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Ehrlich throws snowball at O'Malley tax proposal

Thumbnail image for Ehrlich hand.jpgFormer 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.

By John Wagner  |  February 6, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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What la-la land is Ehrlich from, "eliminating payroll taxes for five months?!" What smoke and mirrors is Ehrlich going to use to say that cuts the government deficit.
Another thing Ehrlich, I haven't forgotten how you sicked your secret police on law abiding citizens who disagreed with your Republican war and death penalty opponents, and then you had the audacity to send their names into the homeland Security offices as potential terrorist and to be put on their watch list.
"Whose phone calls and e-mails are you going to intercept this time around you POS!!!

Posted by: tomniederberger | February 6, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"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."

What drives Ehrlich crazy is a misunderstanding of how real people in the real world start and expand businesses. Is that right? What drives me crazy is Ehrlich's lack of understanding about anything. He's Maryland's premier dilettante. This guy has to be helped by his Baltimore friends to make a go of the simple task of just existing. His gig was that he looked like John F. Kennedy and someday he would be President. Maybe, In Spiro Agnew's land anything is possible. I wonder where his sidekicks Luis Borunda and John Kane are. Plotting another rip off somewhere.

Posted by: GoodAmerican | February 6, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Martin O'Money passed a populist "millionaire" tax and the millionaires promptly left the state and revenue fell by a third from that bracket. Geez, we've got a real genius as governor.

Posted by: birvin9999 | February 6, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ehrlich managed to fit in one flat-out lie despite the snow report interruptions.

Exactly 30 minutes into his show, Mr. Ehrlich said that he did not raise taxes in 2003. Ha!

On March 14, 2003, only 57 days after his inauguration following a campaign against taxes, Mr. Ehrlich submitted a revised budget including a 57 percent property tax hike and an increase in annual corporate filing fees.

The property tax hike was his alone, as it was enacted by the Board of Public Works on which he sat, without the participation of the legislature. The annual corporate filing fees are a tax by another name, since all incorporated businesses in Maryland, large and small, must pay annual corporate filing fees.

Of course 2003 was just a warm-up for Mr. Ehrlich's 2004 budget process, during which he enacted $2 billion in more tax hikes, confirmed by the GOP-friendly Maryland Taxpayers Association:

Does he believe his own fantasies, or does he knowingly lie?

- Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

Posted by: justdafactsSteveLebowitz | February 7, 2010 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Stupid moron. Who's going to pay for snowplowing?

Posted by: st50taw | February 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Every time we flush our toilets we think of Ehrlich and what he gave us, a Flush Fee (as opposed to another new tax). Yes, flush your toilet and watch your money go down the drain. Ehrlich is too lazy to actually work hard, he just wants to be a somebody. You get reelected by doing a good job with what you were left to work with. Ehrlich and Steele did a sh***y job and that's why we kicked their phony butts out. O'Malley is doing a good job in this terrible financial time, but the only way Ehrlich can do anything is too smear him.
Typical Repugnant Ehrlich, Maryland doesn't need another Repug searching out long-time government employees in Maryland
with your planted operative. Our memories are long and we remember how you fired excellent employees and put your unqualified friends in positions of power. You have proven to us just how mediocre you are.

Posted by: papafritz571 | February 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Bob "Governor Abrasive" Ehrlich, the 'Tom Delay' hatchet style governor? Second Term?? No way, Bob! Ehrlich actually went to the State House and lectured our representatives on being nice--and then proceeded to break every rule of civility along the way. First, we had to amend the Maryland Constitution to prevent him from selling off state lands for pennies on the dollar to his political crony. Then he used nefarious political hacks to fire 'unfire-able' state workers--who sued and got their jobs back plus a lot of taxpayer money. And no Prince Georges' resident will forget that he and Michal Steele hired homeless men from Philadelphia, bused them into Maryland, and sent them to PG County to hand out lying election flyers--one saying that Ehrlich and Steele were Democrats!l the other listing prominent Democrats as endorsers when they weren't. Ehrlich's wife Kendal and Michael "king of sleaze" Steele actually met the men and gave them their blessing. I'll actually go out and personally campaign against that blot on the state.

Posted by: commonsense101 | February 7, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Bobby talk about the illegal alien loophole in the bill.

Check out today's Examiner article:

Could it be that the illegals began to get their drivers licenses, and thus, their organized effort to undermine our elections under Bobby's administration?

I blame Bobby for our state's journey into sanctuary status, with MOM completing the task.

Do us all a favor, Bobby. . .stay out of the Gov race.

Go after Babs if you miss public office.

Posted by: politicalregister | February 8, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow ... Tommy Russell was taken aback ... what does he think the small business people are thinking about during this snowstorm - the false shock and awe he is portraying in the WaPo - No Tommy, we have time to think about all of the things that impact our businesses - to include snow removal of course; but not only that. When is this Administration going to stop belittling the people of Maryland - Yes We Can (ha) - have more than one thought at a time - and the impact of the $3,000 tax credit is one that I am analyzing this snowy day.

This time Gov Ehrlich is right - whatever keeps money in the hands of the small business owner should be explored - it's simple - the more cash we can keep in our businesses, the greater chance we have to stabilize and sustain (in this unfriendly business climate here in Maryland) - creating a greater opportunity for growth -which helps us to achieve the ideal climate within our businesses to retain employees and hire new ones. Right now I am sitting here thinking about how I am going to keep the 5 employees that I have. Five might sound like a small number to Tommy - but they are somebody's father, mother, neighbor, friend - and they need to keep their jobs - that tax is not going to help them at all today. But never-the-less, I am sitting here during this snowy day to figure this out - because I am going to keep them; and yes I am also thinking about pushing the snow off of my car!

So Tommy Russell, I know you are from the Washington DC political circle (yes we know you are from the halls of DC) - and you have to do your "campaign manager thing" to keep your candidate in a good light. But as you craft your statements to try to deflate Gov Ehrlich - make sure you are sensitive to the Marylander (not Dem or Rep) that at the moment may be having the same thought as he is having. Not because we are thinking politics - but because we are thinking about people - genuinely!

So, I can only hope that you are shocked and awed about the real concern, as Marylanders, we have about the quality of life of our neighbors. Perhaps you will then get a better understanding of why a good many of us could give a "flying rats banana" about ideas labeled Dem or Rep - but all ideas, need to be on the table to "dig" Maryland out of this economic snowstorm in which we find ourselves - not just those which dovetail what our President has presented for the country. I know your candidate wants to be re-elected and he is mimmicking every idea the President Obama puts forth to stimulate our economy (even though he was adament that President Obama did/(does?) not have the experience necessary to run the country - and so did LtGov Brown) - but let us explore other ideas - okay? Some of us believe that President Obama could use a little help - new ideas regarding business - from the otherside.

Posted by: EIEAR | February 8, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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