Maryland Legislature should abandon harmful digital tax scheme

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to efforts to overturn Governor Hogan’s veto of the massive digital advertising gross receipts tax passed last year by the Maryland State Legislature. As lawmakers gear up for a new session in January, they should look for other ways to solve budget shortfalls. The unintended consequence of this misguided legislation could be far worse than the purported revenue gains being touted by the bill’s supporters. (Star Dem)

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Small businesses should be ‘front and center’ in COVID relief package

As small business owners, we welcomed the COVID emergency relief bill Congress approved in the waning days of 2020, a disastrous year for many of us working to keep our operations afloat and our employees on the payroll. Unfortunately, the rescue package falls far short of what’s essential to sustaining small businesses, the backbones of our communities, as we approach the darkest days of the pandemic and with a COVID-19 vaccine still many months away for most Americans. (Balt Sun)

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What do we ethically owe those who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine?

As an emergency room physician, I was fortunate to receive my first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within days of its approval. And for this I am grateful. But as long as vaccines remain in short supply, I feel an obligation to continue to engage in measures to protect those who stand further down the immunization line: masking in public, social distancing, not hosting large indoor gatherings. (Balt Sun)

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An unavoidable impeachment requires prompt resolution | COMMENTARY

There is no joy in impeaching a sitting president for a second time, or at least there shouldn’t be. There likely is not much personal or political gain for those who made that historic choice, especially for the stalwart 10 House Republican members who Wednesday voted to impeach Donald Trump. Yet one by one, most of the Republican members on the House floor questioned what impeachment accomplishes with so little time left in his term of office. (Balt Sun)

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Don Stevenson: A journal is the heart's keeper

The soul mused as I walked against a stiff, cold wind on day one of year 2021. Inside, I wished and hoped to be a part of a larger light and rhythm. Perhaps I was leaning on a calendar change or the season of winter to do a makeover. A recent officiating of three, consecutive COVID-death funerals had been numbing. Trying to siphon some joy and weave some meaning amid pandemic days is difficult, as we all know. Transitions are tough to unpack. (Herald Mail)

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Here’s how to make Maryland’s tax system fairer this year

Across Maryland, people are struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, and meet other basic needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are rightly calling on state leaders to do more to support our communities. Unfortunately, even in the best of times, our inequitable state tax code doesn’t provide the state with adequate resources to fund all the services we need and rely on, let alone respond to new challenges. (Balt Sun)

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Minnich: Point four fingers at yourself if assigning blame for chaos

Don’t put all the blame on Trump for the assault on the Capitol. Blame the enablers. Pundits say he lit the fuse, but he gets too much credit for leadership. Anybody can start a fire in a dumpster. You don’t need leadership skills to find tinder and fuel for conflagration; you just have to be willing to toss sparks that will flare and destroy and not think too much about the consequences. (Carr Co Times)

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Statehood is not just about D.C. anymore

Last week, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced a bill to make the nonfederal areas of D.C. the 51st state. In her introductory remarks, she noted that the bill is similar to one she introduced in 1991 and several more times over the past 30 years. Furthermore she outlined the injustices that the bill would resolve for the 715,000 residents of the nation’s capital by making us equal Americans citizens for the first time in more than 200 years. (Wash Post)

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