When Our Fiscal Hands Are Tied: How Maryland Lost Control of Half Its Budget

Great demands are placed on lawmakers each year to spend taxpayers’ money. The causes are usually noble, well intentioned and passionately argued. As a lawmaker, I know first-hand how painful it is to say no when someone looks you in the eye and pleads for your help. Our human nature makes refusal a difficult choice […]

A Matter of Law: Is Rehrmann’s Property-Tax Ploy Illegal?

It is a rare day indeed when this journal opposes a tax cut, a rarer one still when it actually suggests an increase. But Harford County Executive Eileen Rehrmann’s proposal to do away with the state property tax prompts this response. It is, of course, entirely natural for gubernatorially aspiring politicians to dream up election-year […]

Precedents and Pitfalls: How to Create a Successful School Choice Program

School choice – which gives parents control over where the public dollars earmarked for their children’s education will be spent – is the most promising education reform in the United States today. Among reform proposals, it alone transfers power over basic education decisions from bureaucrats to parents, providing poor children in the worst school systems […]

Things That Ain’t So: A Response to Dworkin’s Review of Murray

Will Rogers is supposed to have said, “The trouble with most folks isn’t their ignorance, but that they know so many things that ain’t so.” Ron Dworkin’s disapproving review of Charles Murray’s What it Means to Be a Libertarian, published in the spring 1997 issue of Calvert News, is based on some ideas about economics […]

A Plea for Sanity: Keep Politics Out of the Regulatory Process

Each year, the Maryland General Assembly considers over 2,500 bills during its 90-day session. Because of this volume and due to limited time, it is difficult adequately to address each bill proposed. It would help if there were fewer bills, if certain categories of bill were simply ignored or ruled “off limits” or were dealt […]

The Interview: Eileen M. Rehrmann, Harford County Executive

From time to time, the Calvert Institute will be interviewing the major contenders in the 1998 gubernatorial race. In this issue, we have a conversation with Eileen Rehrmann, county executive for Harford County, who is challenging incumbent Governor Parris Glendening in the Democratic primary. Calvert Question. What has moved you to challenge Governor Glendening in […]

Have the Checks Come In? A Review of Dash\’s Rosa Lee

Reprinted with permission of the Capital Research Center, Washington, D.C., in one of whose publications a version of it previously appeared. The word “crisis” is much overused in America these days, but there really is no better word to describe the problems afflicting the nation’s inner cities. The social pathologies are overwhelming: illegitimacy, crime, drug […]

To Secure These Rights: Maryland\’s Infringement of Medical Privacy

The 1990s will come to be known as the heyday of the information age. The cost will be the loss of personal privacy. Privacy will become the legislative issue of the late 1990s. If we maintain that government can only be for the cause of the governed, then government must rein in the erosion of […]

Bailing Out on Busing: Why Maryland Should Reject the P.G. Plan

There can scarcely be a soul in Maryland convinced by Governor Parris N. Glendening’s (D) rationale for his plan to pump $250 million or so of state money into the Prince George’s County school system over the next five years. The funds will supposedly be used for any new school construction required if the school-busing […]

Pork, Charters and Taxpayer Rights: Making Government Accountable

Given the drubbing the Conservatives received in the recent election in the U.K., this may seem a strange time to suggest that Annapolis adopt Toryesque policies. However, as the commentary on the back page makes plain, the Conservatives’ electoral defeat has not in any way invalidated their ideological program of the last 18 years. After […]