The State of the State is light-years away from what our governor thinks it is

Normally I’m pretty fair and even-handed, so since it took me about five minutes to read the Governor’s thoughts and ten minutes to watch the GOP response, I’ll link to the text and embed the video:

Besides, I didn’t vote for O’Malley anyway. There’s much more below the jump.

Some other interesting Republican and business leader quotes on the SOTS:

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (Minority Whip):

(Marylanders) have made tough choices and they are living within their means.  They have a reasonable expectation that their State government do the same.


The Administration’s continual overspending and inability to manage their own budgets is hardly an adequate excuse to increase taxes, take away tax exemptions and burden the taxpayers even more. His budget proposal and his tax proposals go way too far and again demonstrate how out of touch he is with the citizens of our State.

2014 candidate (perhaps for Governor?) and Harford County Executive David Craig (h/t The Dagger):

As County Executive I have had to make very tough decisions that keeps government living within a balanced budget each year, with no one to pass on my costs to. The State of Maryland should do the same and live within their means.

Maryland Young Republican Chairman Brian Griffiths:

This Governor talks about choices. However, his choices to date have determined a strong lack of sound judgment… Governor O’Malley could have built the new schools and bridges he talks about if he had not raided the transportation and capital funds to cover general fund spending. Instead he has replaced those funds with bond debt, meaning we’ve already been taxed twice for schools and bridges that have not been built.

The people of Maryland need common sense solutions to our spending problems and job creation. But this Governor fiddles while the middle and working classes suffer. Martin O’Malley time and time again proves that he is not serious about fixing our state’s woes as he continues to focus not on his day job, but on his national profile.

And from the business community, Maryland Business for Responsive Government:

“The Governor’s State-of-the-State address places too much emphasis on job creation through the public sector,”  said Maryland Business for Responsive Government President Kimberly M. Burns. “Every dollar of budget growth has to first be taken out of private sector pockets.”

Last year’s general fund budget grew 11.4% and the total budget has grown $28.8 billion to $35.8 billion since 2007.  It is a myth to assert the budget has been cut by $7.5 billion as the governor did today.

So what did Michael Swartz, political junkie from Wicomico County, think of the address?

I guess first of all the Governor really needs to get out of Government House once in awhile. Follow me for a day and I’ll show you what the State of the State is really like.

These addresses generally follow a few basic points, and it usually doesn’t matter which side makes the speech, Republican or Democrat. I use the first person vernacular here for effect:

  • The state of the (fill in the blank: city, county, state, union) is strong because a, b, and c was accomplished the last year because I, the Chief Executive, wanted it to be so. (Don’t forget to put the emphasis on strong.)
  • Now I want the state to accomplish x,y, and z in the next year because it will enhance my image, or brighten my re-election prospects, or just make me feel like I, the Chief Executive, accomplished something.
  • Those who stand in the way of my progress should be blamed for all my failures. It doesn’t matter that they were actually right and people should have listened to them.

Of course, Governor O’Malley does all this in spades. It’s actually pretty damn easy for him to stand there with a straight face, piss on our leg, and tell us it’s raining. (Of course, his wife calls political opponents “cowards” so I guess it’s a choice of being lied to or insulted from that family.) I can guarantee you will never hear a passage like this from him or his ilk:

“Three months ago, the XYZ Widget Company opened a new, $150 million factory in Salisbury, a plant which is creating 1,000 good, high-paying jobs for that Eastern Shore community. I wish I could stand here and tell you that we had everything to do with that plant opening, but that would be a bald-faced lie.”

“Instead, I suppose all we did as a state government was get out of their way and allow them to maximize their investment with the minimum of red tape being placed in front of them. On their own, they came to the conclusion that Maryland was the best place for them to prosper and we simply agreed. We had already put the prudent amount of necessary infrastructure in place, but when the county decided to do its part we allowed them to take charge because they knew best what to do and how they wanted to work with XYZ Widget. We knew that Salisbury should take the lead, not Annapolis.”

“We appreciate XYZ Widget coming to Salisbury, and our job now is to both continue the conditions which enticed them to come to Maryland and try to replicate it everywhere else in our Free State. We won’t suddenly decide they are a cash cow to be milked or an evil polluter which will come in, create sprawl, and destroy the landscape. All these tactics were tried before and we found them to be an utter failure. It was time to declare the state was open for business, and to borrow an old phrase from the great state of Ohio, emphasize that ‘profit is not a dirty word.'”

If the rest of the speech were in that vein, THAT would be a State of the _____ worth hearing. It would be even better if delivered in a form which was common for the State of the Union up until a century ago (briefly resurrected with Presidents Coolidge and Hoover.) But it’s not happening any time before 2015 with the State of the State thanks to the foolish choices Maryland voters on all sides of the political spectrum made.

We can do so much, much better.