The headwind the governor is facing is a belief among many that the state of the state is not "strong," as Mr. O'Malley put it, but is, in the words of Sen. E.J. Pipkin, who presented the Republican response, "heavily taxed, and those taxes are killing jobs." It is true that Governor O'Malley has relied far more on spending cuts than on tax increases to keep the state budget balanced since the start of the recession — it's even true of this year's proposal. But many people don't believe it, and Mr. O'Malley did little to change that. He spent a great deal of time talking about spending and very little on what he has cut. There are good stories to tell there, too; the state has managed to wring hundreds of millions out of its Medicaid program, for example, while continuing to expand services. But that went unmentioned.