The Death of Irony
From the Baltimore Sun:
Opening the special session that could define his four-year term, Gov. Martin O’Malley told Maryland lawmakers last night that “it is time for us to correct our course” by enacting his sweeping plan to eliminate a projected $1.7 billion shortfall in next year’s budget.
Addressing a joint session of the General Assembly, a somber O’Malley used the eight-minute speech to argue that the challenge is “consensus,” not the “capacity” for the state to shoulder a bigger tax burden. O’Malley has proposed a plan that would rely on new tax and slots revenues to address the state’s fiscal woes.
“The storm is upon us, and this looming shortfall threatens to do grave damage to the very quality of life that our neighbors have elected us to defend,” the Democratic governor said.
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Oddly enough, this is probably one of the most truthful things that O’Malley has come up with in, heck, maybe forever. Unfortunately for us, it is truthful in a way that will end up costing us all a crapload of money.
Yes, indeed, “it is time for us to correct our course”. But from what we’ve seen so far, O’Malley’s plan is a continuation of what got us into this predicament on steroids. This is the Barry Bonds version of a failed fiscal policy. Not only is he proposing to raise our taxes, a lot, a whole lot, he is proposing some $675 million in new spending. Contrary to his spin, virtually all of the tax increases will be passed on to Marylanders because those taxes on corporations will come back to us in increased prices. The most clever proposal is repealing the property tax exemption for electric utilities. Expect to see that added to your 70% rate increase next year.
The focus on “consensus” and not “capacity” is a pretty intersting formulation. It seems to say that the legislature shouldn’t worry about the impact of this ginormous tax and spending extravaganza but rather they should focus on flopping over the coffee table so O’Malley can have his way with them.
The storm is upon us. It does threaten our quality of life. The storm is not a budget deficit that could be solved by the rather simple expediency of freezing spending at current levels. The storm that is about to engulf us is Governor O’Malley’s raid on our bank accounts and on the economy of the state.
If you’re not happy, tell the Governor, via Blackberry, at firstname.lastname@example.org