Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Compromise (Thursday LINKS)

For all of my Dem friends out there, I would suggest that your views on Councilman Greg Fox's proposed fire tax amendment are a good measurement of your true opinions on divisive politics.

Over the past two years, we have all lamented the state of divisive politics in America.  Budgets can't get passed.  Debt limits are held as ransom.  The U.S. credit rating suffers.  We shake our heads and say "Why can't these folks work out a deal?"  The GOP complains that compromise is "surrender", and cling to ideological purity.  Dems use their proposals as baseline and consider any variation from that a "concession". 

Let's look at what Greg has done here --
He has acknowledged the problem of insufficient fire tax revenue.
He has proposed a tax increase that would meet current revenue requirements.
He has entered a proposal that arguably will be most injurious to those in the Western part of the County, which is his District, since these folks will have the most significant difference in their next tax bill.

Stripped of personalities, Greg Fox's proposal is exactly the kind of compromise we seem to be demanding from Republicans (and Democrats) in D.C.  Put politics aside and offer practical solutions that meet in the middle.

That's not to say that Greg's proposal should or will pass.  "Compromise" means very little when you already find yourself on the losing side.  I'm sure Ron Paul would love a compromise in which only the Federal Reserve is dissolved, and not the FAA or FDA, but he is not in a position to pull that deal to the table.  Unfortunately for Greg, there was little to no mobilization by the Red Team on this issue when the Council was considering the measure, which puts the Council in a position of least resistance towards passing the increase requested by Ken.

I also hesitate to give too many kudos due to my respect for Greg's intelligence and the presumption that the impossibility of his proposal, while offering compromise, is most likely the exact reason it was proposed.  He is fine with seeing it fail, if for no other reason than to put another talking point on his "Ken is not post-partisan" flier.  But the real take-away is for all of us.

Did you automatically dismiss Greg's proposal as an attack on good legislation?  Or did you see it as a compromise that should be considered by the Council?


There are 968 requests for "Fifty Shades of Grey" posted throughout the Howard County library system.  (I began to try to describe the subject of this book, but started to blush.)  Meanwhile, Harford County refuses to stock the book, considering it to be pornographic.  I don't know about you all, but I feel much better living in the County with 100 copies. 

Howard County has finalized its "decision" to purchase the Belmont Estate from Howard Community College, pending environmental testing.  This should be an interesting transaction to watch, as the County purchases land from one of its largest recipients of County funds.

A state audit has found problems with oversight and security in the rolling out of Maryland slots.  Auditors determined that the State failed to collect tens of thousands of dollars from manufacturers who did not "promptly fix" broken slot machines and also found issues with the casinos security systems.  These are all small potato problems, but taken in the context of the boondoggle of Maryland gambling, it is a continuation of a troubling pattern.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: WB looks at the reading level required for local blogs and finds this one scoring at the 13th grade level (at least for yesterday).  I don't necessarily take that as a compliment and hope that most of what I write is digestible.  I pile a lot of excuses on the doorstep of "I write at 6 am", but all the same, I will look to improve.

That's all for today.  Have a great Thursday doing what you love!