Cumberland Times-News


June 3, 2014

A new twist

Candidates taking the pledge to raise taxes

— Candidates for political office can generally be counted on to make certain promises, chief among them the pledge to create new jobs (which we find amusing when it comes from incumbents, whom we want to ask “Why haven’t you done that already?”)

Time was, you weren’t likely to hear candidates promise to raise taxes ... but that has changed in recent years. Some are no longer fearful of promising to raise taxes — but only on certain things.

Recently, 216 candidates for the Maryland General Assembly signed a pledge to do what they can to increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack during the next legislative session. If all of them were elected, that number would be sufficient to ensure its passage.

At least one of them, a Republican, said he would vote for it only if other taxes were lowered. Good luck with that.

Some legislators love “sin taxes” on such things as alcohol, tobacco and — of course — legalized gambling. They are considered a source of revenue that can be spent on in ways the legislators feel are worthwhile.

Taxes passed by Maryland’s legislature already have driven many consumers to cross the border, particularly to buy cigarettes in places like West Virginia, where the taxes aren’t so high.

One of the ironic things about the proposal to increase cigarette taxes is that it comes at a time when the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and made it a civil offense.

Some of our candidates and current politicians would like to legalize marijuana possession altogether. Why would they do such a thing?

Silly question.

They want to tax it.

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  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014