Democrats are pushing “income inequality” and raising the minimum wage as priorities at the national and state levels. President Barack Obama addressed them in his State of the Union Speech, and both issues are centerpieces of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s legislative agenda during this session.
O’Malley said this in response to President Obama’s speech
"President Obama’s focus on strengthening and growing our middle class tonight was right-on. In Maryland, we share many of the President’s priorities, including expanding opportunity, creating high-paid and high-skilled jobs, and lifting more people out of poverty by raising the minimum wage.”
O’Malley wants to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
As usual, the Democrats need a straw man/villain at which to direct their ire and hold up to the public as the enemy of all good things. Nationally it’s House Republicans, “the rich,” big corporations,” and of course the Koch brothers.
(Quick aside: Those evil Koch brothers support decriminalization of drugs, gay marriage, cutting defense spending, and repealing the Patriot Act, and make generous charitable donations to the arts and cancer research. But these libertarian leaning threats to American democracy must be stopped at all costs.)
Here in Democratically controlled Maryland, who is the villain?
Governor O’Malley would likely blame George W. Bush. Here, six years into the Obama presidency, he's still calling it the "Bush recession." In fact, all Governor O’Malley needs to do to find the enemy is look in a mirror.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, as compiled by the Washington Post, Maryland’s middle class has shrunk significantly during the O’Malley era. A Post graphic shows that the number of households earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year shrunk by nearly 38,000 between the 2007-2009 three-year period and 2010-2012.
Another way to measure income inequality is through the Gini coefficient. The calculation measures income distribution. A rating of zero means total equality, and rating of 1 means maximum inequality. Maryland’s income distribution has increased under O’Malley.
Maryland Gini Coefficients 2007-2012
“One Maryland” is a rhetorical convention O’Malley loves to use to say “we’re all in this together.” The reality however, is that under his watch there are Two Marylands.
In no other place is this more evident than O’Malley’s home city of Baltimore, where he mayor for 8 years.
Baltimore: where politically connected developers get taxpayer subsidies to build boondoggle developments, like the Baltimore Hilton, State Center and Harbor Point, while the rest of the city struggles and crumbles.