Obama model is not working for O'Malley or Maryland

February 22, 2011

Earlier this week, Gov. Martin O'Malley wrote an op-ed in The Sun stating that President Obama's model is "working in Maryland," ("Obama's model is working in Maryland," Feb. 15.) I am outraged by this false claim and find it necessary to respond.

First and foremost, Mr. O'Malley states that "we can only invest in the future if the federal government starts living within its own means," which is very true. However, under Mr. O'Malley's leadership, Maryland has done the exact opposite. In fact, he took unnecessary stimulus dollars at the expense of creating future debt and deficit, which has now been put upon our children and grandchildren.

To be clear, the state of Maryland has deteriorated from a surplus under former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to a current $1.6 billion dollar deficit. For the first time ever, I fear that my children will grow up in a less prosperous Maryland than I did.

Mr. O'Malley further stated that, "we're bringing new jobs to Baltimore County, where Marylanders are building the next generation green electric motors." Maryland has one of the least business-friendly climates in the nation, ranking 44th according to the Tax Foundation.

Maryland must become more business-friendly in order to attract companies that create long-term, good-paying jobs. We cannot afford to lose more companies such as Lockheed Martin to other states.

We must also address education in our great state. Jurisdictions such as Prince George's County and Baltimore City continue to struggle significantly with low-performing academic test results. Mr. O'Malley has done very little to address this critical issue except to claim to care.

For example, a charter school in Laurel is fighting to open and provide Maryland students and parents with more choice. Sadly, this charter school has been met with resistance and regulatory strings, preventing it from opening.

I have to seriously question Governor O'Malley and his administration's commitment to educational excellence not only for Prince Georges County, which is obviously academically struggling, but for all of Maryland.

Children across Maryland are being left behind in failing school systems. The time has come make sure that every Maryland child has the chance to receive the best education possible, and charter schools are one important step towards that goal.

While the governor means well, I hope that he can start putting substance and action behind his talk and statistics and not just ride the coattails of President Obama. When you look at the evidence, it is manifest that President Obama's model is not working in Maryland.

Marylanders must hold Mr. O'Malley accountable to the promises he made during the election and ensure he doesn't just talk but stands up and takes real action for the state of Maryland.

Our failing schools must be addressed and the budget must be balanced — without increased debt or raising taxes. It is time for change that Maryland really can believe in.

Charles Lollar, Landover

The writer is Maryland state director of Americans for Prosperity

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