Maryland Democrats are Gaslighting the Budget……..again
As they are wont to do, Maryland Democrats are once again gaslighting the budget. At issue is $182 million in funding for their “priorities” that Governor Larry Hogan has not yet released. Democrats would have you believe the Governor is heartlessly withholding funds for Baltimore City Police, school construction, and testing of rape kits, and a misguided bailout of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Democratic claims would be laughable if it were not so cynical.
Lost in the legislative virtue signaling is that in order to get here, the General Assembly had to cut other items in the budget order to fund these priorities. In other words, this whole #freethefunds thing is a political gimmick concocted by Maryland Democrats who still can’t forgive Larry Hogan for committing the original sin of Maryland politics: He won. Twice.
Remember, the legislature can’t add to the Governor’s budget they can only cut money, move money, or restrict or “fence” off funds for specific purposes. The Governor, however, has the power to spend or not spend these monies.
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Here are some things these paragons of moral superiority cut from the budget to set up their cynical political game of pitting priorities against one another.
- $50 million from the pension system;
- $90 million from the Rainy Day fund (our budget reserve);
- $6 million from the job-creating More Jobs for Marylanders program;
- $20 million from higher education;
- $6 million from employee student loan benefit;
- $7 million from the Catastrophic Event Fund;
- $3.4 million from BOOST scholarships to get kids out of failing schools;
- $2.5 million from Opportunity Zones program to provide investment in poor neighborhoods;
- $2.1 million from the Governor’s Promise Plus Scholarship;
- $1.2 million from the Governor’s payback to Program Open Space raided by the O’Malley Administration to cover his debt spending.
It should be noted that the legislature moved $127 million of the money they cut/fenced to fund school construction while they simultaneously failed to pass the Governor’s innovative Building Opportunities Act, which would have bonded a portion of casino revenues to fund nearly all of the current backlog of school construction projects across the state. Instead, the legislature chose to cheat the pension system and our retirees for a one-time payment.
Also, given that we now know the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was in a lot worse shape than we were led to believe, to the point that Maggie McIntosh’s plan to save the BSO would not have worked: how many scholarships or jobs could that $1.6 million in corporate welfare have funded?
A small look into the lengths that Maryland Democrats will go to gaslight the public on their reckless spending priorities and shift blame to anybody other than the people responsible for it; Maryland Democrats.