O'Malley Says Maryland's Private Sector Growth Responsible for State's Success, Triple-A Bond Rating
(ANNAPOLIS - September 3, 2012) - Last weekend, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office sent out a memo, dated August 28, 2012, in response to a column from Stephen Moore. O’Malley’s office labeled him as “a longtime supporter of the Koch brothers and former President of Republican fundraising group, Club for Growth.” Moore penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that did not win the praise of Gov. O’Malley. He was accused of “cherry-picking” data to essentially make himself look good.
Moore, not an O’Malley fan, will watch with the rest of the nation as the cameras head to Charlotte.
This week brings on the Democratic National Committee’s quadrennial convention where O’Malley will speak to a national audience in North Carolina, a state won by Obama the last time around. Prior, it hadn’t voted for a Democrat for President since 1976. So, North Carolina presents a slight challenge this November for Democrats.
But, bet your last buck that if anybody will be ready, it will be O’Malley. After all, he loves the cameras. Further, those who have followed him preclude that he is gearing up for a run for the Oval Office in 2016.
In any event, he’ll surely stick to the script at the convention – and continue to push his message that he has effectively run Maryland and can therefore effectively run America:
“Facts are facts: Governor O’Malley has cut more state spending than any governor in Maryland’s history - $8 billion. He’s protected Maryland’s Triple-A Bond Rating, which is the ultimate seal of fiscal responsibility from all three rating agencies. Last year alone, his Administration protected $700 million in our rainy day fund, while securing a projected budget surplus in excess of $500 million.
The United States Chamber of Commerce - hardly a mouthpiece of the O’Malley Brown Administration -- ranks Maryland #1 in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Education Week magazine ranks Maryland’s public schools #1 in America for an unprecedented fourth year in a row.
Here are a few other things the Wall Street Journal doesn’t want you to know….
FACT: Maryland actually gained 1,700 jobs over the first 6 months of the year while many neighboring states continued to see a decline. As a state, Maryland has recovered over two-thirds of the jobs lost during the Bush recession at the 11th fastest rate in the nation, exceeding the national recovery rate by over 20 percentage points.
FACT: The gas tax has remained unchanged during Governor O’Malley’s tenure. In fact, it has been at the same rate since 1992. Some of the other “tax increases” Moore refers to, such as increases on the tobacco and alcohol taxes have returned significant health benefits to the public. Since Governor O’Malley took office, the percentage of adults who smoke has dropped over 14%. Maryland now has the 10th fewest adult smokers in the nation according to the United Health Foundation; Virginia ranks 30th.
FACT: According to a recent report by the National Association of State Budget Officers, general fund spending in Maryland decreased between FY2009 and FY2011. In Virginia, general fund spending increased by almost 10% over the same time period. Additionally, Maryland has the 8th lowest tax burden on mature businesses, the 12th lowest tax burden on new investment, and Maryland businesses have the 6th lowest tax burden as a share of GSP.
FACT: Maryland’s strong private sector is leading our job growth. In the past 12 months, Maryland’s private sector created over 96% of our 22,600 net new jobs. By comparison, Virginia’s private sector created only 82% of their net new jobs; Virginia depended on their public sector for over 11,000 of their new jobs in the past year.”
It’s this last item that caused a little disagreement. While the Governor’s Office says that the private sector is the real champion, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot sees it differently.
According to press secretary Caron Brace, “As Chief Fiscal Officer for the State of Maryland, Comptroller Peter Franchot carefully examines the state's economic data on a daily basis.” She continued, “Based on his analysis of this data, he is resolute in his belief that as a state we tax too much, spend too much and need to do a better job of supporting and encouraging the private sector to get Maryland back on a positive economic footing.”
Some Marylanders would agree that O’Malley has raised taxes considerably in his tenure as the state’s top executive. On the other hand, O’Malley has a lot of supporters.
So, what’s the truth? Maybe, it’s somewhere in the middle.
A call to Anirban Basu’s office suggested a peep into the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
According to the bureau, “Maryland gained 1,700 jobs over the first 6 months of the year while many neighboring states continued to see a decline.” Further, it stated, “As a state, Maryland has recovered over two-thirds of the jobs lost during the Bush recession at the 12th fastest rate in the nation, exceeding the national recovery rate by over 20 percentage points.”
Given a plethora of Sunday morning news show appearances as of late, the O’Malley March seems to be priming itself for some national spotlight. And apparently, the Gov has solid reason to stick his chest out a bit – although the taxpayers of Maryland might see it differently.