No Dice!

On August 12, Governor Glendening announced – firmly – that no bill authorizing slot machines or casinos in Maryland will pass into law under his watch.1 Nonetheless, given the – how shall one say this? – pliancy of various Maryland politicians on this issue, it bears remembering that a day is an age in politics […]

A ‘D’ for the Professor: Maryland\’s Taxing Situation

During Maryland’s last gubernatorial election, Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey promised deep tax cuts. She pointed to the 30 percent tax cut in New Jersey as a model. The victorious Parris N. Glendening seemed to get the message. After he took office, he called for a five percent to ten percent income-tax cut: a wise economic […]

Ticket to Ride: Why Baltimore Must Not Raise Income Taxes

The defense first made for Mayor Schmoke’s recent proposal to up the city piggyback income tax was the small average per-person tax increase that would result, less than $75 a year. This is not the point. Baltimore is not a pleasant enough place to live that it can afford to be making any more tax […]

Public v. Private Schools: A Reality Check on the BCPS

So how are vouchers doing?” asks columnist Clarence Page in a March 15 piece in the Baltimore Sun, preposterously titled, “A Reality Check on School Vouchers.” “Unfortunately,” he opines sternly, “the marketplace produces disasters along with miracles.” School choice falls into the former category, apparently. Two — yes, two — of the private schools participating […]

Government First: Why the Rusk Plan Cannot Save Baltimore

To understand the effort to revitalize Baltimore City, one needs an analogy – perhaps the Allied landing on D-Day. About 15 years ago, the yuppies landed on the beaches of Baltimore. On that thin strip of land called the Inner Harbor, they built their camp, and the fashionable and gleaming Brooks Brothers, Williams-Sonoma, and Crabtree […]

Child Access Mediation: Saving Time and Money

With all the criticism of non-custodial parents that goes on in Congress over payment of financial child support, it is gratifying to see that at least one jurisdiction in Maryland pays attention to the emotional aspect of child support – parenting. There are financial child-support offices all across America to help parents obtain monetary relief, […]

The Brighter Borough: Lessons from Wandsworth, London

Wandsworth is a United Kingdom success story. An inner-city London borough of 260,000 people, it has prospered because its leading council members have retained a clear and focused vision of what good local government means. (American readers should recall that in the U.K., there is no separation of powers for legislative/executive functions. In the Wandsworth […]

Wake Up, Corporate America: How Business Feeds the Mouth that Bites It

The Environmental Law Institute is a tax-exempt organization active in the field of public policy. Among its claims to fame is the legal rationale that allowed Exxon to be held criminally responsible for the Valdez oil spill off Alaska. Every year, astonishingly, the Environmental Law Institute receives a grant – generally around $5,000 – from […]

Public Funds into Private Pockets: How Corporate Welfare Offends the Constitution

Consider the following hypothetical situations: One, you are an honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen who has never had an interest in professional sports. Your state and local government representatives decide to incur debt and spend millions of dollars to persuade the wealthy owner of a professional sports team to locate in the city where you live. […]

Corporate Welfare, City Management

As the victors of the Great Stadium Debate of ’96 now find that the whopping $200 million set aside for a new Baltimore bowl will not even buy one they find attractive, advocates of small government must surely be suppressing a smile. Or at least they would be, had not so much taxpayer money gone […]