After losing out for the second year in a row in his bid to abolish the death penalty, Governor O’Malley has returned to his earlier rhetorical bid from this legislative session: using Federal stimulus dollars to make it appear as if the state is flooded with money.
While community college students everywhere will applaud the upholding of the tuition freeze; the fact remains that Governor O’Malley is again spending money that these same students-and possibly their children-will have to repay someday in increased taxes. This misuse of funds is systematic of the larger trend here…the Governor and the Democrats in the Assembly are extending government services we couldn’t afford today with temporary money…come 2011, we still won’t able to afford our purchases.
We have a structural problem with the state’s finances, and the Governor has hardly been a model of fiscal restraint with our unexpected Beltway windfall. Despite the fact that he did not intend to fully-fund the geographic cost of education index (GCEI), he has decided to do so using Federal dollars that will only be shipped to Maryland in 2012.
Combine this profligacy with the massive increases in Medicaid that no state legislature will likely reverse after stimulus dollars dry up…and the state will soon be left jabbing buttons at an ATM while the screen reads “Insufficient Funds.”