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Opinion: Md. State, Local Lawmakers Should Take Lessons From Virginia

Photo by Angela Breck.

By Jason Neuringer

The writer is a resident of Rockville.

The old adage is “As goes California, so goes the nation. But in the D.C. area, as goes Virginia, so goes Maryland.”

There is a lot to unpack and a lot to analyze in the Republican defeat of the Democratic heavyweight Terry McAuliffe, but the biggest issue by far among voters is the economy. Period. Immigration, law and order, COVID — while important issues — paled in comparison.

For council members and legislatures in Rockville and Annapolis, it would be wise to heed these concerns. Maryland residents and, in particularly, Montgomery County residents, are concerned first and foremost about the economy and rising costs of goods and services.

As many in Rockville and Annapolis like to think, affordable housing is a concern, but this affects only a narrow part of the electorate.

Instead, all residents can share in the frustration that a six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal at McDonalds is $6.49, when just a few years ago it was less than $3. Or how gas has skyrocketed almost 100% in some stations.

Some of these rising costs can be attributed to a larger national and global explanation but many are directly related to leaders in Rockville and Annapolis — a $15 minimum wage, vaccine mandates, green energy standards and the Crown Act to name a few. These policies, have a direct impact on how businesses operate and what it costs to run a business. When these new laws cost a business more, there are two options — close or pass the costs on to customers.

In Montgomery County, the residents are paying for (literally) the cost of poor governance. Instead, the county council and Annapolis leaders are more concerned with racial equity, international green construction codes and getting into fights with Gov. Larry Hogan. These may feed the appetites of the radicals, but for the average Montgomery County resident, it is a painful cost.

The Montgomery County good idea fairy costs the rest of us money. Instead of always rushing to do “something,” perhaps the county council and Annapolis leaders should try doing nothing.

Our leaders in Rockville and Annapolis have been tone deaf long enough. As the cost to live in Montgomery County increases, one is left to ask why they are more concerned with fringe issues than the concerns of the average citizen.

There is a reason why that same chicken nugget Happy Meal is more than $6 in Montgomery County and in neighboring jurisdictions like Fairfax County, Va., is cheaper. It’s because Fairfax isn’t run by the Montgomery County Council and delegation.

One could argue the difference is negligible. But when that negligible cost is added to everything from food, to diapers, to clothes, to gas, it adds up to real dollars. Real dollars that are leaving residents’ pockets to pay for do-goodery that benefits no one and only weakens our economy and community.

Perhaps our Rockville and Annapolis leaders should take the lessons from Virginia. Otherwise, they will face the same fate.


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Opinion: Md. State, Local Lawmakers Should Take Lessons From Virginia