Fudging the Numbers O’Malley Style
Mark Newgent takes down Governor O’Malley’s latest round of cooking the books to make himself look like a budget hawk.
Mr. O’Malley boasts that this budget eliminates a $584 million deficit without raising taxes. He claims there are $457 million in cuts.
Again, we’re talking the Annapolis definition of cuts here. Real world math shows a general fund spending increase of $741,000. You can do the math for yourself on page 97 of Mr. O’Malley’s own budget book.
A large part of how Mr. O’Malley closed the budget gap was capping the annual payment to the woefully underfunded state pension fund. Capping the state payment at $200 million frees up $172 million to plug the budget deficit. However, Maryland’s pension and other post employment benefits funds — depending on how you calculate it — face shortfalls anywhere from $28.4 billion according to the Maryland Public Policy Institute and $78 billion, according to State Budget Solutions.