My Brain Hurts
I’d resolved yesterday to not waste anymore time writing about Governor O’Malley’s risky scheme, to coin a phrase, to add a $500 billion new spending program when the state has a “structural deficit” of between $1.5 billion and $2.2 billion, the deficit varies as to whether the governor is trying to convince you he can add new spending or that you have to raise the bejeezus out of your taxes right this very moment or civilization, as we know it, will end.
So yesterday, the Baltimore Sun reported:
More than 100,000 Marylanders would get coverage under the proposal out of nearly 800,000 residents who lack coverage. The plan would cost about $500 million, including $250 million in new state revenue plus federal matching dollars and funds redirected from other areas. It would be phased in over four years depending on availability of funding.
Today, however, the Washington Post reports:
Gov. Martin O’Malley and Democratic legislative leaders yesterday proposed providing health insurance to 100,000 poor uninsured adults in Maryland and subsidizing small businesses that offer coverage to their employees[…]
The plan would cost about $675 million, $250 million of that in state money, health secretary John M. Colmers said. […]
Look, this isn’t the $23.6 million missing from your “cost of delay” scaremongering, this is $175 million.
So can we expect Mr. Colmers to join Nelson Reichart in the unemployment line? Or is the administration just so down home screwed up that they simply don’t know what their own estimates are. I guess in the macro, it just doesn’t matter. We are about to get the mother of all tax increases in this special session. And I’ll make another prediction, when the Republican caucus finally votes with O’Malley to legalize slots, the egregiously high revenue estimates produced by the administration will be used to fund yet more spending.
Next year, we’ll be right back to where we are today. A budget deficit, a doomsday budget, a cost of delay, and more prevarication by the governor and his buttboys.