When you look up irresponsible budgeting in the dictionary, you see a picture of Martin O’Malley playing his guitar

Not to take away from the zeitgeist of Scott Brown’s epic victory in Massachusetts tonight, but take a look at the latest budget shenanigans from the office of Martin O’Malley:

Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to rely on a billion dollars in one-time accounting maneuvers to help balance next year’s $13 billion state operating budget, avoiding deep cuts to services in an election year.

The strategy drew immediate concern from critics, particularly Republicans, who say the Democratic governor is deferring tough decisions.

O’Malley presented a broad outline Tuesday of how he plans to fill a $2 billion gap between revenues and expenditures in the spending plan he is required to submit to the General Assembly today.

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And what is going to take the brunt of the Governor’s budget axe? Health care and state workers, naturally:

He proposes steep cuts to to hospitals, and wants to continue this year’s plan which forced state workers to take up to 10 days off without pay. Counties would receive the same reduced amounts of local aid and highway money they got this year.

And sometimes we joke about politicians trying to play with imaginary money when using their budget protections, but Martin O’Malley is actually budgeting using imaginary money!

O’Malley is also banking on Congress approving a new package of emergency assistance to states grappling with the worst economic downturn since the Depression. The governor allocates $389 million he believes the state would receive from that program if it materializes.

What planet is Governor O’Malley living on? He wants to cut aid to hospitals, but talk about expanding health care. He wants to confiscate two weeks worth of pay from state workers, but continue to expand the state bureaucracy, all while trying to be a “jobs Governor” as he runs for re-election. Most laughably of all, he wants to stick it to unionized state workers by (let me say this again) confiscating their pay but expect that SEIU and AFSCME will gladly and cheerfully give their money and time to his re-election efforts this fall. All while trying to use Monopoly money to make it all work.

You know, we have talked about O’Malleynomics for a long, long time as Martin O’Malley has smoked and mirrored his way through the first three years of his administration. But just when you think his budgeting skills can’t get any worse, they do.

The General Assembly needs to force Governor O’Malley to make the tough decisions when it comes to passing a budget. We cannot afford to continue this gimmicked budgeting, and we need real solutions to dealing with our budget woes. And those solutions cannot be created on the backs of Maryland State Workers: regardless of whether or not state government is too big, it is irresponsible to take money out of the pockets of these workers who are serving the state of Maryland.

The O’Malley Budget is just the latest in a round of budgeting decisions that eschew responsibility and take money directly out of the pockets of state workers who make up a sizable chunk of Maryland’s middle and working class families. And I have a feeling that voters are getting tired of the O’Malley Charade…


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