It's not just Program Open Space that's getting shortchanged [Letter]

March 12, 2014

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is about more than Program Open Space ("Open Space falls short," March 10). It's about mortgaging our future to play today.

You talk about hundreds of millions dollars diverted from Program Open Space, but let's look at the big picture.

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the Maryland pension system has a $54,498,265 liability. While having funding to cover 80 percent of obligations is considered healthy, Maryland's fund has only 64 percent. To the dismay of State Treasurer Nancy Koop, the legislature appears poised to kick the can down the road and not to pay their obligations to the fund again this year. Last year the fund managers lost every dime that employees had contributed.

Our Transportation Trust Fund has been habitually raided too. So much so that Gov. O'Malley had to push through gas tax increases because the Transportation Trust had been depleted.

I imagine there are other examples of fiduciary neglect, too many for me to track. I don't see any solution. The Governor and legislature can countermand any law or resolution they choose. It's the nature of the political beast.

Karl Pfrommer, Lutherville

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