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Time for a change in Maryland [Letter]

FinanceBudgets and BudgetingMartin O'MalleyGeorge W. Bush

Maryland is now dealing with a situation where they need to find additional cuts because state revenues are projected to come in $238 million lower than forecast ("Another budget setback," March 11).

Economists at the Board of Revenue Estimates can blame it on the polar vortex, but the fact is, Maryland's largest natural resource is the federal government, which after exploding under President George W. Bush is now shrinking.

What should be deeply concerning to people is that Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Senate budget committee have put pension funding on the chopping block.

The strategy for pensions, now less than 70 percent funded, appears to be: Hope the stock market goes up. Ask anyone with a 401k how that works out.

What is even more disconcerting is that while Maryland is struggling, California and New York have the happy problem of budget surpluses.

Since 2009, Maryland appropriations have grown slightly faster (3.8 percent) than Maryland GDP (3.3 percent). In the latest budget, Mr. O'Malley proposed about 4 percent growth. Contrast that with other states that have held budget growth to 2 percent.

Economists have a saying, what cannot go on forever must stop. The O'Malley administration compromised the future of Maryland by failing to hold the line on spending when it had a chance. Now, the choices are forced on Maryland, and they are bad and worse. I am coming around to the view that its time for a change in Maryland. Continuing to vote for this fiscal irresponsibility basically means more severe choices down the line.

Dan Brawdy

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