Is Maryland the Next California?

That’s the question proposed in this oped at The Daily Caller.

The answer from my vantage point in Westminster, Maryland, is, “Yes.”

Until the 1990s, California’s growing public sector was supported by a net influx of creative and productive people into industries such as aerospace and electronics. These days, the flow of talent and capital is away from that state because of its policies that punish success. Maryland’s economy has been supported recently in large part by federal government spending. While many bureaucrats chose to live on the north side of the Potomac, many of the companies doing contracting work are moving to the vastly friendlier business climate of Northern Virginia. As federal spending is reined in over the next few years, the transfer of tax money from the other 49 states to Maryland will diminish, weakening that subsidy of the state government.

[Gov.] O’Malley’s lack of leadership has put Maryland on a path to fiscal insolvency. He is repeating California’s mistakes by foisting out-of-control spending on a shrinking tax base. If it weren’t for the federal government employing tens of thousands of Marylanders, O’Malley would be out of a job and most certainly out of the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

Each year, Maryland’s politicians make the state’s problems worse by forcing the most productive Marylanders to pay for the least productive ones. In today’s world of extreme social and career mobility, the federal government shield won’t last forever and those with means will seek asylum elsewhere. It’s happening in California. If Annapolis continues on its current fiscal path, it will happen in Maryland as well.

To borrow a line from Glenn Reynolds, things that can’t go on forever won’t.

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