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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Would the last person leaving blue Maryland please turn out the lights?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Maryland,Virginia,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Taxes,Gun Control,Jobs,Martin OMalley,Beretta

At least 160 Marylanders are about to lose their jobs because of the constitutional myopia of the state's corrupt liberal Democratic establishment. It's a sad illustration of the dire results of one-party rule.

Maryland is one of the deepest-blue states in the country. Democrats hold every statewide office, control the unbelievably venal state legislature and have a stranglehold on most local governments.

Maryland Democrats love taxes and government spending programs. When a Marylander flushes the toilet, cha-ching. When a Marylander is rained on, cha-ching. And soon, when a Marylander drives, it will be cha-ching for every mile. Taxes keep going up because state spending keeps going up.

Beretta says goodbye

As it happens, the latest Maryland misery is a product of the anti-gun obsession of the state's ruling Democrats. Beretta, which makes handguns used by police departments across the country, is moving its 40-year-old Maryland facility to Tennessee.

The move comes after more than a year of warnings by Beretta execs that Maryland's increasingly stringent gun laws are effectively rendering the firm's products illegal.

The move will transfer 160 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of state domestic product out of Maryland to Tennessee, which is not only gun-friendlier, but also a right-to-work state.

And he wants to be president?

Beretta's move won't help Gov. Martin O'Malley's feeble hopes of winning the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The former Baltimore mayor has long had his eye on the big prize despite keeping a low national profile.

But the Beretta decision highlights the fact people and jobs are fleeing O'Malley's state, mainly — but not exclusively — due to the high taxes.

Last year, for example, the Tax Foundation found only a handful of states lost more tax revenue than Maryland due to people moving elsewhere.

Waving bye-bye

Fortune 500 giants once headquartered in Maryland have left. And thousands of Marylanders moved across the Potomac River to live in Virginia, which is known for lower taxes and a much friendlier environment for business.

Only a last-ditch scramble by O'Malley earlier this year kept the popular "House of Cards" cable TV program from moving its production company out of Maryland.

Unfortunately, after decades of virtually unchallenged liberal Democrat rule, the state of Maryland looks increasingly like a real house of cards.

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Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner

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