The Baltimore Sun

YESTERDAY, WE ANALYZED GOV. MARTIN O'Malley's proposed budget. There was a heavy response on our Web site,, much of it quite emotional. Here's a sampling:

Michael, of Baltimore, wrote: This budget is a bloated piece of garbage. Why does spending have to go up EVERY YEAR? Do people's wages go up every year? No.

Bill, of Catonsville, wrote: I would love to know what the raises are or will be for state employees, starting with O'Malley, this coming fiscal year. I would also like to know how much of the increases for our "investment" in education are for teachers compared to salary and benefit increases for administrators.

But Chillin in Illin, of Chicago, countered: It's far easier to take money out of transportation and open space, increase tuition (by shortchanging public colleges that have no other recourse) and raise fees and the state property tax like the last governor and, oh, just limp along to the next year while the underlying problem, the structural deficit, worsens. Raising taxes doesn't make a governor popular (see recent polls) but it did solve the problem.

Stop the madness, of the "United States," wrote: Instead of using TAXPAYER money to fund OVERLY LAVISH Civil Servant Retiree Health Benefits (that nobody else gets), they should be REDUCED for ALL CURRENT (as well as new) employees. They should get NO MORE than the average TAXPAYER.

It is outrageous that TAXPAYERS are forced to pay for this!

In another editorial, we suggested that Michigan voters' focus on the economy in this week's primary, and their apparent longing for a return to the days of manufacturing profitability, could be a foretaste of the general election campaign.

Douger, of Baltimore, wrote: The U.S. government just threw a wrench into any possible recovery by increasing CAFE standards.

For a change, John McCain was right. Those jobs are gone, never to return. Rather than whine about the inequity of it, effort should be directed at adapting to the new reality.

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