Not Above The Red…

Reading The Baltimore Sun this morning and I find myself insulted. Normally, I am insulted by the editorial page, but this morning was a first. In the world of punditry where people make stupid comments on both sides of the aisle and at any given time, I actually found myself insulted by what Patrick Moran, director of AFSCME was quoted as saying in the paper this morning regarding state employees facing layoffs and furloughs.

From The Baltimore Sun:

“The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest state worker union, decried the proposal, saying O’Malley shouldn’t balance the budget “on the backs” of workers. Still, union director Patrick Moran said the furlough plan is preferable to layoffs, which would have been “unthinkable.”

I do think that the union is correct in that O’Malley shouldn’t have used state employees to balance the budget. In fact, I’ll join House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell from Southern Maryland saying that the Governor should not have took his time in analyzing the budget, as he did in the early part of his term. He also should not have made lofty promises which lead to pushing a large tax hike in hopes of funding these dreams, only for it to go bust as we are seeing now.

Trending: Candidate Survey: Chris Chaffee for US Senate

Outside of that, I have one question for Mr. Moran, what makes a state employee more special than me? For the record, I am not wishing ill will on state employees, I don’t like to see ANYONE lose their job (unless it’s a bad politico who was voted out, which means they would just return to their day job full-time, so they are not technically unemployed.) I know sometimes we like to romanticize state employees as public servants, but the government runs on the same money that the private industry does. Yes, government can print their own money, assuming that they really want to make inflation bad.

As some of you know, I have been personally affected by this economy. I was blessed enough to been able to transition into a regular full-time job with a different company in a two week span after having my pay and hours cut, originally. My industry did not receive a bailout, nor a stimulus. The broadcast industry has been slimming down for months and a lot of my friends in general have been having a hard time in this economy, yet Mr. Moran is of the belief that layoffs of state employees are unthinkable?

Again, I do not want anyone to lose their job, but at the same time, you have to use common sense. If you cannot afford to pay for it, you can’t buy it, which is what is happening in the private industry over these past few months. The economy is recovering, but with no thanks to the federal government. Remember, the stimulus only helped banks and governments get through their budget year until 2010.

Mr. Moran does not realize that NO ONE is immune from layoffs, paycuts (which I took this year) any of the other squeezes that is due to the sluggish economy.

P. Kenneth Burns is the editor of Maryland Politics Today. He lives in Baltimore County. His email is

Send this to a friend