From the office of District 7 Del. Pat McDonough:
Here we go again with the passage of another dishonest Maryland state budget. This $34 billion monstrosity increases current spending by about $1 billion. The House of Delegates Appropriations Committee labored mightily for many weeks, finally producing a miniscule $6 million cut.
The Governor and the legislative leaders will claim they have created a balanced budget, guaranteeing a Triple A bond rating. It’s all baloney. The budget is balanced by generating more debt, transferring funds and in general, playing a shell game designed to deceive voters.
There are a number of maneuvers that will cost taxpayers money. For instance, the $250 million Medicaid reduction from hospitals will increase patient costs and private healthcare rates. This is a hidden tax on healthcare insurance. Another example is the $75 million increase in new fees which Governor O’Malley referred to as “Taxes” when he was running for Governor. Of course, we have the alcohol tax increase and numerous transfers from special funds like transportation.
There are new laws and policies being passed that will contribute to an increasing structural deficit. The current structural deficit is about $1.5 billion. This “smoke and mirrors budget” only reduces approximately 35% of the structural deficit. “Kicking the can down the road” has become a favorite game played by the Governor and legislators in Annapolis. The wind turbine project proposed by the Governor and in-state tuition for illegal aliens will cost hundreds of millions in taxpayer financed subsidies.
Let me provide advanced warning, the Maryland General Assembly will be called into special session in September of this year, allegedly to perform their duties regarding the re-districting of Congress. I would bet that whatever money you still have left, that the legislators will use this opportunity to pass more tax increases. For all these reasons, I have voted against my seventh consecutive anti-taxpayer budget. When I first began, only three other legislators joined the effort. On this current budget, 42 legislators supported my position, all of them Republicans. All of the Democrats in the House of Delegates voted for the budget.
Another serious and growing problem is transferring operating costs into debt which taxpayers must fund. More than $600 million in debt has been created since 2008 which, when the interest is added, would translate into 1.2 billion dollars in costs to the taxpayers. Under the old system, the operating item costs, like open space purchases, would have been paid for directly rather than financed by bonds, debts, and interest. This is a gimmick used to balance the budget by pushing the financial obligations into the future.
For additional information, contact Delegate McDonough by calling 410-238-0025 or send an e-mail to Patmcdee@comcast.com.