Maryland House Minority Leaders Call On OWE Malley for Fiscal Respsonsibility

Maryland’s fiscal challenges are significant, but can be overcome

 To the editor:

Maryland’s budget deficit is a long-term problem that requires a long-term solution. Over the past three years, the O’Malley/Brown administration has made no progress in addressing the state’s budget deficit.

Increased spending, a failed slots bill, the largest tax increase in our state’s history and federal bailouts make for a dismal track record for this governor.

The Department of Legislative Services projects a cumulative deficit of more than $8 billion for the years 2012 to 2015. That’s $1,428 for every person in the state of Maryland, yet Gov. O’Malley has yet to offer a long-term plan to deal with this crisis.

Next year, when federal stimulus funding runs out, the day of reckoning will arrive and the taxpayers will be handed the bill. If we don’t reverse this trend, we are headed for yet another massive tax increase.

On Feb. 23, on behalf of the entire House Republican Caucus, we made an important presentation to the budget committees of the General Assembly.

In response to a “challenge” from the Democratic leadership, we offered our vision of how to balance this year’s budget as well as a long-term plan to avoid tax increases and repeal the special session taxes that have cost us countless jobs. Our plan also eliminates the need for additional demoralizing furloughs of state employees.

Our plan reduces government by $830 million in 2011 and puts strong limits on spending growth in the years that follow. We have put forth a comprehensive and detailed plan to balance the budget, avoid taxes and get our economy moving again. For more specifics, go to

By controlling spending, we can repeal the governor’s sales and corporate tax increases and get our economy moving again.

Unlike the governor, who according to The (Baltimore) Sun has a budget held together with “chewing gum and baling wire,” our plan provides a road map to the future. Our plan will help stop the flow of businesses and people to our economic competitors such as Virginia and North Carolina.

This week, we met again with the House Appropriations Committee to answer additional questions and continue the discussion about our plan.

Our caucus will continue to work in a sincere bipartisan effort to solve the structural deficit and avoid tax increases. The burden is now on the majority party if they chose to not accept – or simply cherry pick – this plan.

Federal funds are running out and we face a fiscal Armageddon. If the governor and majority party ignore these recommendations as they have done in the past, then they should be honest with the citizens of Maryland and give them a list of what taxes they plan on increasing next year.

There is another way. We do have a choice – we can stop the flow of red ink. While Maryland’s fiscal challenges are significant, they can be overcome.


Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell
R-Calvert/St. Mary’s
House minority leader


Del. Christopher B. Shank
House minority whip


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