The first and most obvious example of Maryland Democrats and their lack of accountability is the bungled roll out of Obamacare. As the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange continues to founder, Governor O'Malley continues to act like Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House, "All is well, remain calm, all is well remain calm."
Now, we learn that another glitch in the exchange will cost taxpayers an additional $30 million in Medicaid payments because of software unable to identify those ineligible for the program.
Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, the point man for this "national model" of health care reform, has, of course all but disappeared. Apparently he doesn't like "drive-thru" interviews in which people ask who should be held responsible for this epic screw up.
I'll take the extra value meal No. 1 with large sized evasions, and extra condescension, please!
Maryland Democrats fear of accountability also extends to the legislature. Last week at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the budget, Del. John Bohanan castigated Comptroller Peter Franchot for his suggestion that the legislature reject Governor O'Malley's plan to balance the budget by reducing payments to the state pension fund.
"It's nice that your brought us your sympathy, I appreciate that, not really so nice to bring us the criticism. We'll accept that. What would be nice would be to hear some potential solutions, and I'm not sure I heard that other than wrap a bow around it and send it back to the governor. You sat on this committee and know that's not an option. That's not what the people of this state elected us to do. … There aren't too many options here. We're at the point where I didn't hear you say dip into the rainy day fund or start the cuts. Education aid is increasing by $86 million, there's a cut I guess, do you favor that? Pay raises for state employees increase $120 million, you've said lets find the $100 million, that's an increase of $120 million do you support that?"
This is the typical Democratic response to anyone who questions their budgeting competence. It's also an artful dodge.
According to the great Maryland Legislative Watch website, Bohanan voted for every single O'Malley budget i.e., he's just as responsible for the $9 billion in increased spending that has led to this budget crunch as anyone else. The fact that Bohanan chairs the legislature's Spending Affordability Committee makes his comments even more laughable.
But don't point out those pesky facts to our public rulers like Delegate Bohanan, holding them accountable upsets their delicate sensibilities.
--Mark Newgent has contributed commentary to The Washington Examiner and National Review Online, and he is an frequent guest on WBAL Radio. His posts appear here regularly via Red Maryland, which has strived to be the premier blog and radio network of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the free state since 2007.