The real cure for Maryland's budget disease
By John K. Lambert
The Post’s editorial board is boo-hooing about Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley delaying painful budget choices in an election year [“Postponing the pain,” editorial, Jan. 24]. Putting off unpopular choices in an election year is what most prudent politicians, including Mr. O’Malley, do to save their jobs.
The jobs of other state employees, though, are only in slight jeopardy. Only 400 have been laid off, according to The Post; the other 3,100 state jobs are probably unfilled positions that aren’t charged against payroll.
The 400 terminated employees amount to less than six-tenths of 1 percent of the reported 70,000 on the payroll. Further, 10 days of unpaid furloughs for the remaining 70,000 are much preferable to the one-year-plus separation that the average private-sector jobless are enduring. Four hundred layoffs are minuscule compared to 11,000 layoffs that Sam’s Club is making. If Sam’s Club can cut that many people, Maryland could reduce its payroll by at least 10,000 without any serious impact to the essential purposes and operations of the state.
I suspect that The Post’s real quarrel with Mr. O’Malley is that he is not proposing tax increases to close Maryland’s looming future budget gap of about $2 billion, the first of the “old-fashioned” ways it suggests to close the gap.
Well, the real cure for Maryland’s budget disease is not a tax increase but cutting spending and reducing the size of government.
Posted by: Falmouth1 | January 28, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse
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