on higher earners.
In 2008, to address a state budget deficit brought about by Maryland’s structural overspending problem, Gov. O’Malley championed and signed into law a new millionaire income tax bracket, raising the rate to 6.25%. A May 2009 Wall Street Journal editorial described the result of O’Malley’s tax increase one year later:
“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.
…All of this means that the burden of paying for bloated government in Annapolis will fall on the middle class. Thanks to the futility of soaking the rich, these working families will now pay Mr. O'Malley's "fair share.”
The bad news is that O’Malley hasn’t learned from his own experience and is now a cheerleader for the same misguided tax increase at the federal level. The good news for everyone else is that no lawmaker is a total failure, some just serve as bad examples. Clearly, Senator Mitch McConnell and his entire caucus, along with some Senate Democrats, have learned from Gov. O’Malley’s bad example.
Going back to the DGA’s belief that Gov. O’Malley is a good spokesman for Harry Reid’s tax hike, all we have to say is, really!?!
For those in need of a source of non-stop hilarity, I encourage you to follow @DemGovs today.
For more information on why Harry Reid's millionaires' surtax is bad for the economy and will kill jobs, click here.