Cuts O’Malley Could Make To Cover $200M Budget Deficit
We’re being told that Maryland could experience yet another budget shortfall in the range of $200 million for the fiscal year that started last week, despite the huge tax increases Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly imposed on the citizens of the Unfree State.
Legislative analysts warned that collections of income and sales taxes, the two main sources of general fund revenue, have fallen way short as people tighten their belts because of higher taxes, soaring gas and food prices.
While I know our Governor will have great trouble deciding which programs to cut to make up the $200 million deficit in Maryland’s bloated $31 billion budget, I thought maybe if I gave him some suggestions it might make his job easier.
So, Gov. O’Malley, here’s some cuts that I think make a lot of sense:
1. From the Dept. of Business & Economic Development we could cut $18.4 million budgeted for financing assistance and operating support to small, minority-owned and so-called disadvantaged businesses. How much longer can we continue to favor different groups of people over other groups with taxpayers funds? This should be cut with a stoke of a pen!
2. We could cut another $24 million from the same agency, which currently goes to financing grants to local governments used as subsidies to attract businesses. We, the taxpayers, never seem to see any real benefit from this sort of corporate welfare, while the businesses that contribute to politicians do.
3. From the Department of Budget & Management we could cut $79.2 million that’s going to pay for a automatic 2% increase for about 82,000 state employees. I don’t know about you, but many of people I know have taken pay cuts. So, is it really too much to ask state employees to freeze their wages until we weather the current economic storm?
4. Another $62 million could be cut from O’Malley’s $124 million health care reform plan, which helps pay the insurance premiums of uninsured individuals and companies whose employees make less than $50,000. Instead of paying the premiums of 42,000 of these folks with taxpayers’ money, why not start by covering 21,000. Or better yet, why not just give them a tax credit so they can buy their own health insurance like so many of us do?
5. And finally, we could easily cut $12.5 from the bureaucratic so-called neighborhood Smart Growth plan. It is difficult to impossible to understand exactly what is being done with this money. If the bureaucrats can’t easily explain it, than we probably won’t miss it when it’s gone.
Now, I know this will never happen, but if you were Governor what programs would you cut?
Or would you be tempted to raise taxes even higher as O’Malley will most likely do?