Maryland's spending problem [Letter]

September 29, 2014

Dreary job reports coupled with the news that Maryland is projecting $405 million in less revenue for the current fiscal year and the next has caused the O'Malley/Brown cheerleaders at The Sun to put on the pompoms and go into full attack mode ("Apocalypse? Not now," Sept. 26). Various explanations are offered either in articles or editorials rationalizing the inability to eliminate the proclaimed structural deficit, including: the sequestration, federal budget cuts, lots of other states have the same problem, the dog ate the homework, etc.

Missing in the analysis of The Sun is the one explanation that is right before everyone's eyes: Maryland is spending too much money. Before the O'Malley/Brown folks arrived, expenditures in 2006 were $25.79 billion. Expenditures in fiscal year 2014 are $37.40 billion, a 45 percent increase from 2006. Spending for 2015 is budgeted to be $39.25 billion, a 5 percent increase from 2014. Since the inflation rate for 2013 was 1.5 percent and is hovering between 1.7 percent and 2 percent for 2014, there is no justification for an increase of that amount other than the current powers that be in Annapolis desiring to help their friends and allies in an election year to more taxpayer funded benefits.

A simple modest reduction in the rate of spending increases would go a long way to fiscal sanity, but this suggestion will only be met by Democrats and their friends at The Sun as being "harsh" or "unfair." Any promise of no tax increases by incumbent Democrats should be taken with a grain of salt since we can expect history repeat itself. Thus, the structural deficit will continue onward. The only way to change this pattern is to elect people who are willing to do so.

Robert C. Erlandson, Lutherville

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