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Governor Martin O'Malley's repeated attempts to redefine the term "fiscal responsibility"

Guest Justin Ready

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Guest Justin Ready

On Sunday, the following editorial from MDGOP Chairman Jim Pelura was featured in the Washington Post. It is a strong response to Governor Martin O'Malley's repeated attempts to redefine the term "fiscal responsibility" to mean raising taxes and increasing spending.


As Chairman Pelura and the Republicans in the General Assembly have stated repeatedly, we could have worked through Maryland's budget problems without raising taxes. All it takes is restraining the growth of spending.



Justin Ready

Executive Director

Maryland Republican Party



O'Malley's Economic Myopia


Sunday, August 24, 2008; B08



Recently Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and New York Gov. David Paterson outlined the economic state of affairs in their respective states [op-ed, July 31]. Most, if not all, states are grappling with an economic downturn that is eating away at state coffers.


Unfortunately, some governors view this situation from the typical myopic, liberal view that government is the prime mover in the economy and that life as we know it cannot and will not go on unless the treasury is well stocked with taxpayer dollars. Yet the private sector, which is a significant piece of the economic puzzle, is rarely mentioned.


O'Malley, for example, boasts that he, i.e., the Maryland state government, "has chosen to make choices -- sometimes very hard decisions -- based on shared values." But the choices that O'Malley and the General Assembly have made will actually worsen and compound the economic problems Marylanders face.


After outgoing Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. left behind a surplus of $1 billion, O'Malley spent it and increased the size of government, leaving us with a $1.7 billion deficit in just 18 months. O'Malley's response to this deficit was to raise taxes (the largest increase in Maryland's history), institute new social programs, give raises to his top staff and promote the claim that he eliminated 700 government positions. Never mind that those 700 positions were vacant.


His claim that he has made $1.8 billion in cuts and spending reductions is disingenuous. In reality, he has made only about $600 million in cuts, which is insignificant when talking about a $33 billion budget. This hardly counts as "fiscal responsibility."


To help Maryland's economy and its citizens, state government must immediately discontinue the destructive pattern of raiding citizens' wallets to fund a bloated and inefficient government that has:


· Raised the corporate income tax rate. (Of course, corporate income tax revenue to the state treasury is down.)


· Raised the state sales tax. (Of course, sales tax revenue to the state treasury is down, and Marylanders are going out of state to purchase needed goods.)


· Raised the personal income tax rate. (Of course, folks are moving out of Maryland; salaries are down partly because of the assault on small businesses, and tax revenue to the state treasury is dwindling.)


Maryland leaders must take their collective heads out of the sand and realize that the path to economic security and success for our citizens lies in a robust private sector, citizens controlling more of their own money and government being smaller and more efficient.


-- Jim Pelura

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