Just what is Ehrlich's magic job creation formula?

September 24, 2010

Gov. Martin O'Malley is right to be somber about the most recent jobs numbers in Maryland ("Job losses force subdued tone in O'Malley camp," Sept. 23). I doubt anyone views this as good news. Sadly, Mr. Ehrlich is attempting to use these numbers to bolster his campaign, and he uses this opportunity to criticize his opponent for "simply not understanding how to create jobs."

Mr. Ehrlich would like Marylanders to view our state in a vacuum. Does Mr. Ehrlich really believe that Marylanders don't know that we are experiencing the effects of a national recession, one of the deepest and longest recessions since the Great Depression? Despite the depth and length of the recession, Maryland's unemployment rate is 7.3 percent — significantly lower than the national average of 9.6 percent. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, Maryland has an unemployment rate lower than 37 other states. Maryland continues to hold a triple-A bond rating from the three major rating agencies. And, despite recent job losses, Maryland still has positive net job growth over the past 12 months.

Mr. Ehrlich claims to hold the formula for job creation. If so, perhaps he would be kind enough to share it with the five states with the worst unemployment rates, four of which are run by Republican governors. Mr. Ehrlich needs to be honest with the people of Maryland: He has no instant cure for our recession.

I've reviewed Mr. Ehrlich's "Road Map to 2020" as posted on his website, and frankly, it looks like the road to more bureaucracy. Mr. Ehrlich believes a "shift in attitude," "regulators," "expeditors," a "roundtable" and a "micro-desk" are the key to creating jobs. There are, of course, the obligatory tax cuts, but little detail as to how Mr. Ehrlich plans to pay for this loss of revenue when our state is already facing a budget deficit. How many jobs will be created under Mr. Ehrlich's plan? That isn't answered either.

Economic times were good when Mr. Ehrlich was governor. And, even in those good times, Mr. Ehrlich raised taxes and fees. Now, he wants to ride the tide of discontent with government back to the governor's mansion. It is time for Mr. Ehrlich to remember that he too has a record to run on. I haven't forgotten much in four years, but I think Mr. Ehrlich is hoping that a lot of Marylanders have. I'll be supporting Governor O'Malley.

Lisa Mathias, Baltimore

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