How does O'Malley figure Md. is better off?

March 15, 2010

I read with interest Friday's Sun in which Gov. Martin O'Malley's campaign manager, Thomas Russell, suggests that Marylanders are "better off today than they were four years ago" ("O'Malley called eager to face Ehrlich," March 12). Really?

There are 222,400 unemployed Marylanders who would probably disagree with that statement. Four years ago, Maryland's unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. Today, it has more than doubled to 7.5 percent.

Four years ago, we celebrated the creation of more than 100,000 jobs in Maryland over a four-year period. Today, we lament the loss of more than 100,000 jobs over a three-year period.

Four years ago, Maryland families paid 20 percent less in sales taxes on food, clothing and other services than today because of Martin O'Malley's decision to pass the largest tax increase in Maryland history.

Four years ago, Maryland's coffers had a roughly $1 billion budget surplus. Today, Maryland has a $1 billion budget deficit, with even larger shortfalls on the horizon.

In November, voters will send a clear message to Martin O'Malley about whether they're better off today than they were four years ago. And, I suspect he will not be happy with the final result.

Lawrence J. Hogan Jr., Annapolis

The writer was appointments secretary for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

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