Not Good Enough

Well it looks like the General Assembly’s Spending Affordability Committee has advised Governor O’Malley to freeze state spending when he introduces his FY2011 budget next month.And while I commend the fact that even legislative Democrats realize our spending growth has gotten untenable, it still is not enough action being taken on the part of the legislature.

Fortunately, Republicans on the Committee tried to show Democrats the way:

Republicans rebuked O’Malley and Democratic leaders, accusing them of fiscal mismanagement. Some contend the state shouldn’t accept federal stimulus funding, while others predict Democrats will temporarily reduce spending next year and then propose tax increases after the November 2010 election to fix a structural deficit.

A GOP proposal before the spending committee sought a 7 percent decrease in year-over-year spending. It failed on a party-line vote.

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Nobody is surprised that this failed on a party line vote. But it is absolutely correct that state cannot and should not maintain spending at it’s current levels. Spending has already increased over the past several years at levels that we cannot afford. And that spending problem is only partially the result of the national economy. As we have noted again, and again, and again, the reasons Maryland has a spending affordability problem are:

  • Unnecessary increases in social spending, that led to;
  • Historic and immoral tax increases, that led to;
  • Lower revenue and a higher costs for Maryland’s small businesses, that led to;
  • Fewer jobs and a higher cost of living for Maryland’s middle and working class families, that led to;
  • Lower tax revenues.

And of course we have talked extensively about wasteful spending and tax policy before.

The State of Maryland has a spending problem and our legislative leadership needs to cut spending. NOW. And until Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly decide to do right by Maryland’s middle and working class families, Maryland will continue to have spending affordability and revenue problems.

Marylanders need responsible leadership. We get that chance in 2010…


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