In the latest battle between the states, officials in Virginia and Maryland are squaring off over whose budget-balancing prowess is greater. First, after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced his state ended the year with $544 million in cash, $234 million more than expected, the Republican Party there crowed that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was, at the same time, predicting a $1 billion shortfall and floating the possibility of tax increases. "Contrasts don't get much clearer than this," a GOP news release said. But then Maryland ended fiscal 2011 with $1 billion in cash, $344 million more than expected. Mr. O'Malley found a way to gloat while simultaneously promising not to, saying he would love to call that a surplus, but "that's not the way we do things on this side of the Potomac."