Yesterday, Governor O’Malley delivered his eighth—and thankfully—final state of the state address of his administration.  And, as usual, his speech was filled with so much that isn’t so. 

Now, I’ve done a few O’Malley fact checks over the years, including his recent tussle with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and his lead balloon of a speech to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. 

However, fact checking O’Malley’s 2014 state of the state speech required a trip to Home Depot for an extra large shovel to sift through seven years of O’Malley spin  -- piled high and deep.

So get your gloves on and breathe through your mouth as we sift through some of the waste.

We have cut spending by $9.1 billion dollars.

We have made more cuts than any administration in modern Maryland history.

Today, we now have the smallest executive branch since 1973 -- and the budget I presented to you last week puts us on a track to totally eliminate that structural deficit without the need for any new fees or taxes.

We remain one of only seven states that has maintained a triple-A bond rating all through the recession, and to this day.

We have built up our Rainy Day Fund to $800 million dollars, and we have placed this year in our general reserve an operating surplus of $37 million dollars.

 

Umm no.  In my Sun oped last week I used a sophisticated mathematical formula called subtraction to demonstrate that this is simply not true.  Maryland’s budget when O’Malley took office was $28.8 billion; his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal will spend $39.2 billion, that’s an increase of $10.4 billion. 

The $9.1 billion in cuts are pure fiction.  At his budget briefing last week, O’Malley admitted this number is really a reduction in the rate of spending growth.  Yet he quickly returned to calling it a cut.

Using a gimmick similar to his budget cut fiction, O’Malley can claim a smaller executive branch only by counting the elimination of vacant positions.

Sure, Maryland has a triple-A bond rating. However, the ratings agencies like Moody’s are wary of Maryland’s massive pension liabilities

And just how did O’Malley balance the budget this year?  By cutting $100 million from the state’s payments to the pension fund!

O’Malley made sure to wring every dollar he could out of that triple A bond rating -- $1.4 billion worth -- so he could swap cash out of capital and special accounts to plug general fund deficits.

Why is he bragging about $37 million in reserve, when his own agencies used dodgy accounting practices to close out their 2013 budgets, requiring $96 million in deficiency appropriations?

 

But cuts are only part of our story.

No state has ever cut its way to greater prosperity.

Growth requires investment.

This is what a balanced approach is all about.  

What balance?  What cuts?  O’Malley increased spending by $10.4 billion and raised $9.5 billion in taxes and fees.