The Trail to Annapolis: District 9 (With Video)
Kittleman wanted to "bring ideas to the table," while Adams broke down economics in this quick-hitting debate.
Structural deficit, sales taxes, corporate taxes, combined reporting, mandatory shift breaks, the living wage – all are a result of "one-party rule" according to Allan H. Kittleman. The Republican is running for reelection to the State Senate, District 9, and took several opportunities during Tuesday's debate to point out what he sees as a major problem with Maryland politics.
"You might hear me over and over talk about the value of [a two-party system], but I do believe it's important," he said after listing legislation and tax increases that he said would not have passed if "both ideas" were at the table.
Democrat Jim Adams said he was not in favor of raising taxes, despite his earlier support for an increase on alcohol tax. "I just wanted make that clear in a public way," he said, "Let you know that I've changed my stance." Adams said he came to this decision after talking to people and determining that the money levied would be used in the state's operating account, not for disability or Medicare.
His announcement was in response to a question regarding a combined reporting bill, which would require a company to combine the profits from all of its related subsidiaries before determining how much it is required to pay in taxes.
Both Adams and Kittleman voiced their opposition to combined reporting in the debate, which was sponsored by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
The debate opened with a question posed by moderator Clarence M. Mitchell about the cause of structural deficits.
Adams offered that a structural deficit "is not a real deficit," because it automatically increases amounts for line items. "The way to correct it is simply to … bring it back to reality. If you can't afford it, don't increase it" in the budget, he said.
"I think, really if we understand the deficit in that way," he added, "we know that when we hear 'structural deficit,' it's not the major problem that everyone considers it to be."
Kittleman responded to the question similarly, though without getting into the nuances of economics. "You can't say you're going to spend a billion dollars and not know where it's going to come from," he said, referring to his father, Robert Kittleman's vote against the Thornton Initiative.
"If they had both ideas at the system we'd still have a good education system," he said, "but we' have a way to fund it."
Kittleman closed by urging people not to take politicians claims of "lower taxes" or "balanced budgets" at face value but, instead, to look into those claims for themselves. "Are your taxes less?" he asked the audience. "No one in Howard County is paying less taxes," he said.
Adams asked for a new relationship between the private sector and government. "It's not government against business and it's not business against government," he said.
"We should be looking for ways to partner."