04.04.10 Outrage in Maryland

So, you thought of Maryland as a liberal bastion, did you — just because Dems hold huge supermajorities in both houses of the Maryland legislature?  Well, you’re wrong, because this state Democratic party is in the sway of the Catholic church, big business, the liquor lobby, and big gambling (among other nefarious characters).  Count on it: Maryland will be among the last of Democrat-controlled states in the country to legalize gay marriage serious open government legislation, just to name two progressive mainstays.

He’s the latest outrage from this pale blue state: impending passage of HB946/SB385: the “Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers (BOAST)” bill.  This ugly piece of legislation will give a 75% tax credit (not a deduction, but rather a CREDIT, i.e., cold, hard cash right back in their pockets) for contributions up to $200,000 by business to PRIVATE SCHOOLS.  So, at a time when we are running huge budget deficits and cutting public-school funding to the bone, we’re encouraging our wealthiest residents and businesses to underwrite religious institutions (since very, very few private schools are secular).

HUH?!

It now seems certain that this monstrosity will become law.  At this point, the best progressives can hope for is some language preventing recipient schools from discriminating against gay students and we’re not even sure that will make it into the bill.

I have written to my legislators (who are a good bunch, over all) informing them of my intention to withhold the proportion of my state taxes that would fund this horribly misguided initiative.  If we can’t stop this from becoming law, right-minded tax-payers ought to refuse to pay for it.

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4 Comments on “04.04.10 Outrage in Maryland”

  1. Mrs. G Says:

    Wow! What do you have against the children???? education, tax credits (Obama advocates for tax credits) private schools, or religion?

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    • Keith Berner Says:

      I have absolutely nothing against children, which is why (1) I want to assure that public monies are going to support public education and (2) why I want to protect them from the the superstition peddled by organized religion (not to mention the pedophilia of Catholic priests). I have nothing against education, which is why I want to protect its availability to *all* children in this country, not just those of means or those who belong to organized religions. I have nothing against religion, as long as it is something practiced by adults in their religious institutions and not at the expense of civic institutions and government based on rationality. I have nothing against tax credits, as long as they are not going to the wealthiest among us.

      I hope that answers your questions.

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  2. Robin Says:

    My siblings and I went to Catholic school and my mom used to say that she wished she could get a tax break since her kids weren’t using the public school system. Ok, that logic might be, on some grounds, semi-justified but a tax break to companies that donate to private schools? Just seems wrong all the way. Who are the invididuals who have engineered this piece of self-serving legislation?

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    • Keith Berner Says:

      Thanks for this, Robin. Apart from the issue of the giveaway to the ultra-wealthy in this bill, your mom’s reasoning was flawed: if we all only paid taxes for the public services we used, there would be no public infrastructure. Regarding education, a decision to siphon off public money from public education would result in no educational opportunity at all for anyone but the rich or the religious.

      As for the individuals responsible for BOAST, click on the link in my post for the bill numbers and you will find a list of the dozens of Maryland legislators who cosponsored it. Of course, the numbers who have been voting for it is even greater than that. Fortunately, none of our D-20 delegation is among them. And we are blessed to have Sen. Jamie Raskin doing his damndest to stop it.

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