MD holds ranking in new New Economy survey
Ranking ahead of us are Massachusetts and Washington state. Maryland took the same place when the study was last published two years ago and was bested by the same two states.
The governor loves these types of studies, and sees them as evidence that he's successfully steering the state toward what he alternatively calls a "knowledge economy" or an "innovation economy." The idea is to woo high-tech, bio-tech and green energy firms with the belief that the captains of these industries value a highly educated workforce and decent infrastructure over cut rate taxes.
In the upcoming legislative session O'Malley will do something else the folks at Kauffman will probably like: introduce legislation that would establish a $100 million venture capital fund that the state -- or a non-profit -- would invest in new economy firms. The money would come from insurance companies forward paying their taxes, an idea that is already stirring ire from some in the House GOP caucus.
During the campaign, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. laid out a different economic vision -- one that involved chopping the state's sales tax and looking for ways to reduce the corporate income tax. O'Malley repeatably pointed out that many states with the lowest tax rates are also fairing poorly during the recession.
Ehrlich had one other cheaper idea: Replace the heads of what he called "broken" state agencies. He would have re-made the Maryland Department of the Environment (developers say it takes forever to get a permit) and the state's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (which served up a rare mini-scandal over the summer when staffers posted a downbeat economic narrative at odds with the governor's sunnier talking points.) Ehrlich lost by more than 13 percentage points.