January 17, 2013
Amid the boasting typical of a governor's budget proposal, Gov. Martin O'Malley's new spending plan includes this peculiar claim to fame: The O'Malley administration has managed to effectively eliminate Maryland's structural budget deficit not just once but two times. This is a bit like bragging that you've married the same person twice - it suggests you've gotten to the right place in the end but glosses over some unpleasantness in the middle. The fiscal unpleasantness, in Mr. O'Malley's case, was particularly severe, and to be fair, not really his fault.
December 5, 2012
I wish President Barack Obama would explain to the nation that the federal budget deficit isn't the nation's major economic problem and deficit reduction shouldn't be our major goal. Our biggest problem is lack of good jobs and sufficient growth. And our goal must be to revive both. Deficit reduction leads us in the opposite direction -- away from jobs and growth. The reason the "fiscal cliff" is dangerous (and it's not really a "cliff" but more like a hill, because we won't fall off it immediately on Jan. 1)
November 14, 2012
With the election behind us, I had hoped our politicians would get beyond games of chicken. No such luck. First, you need to understand that the upcoming game of chicken isn't about how much or when we cut the budget deficit, or even whether the upcoming "fiscal cliff" poses a danger to the economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned last week that the automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to start in January amount to too much deficit reduction, too soon.
February 24, 2012
The following is the 2012 State of the County Address delivered by Harford County Executive David Craig at the Feb. 21 county council legislative session: Harrisburg, PA: Requesting Bankruptcy. Jefferson County, AL: Bankrupt. The State of Maryland: A "negative outlook" on its bond rating; A $1.2 billion budget deficit. The United States of America: A drop from a Triple A rating to Double A; An unbalanced budget; A new trillion dollar deficit.
December 5, 2011
Sport, said broadcaster Howard Cosell, is "human life in microcosm. " Ain't it the truth at the University of Maryland athletic department, where the economic mood strikes approximately the same chord as that of the unemployment rate and the budget deficit. University sports budgets, it turns out, can't grow forever any more than subprime mortgage originations or government spending. In what President Wallace D. Loh called one of his "most painful and heart-wrenching decisions," the University of Maryland, College Park, is eliminating more than a fourth of its varsity teams, including men's and women's swimming and diving, men's tennis, and men's track and field.
November 1, 2011
Whether the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - the so-called supercommittee - reaches a deal to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion or stalemates on Nov. 23, Democrats appear intent on handicapping the national economy with higher taxes and imperiling national security by cutting defense. Those are the wrong places to solve the nation's budget woes. In 2007, just prior to the financial crisis and when Democrats took control of Congress, the deficit was a manageable $161 billion.