Ehrlich throws snowball at O'Malley tax proposal
Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who from all appearances is gearing up to run again, criticized both the tax policies and speaking style of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) during a Saturday morning radio show that was interrupted several times by snowstorm updates.
During his weekly program broadcast on Baltimore's WBAL radio, Ehrlich took aim at the centerpiece of a proposed O'Malley plan to expand jobs: a $3,000 tax credit for each worker that businesses hire off the unemployment rolls.
Ehrlich agreed with one of his guests, House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert), that the credit was not enough of an inducement for most companies to add workers.
"That's what drives me crazy," Ehrlich said. "It's a misunderstanding of how real people in the real world start and expand businesses."
Ehrlich suggested that state would do better by rolling back the corporate income tax rate, which lawmakers raised in 2007 with O'Malley's support. Ehrlich also praised a caller who suggested that payroll taxes be suspended for five months.
"In my view, whatever keeps money in your hands ... is an idea that should be discussed," Ehrlich said.
Earlier in the program, Ehrlich offered an assessment of O'Malley's "State of the State" address this week and criticized the governor's "soaring rhetoric."
"I just don't believe that his style speaks to the average Marylander," Ehrlich said.
The former governor also continued to criticize O'Malley for including "phantom numbers" in his recent budget proposal.
The two-hour show, which Ehrlich co-hosts with his wife, Kendel, was interrupted several times for updates on snow conditions and closings.
At one point, the station cut away to a live press conference being conducted by O'Malley, in which he relayed that the storm has caused major power outages and that Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport had been closed.
O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell said he was taken aback by Ehrlich's focus.
"I find it in poor taste that former Governor Ehrlich would be throwing political bombs from his talk show on the same day that Governor O'Malley and so many others are focused on dealing with the storm and the record snowfalls," Russell said.
February 6, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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