By Michael Higgs, MCGOP Chairman
For this final column of 2015, I cannot pass on the opportunity to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, and for all of our Jewish friends, the happiest of Chanukahs! This is a time of joyous celebrations, of family and fellowship. The MCGOP came together for our own Christmas party last week and also collected many wonderful items for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. Because of the generosity of so many of our friends, Christmas morning will be that much more special for dozens of children in need of some holiday cheer.
Unfortunately, as I begin to look ahead to the impending New Year, my holiday cheer quickly dissipates. Montgomery County is in deep trouble. Tax revenues for our county are down … way down. And they are forecasting continued revenue shortfalls into the future. What is the county proposing to do about this? Should we stop funding the left-wing social engineering programs enacted when our dear leaders thought the boom times would never end? Should we stop handing taxpayer money over to CASA de Maryland to push its radical, pro-illegal alien agenda? Of course they should, but will they? OF COURSE NOT!
The latest proposal from our dear leaders to deal with MoCo’s looming fiscal crisis is an across the board, 11.5% cut for every agency and program. That means our County Executive and Council place CASA and their other left-wing boondoggles on an equal footing with our children’s education, our police and fire protection, and our other vital services. We can all agree that Montgomery County was once renowned for its first rate services, but most of them are now average at best. Our roads are crumbling and fail to keep up with growth; our schools are no longer the envy of the region; it can take days after moderate snowfalls to get plows on the side-streets.
However, we all know that the 11.5% budget reduction is just a scare tactic to make it easier for the unwitting public to swallow yet another tax hike. What we need are targeted cuts to social engineering and special interest handouts, not across the board cuts or tax hikes. Here’s how I know that Tax Hike Ike is not serious about real solutions to Montgomery’s budget problems: Mr. Leggett is proposing to further raise salaries for top county employees.
Our county employees already make more than their State of Maryland employee counterparts, by a substantial margin (in many cases by 50% and more). Mr. Leggett’s plan to impose a special taxing district to fund bus express lanes (ie, shutting down lanes of traffic to cars so they remain empty during rush hour except for the occasional mostly-empty bus) across MoCo failed miserably, so now he says the county will just have to pay for it on its own. By the way, “the county” really means “taxpayers” in that last sentence. Also, in defiance of a directive from Governor Hogan, the Democrats running Montgomery County are openly pleading with the Syrian refugees to settle here and enjoy our bountiful social services.
Montgomery County is in serious trouble, but our dear leaders are not taking it seriously. It is time we held them accountable. We are reaping the fruits of ONE PARTY RULE, and they are bitter indeed. Please help the Montgomery County Republican Party find the next great crop of candidates that can run to bring sanity back to county government. Please donate to help us spread our message of fiscal conservatism to all corners of our beloved Montgomery County.
May God bless us all in these troubling times.