This should have come first

Give credit where credit is due: Martin O’Malley finally realizes that spending cuts are going to have to happen:

Gov. Martin O’Malley directed state agencies yesterday to look for budget cuts of up to 5 percent that could include layoffs or unpaid furloughs for state employees, as he seeks savings in this year’s budget and prepares a spending plan for next year.

An economic downturn has cut tax collections, so O’Malley must make cuts for the fiscal year that began in July to keep the $14 billion operating budget in balance, as required by law. The Democrat plans to present hundreds of millions of dollars in proposed trims at the Board of Public Works meeting Oct. 15.

As the Governor notes:

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“The more reductions we make now, the better off we will be in dealing with an extraordinarily difficult budget next year,” O’Malley said. “While these cuts will not be easy, it is clear that the economic crisis that our nation is experiencing will have a dramatic impact.”

Of course what is complete disingenuous is the fact that the reason such drastic spending cuts are required now is the fact that O’Malley and Annapolis Democrats refused to undertake responsible and prudent spending cuts last year, when we saw a deficit and saw the first rumblings of economic stability. Instead of doing the responsible thing, O’Malley and company as you know raised taxes and increased unnecessary discretionary spending.

Here is one thing that we do know; O’Malley and the liberals in Annapolis are going to try to use these budget cuts as an impetus for…..more tax increases. Never mind the fact that last year’s tax hikes are part of the reason we have a budget shortfall now, but that’s never stopped O’Malley and his ilk going back to the well and trying what has already failed.

I’m glad that O’Malley finally decided to act like a responsible steward of the people’s money, but this is the kind of activity we should have engaged in last year. By waiting this long to reduce spending, O’Malley and company merely cheated Maryland’s working and middle class families of a larger percentage of income that a lot of them could really use right now….


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