Do a little research before voting -- Gazette.Net


As the 2014 election cycle continues to pick up steam, it is time that folks do more than listen to sound bites. Voters need to do a little research and vote their conscience. It is not about a “D” or an “R” next to the name of the candidate. It is not about what the candidate says about their opponent. It is about what candidates say about themselves that you should tune in to.

The louder a candidate screams about an opponent could be an indication that they have very little to offer. Look beyond the big words, the flowery rhetoric, the finger-pointing and ask yourself if this person shares your values and how closely aligned her vision for Maryland and the U.S. is to your own.

Consider, for example, the current tsunami of illegal immigration. If you ignore the sound bites and actually dig deeper into the story, you understand that more than just children are flooding our southern borders.

There has been story after story of MS-13 gang members entering this country — teenage boys who have criminal records in their country. Didn’t we have MS-13 gang members in Maryland arrested and indicted in March on a long list of criminal activities? These aren’t children, and they are in our state. How did they get here? Through a border that needs to be secured.

I find it rather contradictory that the politicians who shout the loudest about the children needing our help are also the ones who believe that a child in the womb is expendable, to the tune of 1.2 million abortions per year.

There seems to be a bit of a double standard, but that is another story entirely.

Is your paycheck shrinking? Taxed enough? I’d be willing to bet that just about everyone reading this would say, “I am being taxed too much,” yet are unaware that Annapolis has raised the tax on most everything in the past eight years and wants to do more.

Meanwhile, Maryland ranks near dead last in job creation, and we have companies leaving the state for more favorable environs. Annapolis claims to be pro-jobs, yet they are decidedly anti-business, so they raise taxes to make up for the losses. This isn’t a “rich need to pay their fair share” problem — a statement used by those who do not have any ideas on how to get the economy moving — this is now our problem because it is going to cost us more money.

Lastly, it is my core belief that most people want to work, and everyone is willing to pay their taxes. The more people who work, the larger the tax base, the more revenue the state makes and perhaps the less they would need to tax us.

That said, if the policies coming out of Annapolis are causing businesses to leave the state of Maryland, they exacerbate the challenges of those requiring assistance, and they find it harder and harder to get themselves back to working as they would like to. Increasing the minimum wage isn’t the answer and will lead to fewer jobs being available. Most jobs being created in this economic recovery are predominantly part time, and that isn’t the answer, either. Again, those who assign blame to the rich appear to be devoid of their own ideas.

“Elections have consequences” is a statement that has never rung truer than our current reality. I hear a lot of people grumble, but continue to vote the party line without taking the time to understand what that line is. You have to decide what will make you happy and your life a success.

Gary Maynard, La Plata