Reinvest 10 - DP's Plan for a Better Maryland
In today's political climate, it's not enough to target short term issues. We need a plan for a better Maryland, like "Reinvest 10TM". Reinvest 10 targets Maryland's biggest problems - high crime, mismanaged public education, government gridlock, and government overreach -- but it also paves the way to make Maryland a leader in innovation and agility.
To understand Reinvest 10,
- Read about Maryland's Most Pressing Problems, then
- Understand Reinvest 10, DP's "Better Maryland" strategy.
The BHAP's -- Maryland's Big Huge Assorted Problems
BHAP #1: High Crime
You've probably noticed a spike in crime the last few years, whether it was your car being broken into or a friend recounting a horror story about being a victim of violent crime. In Montgomery County alone, the murder rate is up 105%, carjackings have doubled, and non-fatal shootings are up 75% (source: Montgomery Community Media). If we don't take action, our entire state will follow the trends seen in Baltimore, where crime appears to have found a permanent home.
BHAP #2: Mismanaged Public Education
When working well, our public education system holds the promise of providing a sound future for anyone willing to study and work hard. An educator myself and a product of the public education system, I have seen the benefits of education for my students and myself, but I've also felt the frustration that comes with a mismanaged educational system.
Part of the problem is related to the Ringelmann effect, when organizations become ineffective as they grow larger, in part due to communication challenges and a lack of accountability. Another problem is the stranglehold teachers unions hold on many politicians, as seen by their ability to shut down our public schools for over a year during COVID. And yet another challenge is the lack of educational options for the poorest members of our community.
BHAP #3: Strangulation of Small Businesses
Small business are the lifeblood of the American economy, employing 48% of US workers (source: SBA) and accounting for 62% of all net new jobs (source: SBA). Yet, Maryland ranks an average of 37th in the various rankings for small business climate, 22% of small business are still reporting adverse impacts from COVID and more than a third believe it will be more than six months until their business returns to normal operations (source: Census Small Business Pulse Survey). In short, the challenges for Maryland small businesses are both short term and long term.
BHAP #4: Government Gridlock
Another recent problem emerging in our government leaders is closed mindedness -- a knee-jerk response of "no" to any idea offered by the other side. Many articles say we are in an era of gridlock, as lawmakers refuse seek common ground in order to solve problems. A recent Harvard poll of young Americans notes that more than half of young Americans think our government is either "in trouble" or "failing", while a recent Zogby poll, nearly half of all Americans think we are headed for a Civil War. Considering all of this, volatile rhetoric appears to be keeping us from solving our most significant problems.
BHAP #5: Government Overreach
From COVID executive orders to legislation forcing restaurants to put healthier food on their menus, government is attempting to control more and more of our lives. At the same time our powerful government leaders exert their control, our family members, neighbors and neighborhoods have less and less say over how we live their lives. In the age of COVID, power has shifted to the elite few and away from the individual.
Successful business owners know how important it is to continuously reinvest a portion of their profits back into their business to ensure future growth, and the same is true for government, where it pays to cut operating costs to make room for innovation. This concept of shifting resources from context to core, as Harvard Professor Geoffrey Moore calls it, is the essence of Reinvest 10.
Reinvest 10 takes 10% of our overall budget and gradually redirects it to solve our biggest problems -- high crime, mismanaged public education, closed minds and government overreach to:
- Invest 4% into innovation and agility, including small investments in promising ideas from both parties and investment in efforts to make government more responsive to constituent and small business needs.
- 3% for crime prevention at all stages of the crime prevention pipeline, investing in SROs in public schools, pro-active policing, non-lethal apprehension technology, youth activity programs and diversion programs (Learn more).
- 2% for innovation in education, including educational choice and the creation of smaller, more responsive school districts. (Learn more).
- 1% for local control to pay for the creation of community benefits districts -- small neighborhood councils that pay for improvements in their own neighborhood, such as new playground equipment, better lighting or fixing potholes. (Learn more).
- 0% to stop over-regulation. Fortunately, reducing regulation is FREE. We can start by taking a red pen to some of our existing Maryland laws that attempt to regulate all aspects of our lives -- what we eat, what we believe, how we spend our money, how we run our businesses, how we spend our private lives. Then, we can pass sunset laws that make it a normal course of business to either reauthorize or end laws on specific deadlines.
By shifting our resources away from wasteful activities and toward the areas that need the most attention, we can use Reinvest 10 to create more innovative, more agile government that not only solves problems but builds a better Maryland in the long run.