The Norman Transcript

August 9, 2013

O’Malley is bad choice

Marta H. Mossburg
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Last weekend, at the National Governors Association conference, Maryland’s two-term Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, moved closer to announcing a bid for the presidency.

He told reporters: “By the end of this year I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016” — even though that aggregate record includes raising taxes and fees 37 times.

O’Malley is well known within Democratic circles — he’s a former head of the Democratic Governors Association — but here’s three reasons why he would not make a good president.

Let’s start with how ObamaCare is playing out in Maryland. Mr. O’Malley was one of the Affordable Care Act’s biggest supporters and argued the law would make health care more accessible and improve its quality.

So far the only real result is the fact that health care premiums will skyrocket in the state under the law. According to an Aug. 2 report in Investor’s Business Daily that analyzed by separate studies from the Government Accountability Office and the Maryland Insurance Administration, the average price of the cheapest plans available now in the state will be 83 percent higher under the ACA.

He has not yet explained how such a steep rise in health care costs will “support our competitiveness in the global economy” — one of his frequent refrains.

Last week the state’s exchange became less competitive as Aetna canceled plans to participate. According the Baltimore Sun, the company told Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith the rates regulators wanted “would not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans.”

Second, Mr. O’Malley is pushing for sweeping environmental regulations in the coming year that will drive up the state’s electricity rates by forcing utilities to use more wind and solar energy — 25 percent by 2020 — without impacting greenhouse gases. As Lord Christopher Monckton, former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said years ago, “If you were to shut Maryland down entirely, our emissions would be taken up by China in less than a month." By his estimates, eliminating greenhouse gases would cost $7.3 trillion by 2050.

Since Maryland is known as a place hostile to business, it’s hard to see how higher electric rates will help businesses choose to open in Maryland or how similar policies at the national level would make America more competitive.

Third, for a man who wants to be commander in chief, he has made no comments the national security scandals illuminating how deeply and widely the federal government monitors Americans.

Marta H. Mossburg is an independent columnist. Contact her at marta@martamossburg.com.