EASTON — Ron George, Republican representative of District 30 in the Maryland House of Delegates and gubernatorial candidate, addressed the Mid-Shore League of Republican Women, on Wednesday, Jan. 8. George discussed his plans for the state and the actions he would like to take.
He started by addressing current issues facing Maryland legislators with the opening of the session in Annapolis. “This year as business owners we have to figure out how we are going to work in this Obamacare, how we are going to work in this rain tax and then how we are going to work in this forcing of minimum wage,” George said.
George has been a Maryland business owner for more than 20 years, with jewelry stores in Annapolis and Severna Park.
Among the top issues in the state legislature this session is the raising of the minimum wage, and George made his stance clear on that issue.
“The Democrats knew they were going to lose in this election. They had to find a way to get people out there and get them energized, and they couldn’t find a way to do it and then they thought of the minimum wage,” George said. “It basically says to people, ‘Vote yourself a raise.’”
Both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have raised their minimum wages to $11.50 from the current state mandated $7.25. Lawmakers in favor of a minimum wage hike have not decided on a desired wage for the state.
According to George, a higher minimum wage may attract young people to the state, but it will cause businesses to relocate to nearby states like Delaware and Virginia.
In order to combat the minimum wage increase, George said he has lined up more than 200 small business owners to testify and bring a face to the issue and how it will affect them. “I have a degree in clinical psychology. I realized that liberals don’t have a conscience like conservatives. Conservative believe in right and wrong. People that are liberal, their conscience is what makes me feel good about myself. They don’t like to know that they are hurting someone.”
This is a method that George cited using when he sponsored a bill that the General Assembly passed to cap the state’s vessel excise tax at $15,000 back in July. The bill, he said, will allow hundreds more boat owners to keep their vessels in the state and increase sales not just of boats but of boating accessories and related services.
“I brought in people who had lost their jobs as mechanics to put a face on the issue at hand,” George said.
Laura Price, a small business owner in the area and a Talbot County council member, told George that with an increase in minimum wage she may not be able to afford to keep her employees, resulting in a strain on her business.
“If we are missing anything in this state, we’re missing entry-level jobs,” George told the MSLRW. “As soon as I said this, Democrats said, ‘You can’t compete with China.’ I’m not talking about competing with China. I want to compete with Nikki Haley in South Carolina,” referring to South Carolina’s fiscally conservative governor.
In addition to the expansion of jobs, George is planning on cutting income tax by 10 percent, building a tax base in Baltimore, and putting in place what he is calling the “Buy Maryland Program.”
In this program, if Maryland residents itemize purchases over $100 on their tax returns, then they will receive 20 percent back. That way, George said, people will have a lump sum in the spring that they can then use for a down payment on a house or car.
He said Democrats regularly oppose him by asking how he can afford to cut taxes like this. “If you are creating jobs, you are going to find that you’re creating a tax base.”
George finished the address by telling the league, “We need to get rid of apathy and thinking that a Republican can’t win,” and “You can’t just say no. You have to offer solutions even for (Democrats’) problems.”
For more information on the Mid-Shore League of Republican Women and their upcoming events and speakers, visit mslrw.org.