Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, is governor of Maryland.
With gridlock and partisanship having all but paralyzed Washington, governors are at the forefront of our country’s policy divide. On the No. 1 issue facing our nation — how to ensure that Americans are winners, not losers, in the 21st-century economy — two divergent approaches frame the debate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is highlighting this debate with his trip to Maryland on Wednesday.
The contrast is clear: Should we slash taxes on the wealthiest Americans — crippling our ability to invest in schools, job training, infrastructure and health care — because we believe that even lower taxes for our wealthiest will magically lead to jobs and robust economic growth? Or should we make tough choices together that provide the resources to invest in schools, bolster growing industries and create quality middle-class jobs?
Perry and like-minded Republican governors subscribe to the slash-and-burn economic philosophy — a belief that “less” will somehow become “more.” In Texas, he has implemented this vision with gusto, cutting taxes and slashing funding for critical middle-class priorities such as public schools, higher education, health care and infrastructure. The results? Texas ranks 49th in high school graduation, 10th in the rate of poverty and 50th in the percent of residents with even basic health insurance.