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As Long as We Remember...

January 28, 2010

Spinning A Tale Taking Responsibility

Chris Cavey

On February 4th we will have story time in Annapolis. The governor of our beautiful – but economically depressed – state, will stand before a joint session of the legislature, with the media in full force, and tell all the boys and girls who are listening a fairy tale.


The gyroscopic spin machines of the liberal media will be working so hard to make Gov. Martin O’Malley look good, it will equal that of jet turbines. But even then it will not be able to drown out the mistakes of the past three years. The roar of public unrest concerning personal economic situations is growing to a deafening pitch in State Circle.


One of the highlights of the State of the State will certainly be the fable of the 2011 budget.


Magically revenue appears to be about $400 million less in this budget than expenditures. This number is due to the influx of federal funds (a.k.a. stimulus money and the enhanced Medicaid match). We also had the Board of Public Works contribute millions in “special fund swaps” to help the cause.


Then, quick as a wink, it was all spent; $14.8 billion dollars – gone; a big number with lots of zeroes and one which will not be uttered from the Speaker’s podium February 4th, or any day prior to Sine Die.


Think of it this way. Let’s pretend you make $50,000 per year and live within your means paying your bills. Then you start to do favors for the neighbors and your Ravens tailgating buddies and realize you are cash short. So you take out every dollar you have saved from every account, including your children’s education, so you can buy more stuff for your buddies.


But, hey! No big deal because just before the bank comes to repo your treasures, you hit the lottery with a three-year payout. Dude, you are a lucky guy!


So, rather than have any foresight whatsoever, you start spending more with little worry for the future. Never taking into consideration your annuity will soon end and your savings are gone. After all, you can always borrow from somebody.


For Maryland, the shortfall will be an admitted $8.3 billion deficit left for the next gubernatorial term.


Doubtfully we will hear in this address about the fact the Unemployment Trust Fund needs to borrow $300 million from the federal government. Let’s hope the unemployed aren’t voters. I’d bet they would be pretty upset if their check was not in the mail.


Of course, we are looking to borrow from Uncle Sam. Our own federal government, an entity with a Democrat president and two Democrat legislative chambers, is deep in red ink but with the ability to print its own money. A fantasy banker comes true, for a mirror image Democrat-run state.


The fable will continue for about an hour, I’m sure. A governor has to be positive and glowing when the cameras are streaming. Politics is smoke and mirrors. Democrats are in charge and legislatively have been in charge for a couple of lifetimes. They are ultimately responsible for our mess.


Truth is, our state revenues are down, the economy is horrible and unemployment in Maryland is at an all time high. The leader of our state needs to propose solutions. Those within his party – who control the majority vote in the legislature – need to hold the executive branch of government accountable, not just go with the flow, taking our fair state farther into the sea of red ink.


The O’Malley Administration and the Democrat leadership in the legislature whined for three years about alleged “Ehrlich deficit.” At the current rate one can expect if, by chance, re-elected, they will have to complain about themselves. The let’s blame Bob Ehrlich, George W. Bush or Republicans in general is getting really stale and the public has stopped buying that battle cry. It is time for Maryland’s governor and his minions to “man up” and take a little responsibility.


Back in the day I was in a fraternity at the University of Maryland – prior to hazing laws. We had a lot of burly farm boys in our fraternity. Many knew how to wield a paddle with pin-point accuracy and a very loud crack of the paddle left a long wide bruise on the meaty part of your gluteus muscles.


A lesson that was learned by every pledge was to tell the truth. It was alright to screw up, but you had to admit you did and you had to learn by your mistakes. I was told many times that I “failed miserably,” then I either remedied the situation or “assumed the position.”


In hindsight hazing was a bad thing; however, the life lessons were good. Doubtfully the governor will admit he “failed miserably” when in the House Chamber next week. Instead he will spin a yarn and add another chapter to the current tall tales of the O’Malley years.


Too bad, I have some “old school” fraternity brothers who are pretty upset, taxpaying, Maryland citizens. I bet they haven’t forgotten how to swing a paddle either.

(Editor's Note! Late on Wednesday afternoon, Governor O'Malley changed the date of his State of The State address to February 2.)



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