Response to Vincent DiPietro’s Letter to the Editor

In the Thursday January 31st edition of The Gazette, Carroll County liberal Democrat Vincent DiPietro submits a letter to the editor. In his letter he attacks the Ehrlich administration and sets all blame for the current problems of the state squarely in Ehrlich’s lap.

DiPietro’s letter states:

I am sick and tired of Republicans constantly beating up on Gov. Martin O’Malley for raising taxes by $1.2 billion. They forget to say that O’Malley inherited $1.7 billion deficit from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. who spent money he did not have, and ran up the deficit.

This is extremely disingenuous to say the least. I will agree that Republicans are beating up on O’Malley, some of it unjustly. However, neither party has been forthcoming on the issue of the budget. There is no real cooperation in Annapolis and politicians are playing off of the emotions of their constituents to push their agenda.

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What Mr. DiPietro fails to mention is that the majority of the budget that O’Malley inherited and that Ehrlich ran up were attributable to mandatory funding requirements, such as the Thorton Bill (mandatory education spending). Ehrlich did not put Thorton in place, nor should he receive the blame for its contribution to the increase in the budget.

Additionally, he implies that Ehrlich’s spending left O’Malley with a deficit. He fails to mention that O’Malley inherited a structural deficit, which is hardly the same as being left with a huge credit card bill. A structural deficit is when projected spending will not be covered by projected revenue intakes. In fact, O’Malley inherited a structural deficit created by required spending that was passed by several previous administrations.

Finally, Mr. DiPietro says:

The budget cuts and tax increases O’Malley proposed is to cover the wild spending of the Ehrlich era.

Again, Mr. DiPietro is being disingenuous and assuming that the readers are mostly a bunch of dumb asses. If this was the case, O’Malley would not have increased the Maryland budget beyond what was required to cover the structural deficit left by the Ehrlich administration.

O’Malley freely admits that taxes were increased to cover the budget deficit and to invest in the future of the state. Money will be used for transportation and education, among other things. To say that O’Malley increased taxes to pay for the party is dishonest.

Vincent DiPietro needs to apologize not only to Governor Bob Ehrlich, but also to the readers of The Gazette for submitting such blatantly false accusations and for pushing his one-sided view of politics upon us. He’s either a very bad story teller or he’s one of the most misinformed politicians in the state.

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