The Apocalypse It Ain’t

We’ve written about the rather shameless and pathetic effort of the Maryland Association of Counties (here here) to shill for the O’Malley tax increases by encouraging its members to propose “doomsday” budgets in order to scaremonger voters into supporting a huge honking tax increase rather than forcing government to lay off the public teat for a few minutes.
Now some of those budgets are coming to light, according to the Washington Post:

Montgomery suggested that to meet its target of 24 percent, the county could eliminate 1,230 teachers, 95 police officers, 96 firefighters and 80 correctional officers, as well as close five libraries and 22 recreation centers and reduce spending on programs serving those without health insurance, with developmental disabilities and with other vulnerabilities.

Prince George’s, meanwhile, said that to meet its 8 percent reduction target it might beforced to reduce spending on the homeless, mentally ill, at-risk youth and low-income pregnant women. The county might also have to impose a hiring freeze, cancel cost-of-living increases for employees and delay the opening of a library, according to a document submitted by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D).

This is not quantum mechanics. Right now state and county governments are involved in all manner of activities that are tangential to their core functions (like subsidized entertainment, for instance) and which would not have noticeable affect on our quality of life, much less our life, liberty, or property, if they simply ceased. Take for instance the Montgomery County Public Schools’s “fire a thousand teachers” option. That school system employees over 21,000 persons and has a television production facility. If you want to claim that the only way to take the cuts is by eliminating teachers then you need to look at where the money goes.

Quite honestly, taxpayers should be clamoring for O’Malley to cut state funding to counties. This is the level of government that is most sensitive to citizen displeasure and citizens should get a chance to vote with their pocketbook to pay for the bells and whistles the state currently funds.

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