State News

MoCo’s Madaleno Persists in Attacking Poultry Industry


State Senator Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) is pressing on with his proposed chicken tax despite Governor O’Malley promising to veto it if it gets to his desk. Even the Soylently green, Delegate Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery County) chickened out on his House version of the bill after O’Malley’s promise, but Madaleno, is proving himself to be the real Montgomery County Democrat by not surrendering while there’s still a chance of telling people outside his district what to do.

Here is how the tax would work. Typically Maryland chicken farmers work under contract to large poultry companies. The poultry companies supply the chickens and the farmers get paid to raise them until they are ready for the market. Madaleno’s chicken tax would force the poultry companies to pay the state five cents for every chicken they supply to a Maryland farmer. Proponents of the tax estimate that it would rake in $15 million annually. Richard Cross reports that the sponsors are calling it a “user fee” instead of a tax.

Madaleno told the Daily Times much the same thing, explaining, “(I)n essence this is a user fee. So it’s a conservative approach to a fiscal issue. As opposed to shifting the cost on to everybody.”

Even left wing MoCo Democrats know that fees and taxes are the same thing, but Madaleno doubles down on the lie by trying to sell an anti-farming tax hike as a “conservative approach.” Conservative compared to what? Soviet collectivized agriculture?

The money collected would allegedly go to Chesapeake Bay clean up programs, but one wonders if that’s really the goal. The group Food & Water Watch were the first to push the chicken tax proposal. They are usually in the mix whenever Montgomery County Democrats are trying to save the environment at the expense of rural Marylanders who don’t vote in Montgomery County. Whether they’re using junk science to scare people about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in western Maryland or trying to tax the poultry industry out of the state on the eastern shore, Food & Water Watch and Montgomery County Democrats are as thick as thieves. “Saving the bay” is the default sales pitch for tax hikes like the “Poultry Fair Share Act” but it’s clear that supporters of this legislation have more in mind than just that. They have an axe to grind with the poultry industry in general.

Cartoon by Rick Kollinger

So Senator Richard Madaleno is still pushing his anti-poultry industry bill despite the fact that it’s even too left wing for Martin O’Malley. It’s not surprising. Madaleno’s online bio paints a picture of a man who never earned a dime that didn’t first have to be taken from Maryland taxpayers. Madaleno can afford to stroll into Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and pay a premium for organic quinoa-fed, free-range chickens raised by homeopathic herbalists from Portland, Oregon. That’s assuming he’s not a vegan of course. People who live and work where federal boondoggles aren’t the primary industry don’t have it so easy under this Obama/O’Malley economy though. Don’t forget that the people who tried to drive the Hudson family farm out of business with a bogus lawsuit are now part of Food & Water Watch and pulling the strings of their puppets like Madaleno.

It is time that Marylanders say “no” to self-appointed saviors of the planet like Richard Madaleno who thwart economic activity by placing burdens on the backs of people who cannot hold them responsible on election day.


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