Cutting Crew

After raising billions in taxes and approving billions in new spending, the General Assembly finally realized “Hey, we have to cut some things in the budget”:

Worried that a faltering economy could cause a worse-than-expected slowdown in the state’s finances, Maryland lawmakers are exploring deep cuts in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposals to bolster spending on the environment, health care and other programs.

Lawmakers have been looking for $200 million in cuts in O’Malley’s proposed budget to compensate for the flagging economy, but now they are saying that could rise to $300 million or more when updated revenue projections come out next week.

The Sun story (which, incidentally, makes no mention of the half a billion in new entitlement programs approved during the Special Session) goes on to note this gem:

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“The likelihood is, given the national economic downturn, that those difficult series of decisions will continue,” O’Malley said. “Everybody is looking at the revenue estimates, and if they are coming in lower than projected, there will have to be further cuts.”

This isn’t exactly breaking news, and the talk of a recession was going on during the Special Session where O’Malley insisted that the legislature do further harm to the economy.

Crazy thing is that, once again, Peter Franchot looks like the only prominent Democrat who understood what was going on during the time of the Special Session:

Franchot cautioned against holding a special session last year, saying there was no immediate fiscal crisis and that unintended consequences could stem from acting in haste to plug a projected budget gap.

So far in fiscal 2008, corporate income taxes are nearly 24 percent lower than at the corresponding time the year before, according to the letter. Though such tax receipts are volatile, they are lagging “well behind” expectations, Franchot wrote.

General-fund sales tax receipts were 5.5 percent lower in January than in the corresponding period a year ago, reflecting slow December sales. Franchot called that figure “surprisingly weak.”

All of this really isn’t that surprising when you consider that legislators were warned about potential revenue losses stemming form higher taxes.

The complete incompetence of O’Malleynomics is in full bloom in Annapolis ladies and gentlemen. The combination of tax increases and spending increases has served to hamstring the General Assembly. While I am glad that something is being done to curtail OMaley’s profligate and ill-advised spending, I wish only that members of the Legislative Leadership will realize their foolish ways and roll back all of the historic and unnecessary tax hikes enacted during the Special Session…


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