Some recent opinion pieces in the local press have repeated the assertion frequently heard from the national media regarding the Republican Party. Namely, that it is being too obstructionist and that the so-called extremes in both parties need to put aside their differences to “get things accomplished” for our country.
I confess that I too have been worried about the toxic state of our politics nationally. The media often treats it like a sporting event with winners and losers. Without question, there have been cases in the past where party politics trumped common sense. We do absolutely need to have a renewed spirit of working together. But, what is it that we should be working together for? For some, it seems compromise is the most desired outcome, even if it excludes the right policy. Putting aside differences sounds nice in theory but – as an example – many of the differences I have with the majority Democrats in Annapolis are based in principles that have stood the test of time.
I believe that government should be limited, as local as possible, and that it should not take nearly as much from working families and individuals as Maryland currently does. While I certainly look for common ground and compromise on specific initiatives and ideas, I cannot support policies that harm taxpayers and make Maryland even more unfriendly to job creators and families. The same is true for many principled conservatives in Congress, particularly those elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010.
Let’s be honest, part of the reason our country is in this financial mess is because people in both parties couldn’t say “no” when they should have. No to additional entitlements, no to debt piling up. I hope it’s beginning to change.
Now I know that as one of your Delegates in Annapolis, my job is to not to simply say “no” but to propose positive alternatives to our state’s problems. I feel I’ve been able to make some progress working with people in both parties on issues like government transparency, keeping personal information private, and reforming the state’s procurement and contracting process. Our party has put forward alternative budgets to solve our state’s deficits. However, as long as the O’Malley agenda includes raising taxes in our already overtaxed state and adding unsustainable spending, I will continue to say no.
Justin Ready is a State Delegate representing District 5A