Our Fiscal Dilemma
Issac Smith had a quote in a comment today in FSP that I thought was worthy of note.
“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
And he’s right. Martin O’Malley’s heedless self-interest in protecting his flank and doing the bidding of special interest group led to historic and unnecessary tax increases, and unthinkable and immoral spending hikes. Reasonable people knew then that it was unthinkable and disturbing policy. We knew then that it needlessly put out state’s fiscal posture in peril. And unfortunately, we have been proven right time and time again that O’Malleynomics is bad policy for Maryland’s working and middle class families.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly have brought us to the brink of collapse. Even the Sun Editorial Board is noting that Martin O’Malley needs to enact spending cuts, and enact them now:
Politically, Mr. O’Malley can’t be happy with the timing. After raising taxes to mend the state’s structural deficit (the long-term imbalance between projected revenues and spending), a flagging economy has caused a new, albeit more short-term, gap in state finances.
Still, it’s better to be prudent and make the necessary cuts even if some needed programs will be shortchanged. Nothing else is certain to relieve the problem.
While the editorial did not adequately draw attention to the fact that O’Malley increased spending last year when we faced a deficit, nothing should be a cold slap in the face of reality to the O’Malley Administration than the fact that its biggest cheerleader is telling them they need to, for once, enact some sort of financially responsible policies.
As I noted last week:
That’s because the General Assembly as a whole refuses to act like grown ups and live within their means. Instead of acting responsibly and reducing state spending last year when they had to opportunity, they chose to approval O’Malley’s irresponsible tax hikes, and bless his near immoral increase in discretionary state spending. Instead of cutting spending to manageable levels, Democrats railroaded a $2 billion tax increase to cover a $500 million shortfall, and then added $1.5 billion in spending just to break even.
No reasonably intelligent person would think that’s a good idea. It’s an even worse idea when you considered, as conservatives have noted time and time again, that tax revenues decrease when individuals and businesses change their spending habits or leave the state entirely….blame Democrats for the shortfalls in revneues that we caused by their irresponsibility and greed.
It’s time for O’Malley to stop acting like a petulant child, put down the guitar, and get about doing the people’s business here in Maryland. O’Malley should immediately call for across the board spending cuts, the revocation of last year’s irresponsible tax increases, and the elimination of last year’s unthinkable increases in discretionary spending.
Martin O’Malley got us into this mess. Let’s see if he has the courage to try and get us out of it.