The Proof is in the Pudding, Ehrlich so much better than Martin O’Liar – Fact Sheet on Maryland’s Budget: A Tale of Two Governors

Fact Sheet on Maryland’s Budget: A Tale of Two Governors

Martin O’Malley

  • Governor O’Malley’s legacy can be summed up very easily: Massive job losses, Record tax increases, and Historic budget deficits
  • Governor O’Malley inherited approximately $1 billion in surplus funds when he took office in 2007. Less than three years later, he presides over a $2 billion deficit. Moreover, the State’s structural budget deficit is the highest in history at $8 billion, according to The Baltimore Sun.
  • In April, The Sun described Governor O’Malley’s budget gimmicks as “chewing gum and baling wire,” asking, “How is it that he still has not solved the problem for good?”
  • He has increased the State’s future reliance on debt by 60%. Much like paying your mortgage with a credit card, he is paying for many current programs not with current revenue but instead with debt.
  • State government spending has increased $3.2 billion on Governor O’Malley’s watch, despite a severe economic recession. Families and small businesses cut their budgets to prepare for tough times. Why didn’t Governor O’Malley?
  • The federal government is now the largest source of revenue to Maryland state government, meaning that Maryland has become a ward of the federal government under Governor O’Malley.
  • Governor O’Malley forced Marylanders to pay the largest tax increase in Maryland history in 2007, arguing that paying more in taxes was a “long-term solution” to Maryland’s budget. He was wrong. Marylanders instead got the largest budget deficit in Maryland history and the largest job losses in history.
  • Governor O’Malley has offered no plan whatsoever to fix Maryland’s budget deficit and has drained the State’s Rainy Day Fund to less than half of what he inherited.
  • Governor O’Malley will enact a monumental tax increase after November’s election. He has been asked repeatedly to rule out raising taxes but refuses to do so. His last tax hike hurt Maryland families and small businesses in a recession. Why would we give him more money?
  • Governor O’Malley has given massive pay raises to his staff and to the bureaucrat who approved a 72% increase in consumer electricity rates, yet he furloughed thousands of hardworking state employees and bullied other state workers to make contributions to his re-election campaign.

Bob Ehrlich

  • Bob Ehrlich’s budget legacy can also be summed up easily: He inherited a deficit and left a surplus.
  • Bob Ehrlich inherited $4 billion in anticipated deficits in 2003, the largest in Maryland history at the time. Former Governor William Donald Schaefer said in 2004 that Bob Ehrlich had “the hardest job of any governor.”
  • Four years later, Bob Ehrlich left his successor with approximately $1 billion in surplus funds.
  • He nearly tripled Maryland’s Rainy Day Fund to $1.4 billion during his tenure, the highest amount in history. This reflects Bob Ehrlich’s belief that the taxpayer’s money should be saved in the event of economic downturn rather than spent in the short-term on wasteful government programs.
  • Bob Ehrlich proposed a lasting solution to Maryland’s budget deficit for four straight years: slot machines at Maryland race tracks. If the Maryland legislature had adopted Bob Ehrlich’s plan in 2003, the State would be receiving an additional $800 million in non-tax revenue every year and potentially staved off the massive budget deficit Governor O’Malley has since created.
  • Bob Ehrlich defeated or vetoed $7.5 billion in tax increases proposed by the Maryland General Assembly to protect families, small businesses, and to encourage economic growth.
  • He shrunk the executive branch bureaucracy by 7 percent during his tenure and instituted performance-based budgeting to force government to invest first in services that work.
  • He preserved Maryland’s “Triple A” bond rating which saves taxpayers money on bonds issued by the State.
  • Despite inheriting a massive budget deficit, Bob Ehrlich fully funded every public school in Maryland, provided tax relief to thousands of Marylanders, and created an economic climate that led to the creation of 100,000 private sector jobs in Maryland.
  • Bob Ehrlich’s philosophy is that government must spend within its means, respect the taxpayer’s wallet, and protect the most vulnerable members of our society. As governor, he will serve as the last line of defense against another massive tax increase after November’s election and force state government budget wisely and responsibly – putting the taxpayer’s interests first.

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