Looking for leadership on the state budget? Move to New Jersey

March 28, 2011

It is difficult for me to decide what approach to Maryland's budget morass is worthy of more derision: the histrionics of the education establishment, Gov. Martin O'Malley and the legislature whose mantra of "moving forward" seems to be limited to their habit of kicking the can down the road, or The Sun editors for letting them off the hook ("Maryland budget: tough choices remain," March 23.)

At the beginning of the piece the editors admit that there has been an "annual muddle of fund transfers and budget gimmicks." But at the end of it we're told that the governor was rewarded for his leadership on the matter when he was reelected and now has the opportunity to "repeat history." What history is that exactly? Those gimmicks, transfers and the use of federal largesse aren't examples of leadership. Political skill perhaps, but if Sun editors want a view of leadership, they should visit New Jersey.

The editor's note an "absence of direction" from the governor, which should surprise no one; he seeks higher office. And strangely silent are his supporters who apparently believe that fees are taxes right up until a Democrat is responsible for them.

Mark Brown, Bowley's Quarters

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