Perhaps you have seen the black bumper stickers lampooning the "Believe" stickers that originated during Martin O'Malley's stint as Baltimore mayor. The most poignant of those stickers are proving to be the ones that read "Pretend."
Pretend is the operative qualification for most everything coming out of Maryland politics, from the governor's office to the state legislature to Baltimore City Hall and, not least, from The Baltimore Sun. All you need do is pretend.
Governor O'Malley didn't really implement numerous fee increases after making such a point of promising not to raise taxes.
He didn't really raid the Transportation Trust Fund to give state employees raises and bonuses, then increase highway tolls to make up for the transportation shortfall.
The governor didn't really funnel $120 million, saved from pension fund reform, into the general fund to balance the budget.
Pretend that Maryland truly deserves its No. 1 rating for education, that a large percentage of our high school graduates really don't need to take remedial English and math courses as prerequisites to entry-level college courses, and that there really hasn't been any cheating on achievement tests or reports by retired teachers that they were obliged to gradate undeserving students.
Close your eyes and visualize all those folks moving into Baltimore City when property taxes are lowered, it's safe to walk the streets and children will benefit from the best in public education.
After all, given Maryland's last place national standing for jobs growth, even Martin O'Malley himself had to pretend when he told a national audience that "in Maryland, it's all about creating jobs."
Dennis Peltz, Perry Hall