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October 22, 2008

O'Malley: The worst governor in America?

The Maryland GOP just sent an attack e-mail against Martin O'Malley that, uncharacteristically, underplayed its case against the Democratic gov. The GOP highlighted a Cato Institute study that found O'Malley to be "one of the worst governors in the country on fiscal issues." No, actually, Cato found him THE worst governor in America on fiscal issues.

The report says: "The lowest-scoring governor, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, spearheaded the passage of a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2007, which was unique in its large size and scope. It increased the corporate tax rate, the top personal income tax rate, the sales tax rate, and the cigarette tax rate. It also expanded the sales tax base and raised taxes on vehicles. This enormous increase will hit Marylanders directly in the pocketbook, and indirectly through slower economic growth over time."

Cato, a libertarian group that takes a dim view of taxes and government spending, gave O'Malley a score of 23, which was seven points lower than his nearest competitor, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois. All of the bottom five are Democrats (though two Republicans do get grades of F in the ranking.) For those keeping score at home, Bob Ehrlich got a gentleman's C in the previous round of Cato rankings, from 2006. His score was a 53.

Posted by Andy Green at 3:15 PM | | Comments (29)


Lol we didn't need the GOP to tell us that!!! He is HORRIBLE!!!!!

I think you are way off when you dismiss Ehrlich's 'gentleman's C' out of hand, Andy.

Think about the fact that he faced an openly hostile; legislature, newspaper, television news , etc etc etc.

A C is probably pretty good considering who and what he had to work with during his administration.

Just the other day I found myself pining for the Glendening administration. At the very least it kept grandstanding to a minimum and didn't perpetrate the largest tax increase in state history.

I can't believe I said that...

The only surprise here is that he is one of the worst and not "The Worst". You could put a Democrat label on a monkey in MD and he would be elected, and the fact is, the monkey would do a better job then O'Malley and others before him in his party.

Wow, two days later, and this gets buried in a blog on the site..The Sun isn't biased at all.

Yeah it is TOTALLY O'Malley's fault that the national economy completely collapsed under his regime.

It had nothing to do with Ehrlich's last minute, election-year, spending binge or Glendenning's years of fiscal irresponsibility.

Nope this is ALL O'Malley's fault.

I mean the guy came into the job inheriting a massive debt, thanks Bob. Then the economy goes through the worst crisis since the depression.

Say what you will, but O'Malley is between a rock and a hard place here. As are most governors.

He ain't the best, but he is getting more flack than he deserves.

We should stop picking on the good governor. After all, he promised he was going to fix the BGE problem when he got into office, and sure enough...oh wait, never mind. It's a shame there is not room for a 51st best governor on the list. He certainly would rank 51st out of 50.

NO BIG SURPRISE !- just talk to the people who have either moved to Pennsylvania, built homes in Delaware, or looking at property in W.Virginia to see just WHY they want to leave the socialist state of Maryland. He is driving everyone, including much needed business, away for good!

O'Malley is a joke! I believe the voters in MD are having a serious case of buyers remorse. All he does is shift the blame for all the state's woes to Ehrlich or George Bush. Now that is real leadership!

Bryanin, not only would MD vote for a monkey with a "D" next to their name, this liberal rag of a newspaper would endorse them.

O'Malley had options when it came to handling the debt. He saw the economic climate on the horizon (and if he didn't see it, he certainly had enough people telling him) and did what he wanted to do anyway.

So - I don't think he's taken more flack than he deserves. He has taken just the right amount of flack. Period.

Wow. I think y'all would be happier in Oklahoma or Texas. So, please, move there and leave us socialists alone.

Response to Cheese -

FYI, O'Malley did NOT inherit a massive debt. In fact, he inherited a "Surplus" of over $1 billion, Obviously, that wasn't enough for him or his other Tax and Spend Dems.

Hope you're happy with all the O'Mallyey tax increases, you elected him and got what you deserve.


To Cheese and the other Fools,

Lets set the record straight:
A "structural deficit" ain't a deficit, its a wishlist that O'Malley sought (effectively) to fund with our tax dollars.

The truly sad thing about this is that there are thousands of us responsible, hardworking, moderate individuals who did not vote this idiot in but now have the privilege of watching our great state fall victim to his ineptitude. I need not even bring up the false promises, most notably the BGE situation.

I just hope that our memories are long enough to remember this come 2010. Until then, we'll live with the mistakes of others.

O'Malley did not inherit a surplus. Ehrlich left office with a deficit. In case you have forgotten, Ehrlich also raised taxes indirectly through hidden fees and tolls.

Why is anyone listening to anything from a Libertarian. Their way of thinking is so popular and reassuring that they can't even nominate a decent Presidential Candidate.

As a fairly wealthy state, it is among the hightest taxed in the country. State gov't has been bloated for many administrations with no consideration for restraint. Entitlements have become huge, bloated, uncontrolled monsters. Any one attempting budget cuts will face hostility. At least O'Malley is attempting to cut the budget. However, it's too little, too late. Having been born in Maryland, I may not be able to retire and die here. Let us not forget those boobs in Annapolis. Who can win?

I was being sarcastic that this is being buried on a blog and not a real article in the paper.

O'Malley deserves his F. Even now, they tout "cuts" that are really just slowing down their growth of costs. Why doesn't this paper ever talk about O'Malley's bad policies?
Why doesn't anyone ever talk about making these programs more efficient before giving them more or less money?

This study sounds like it is entirely accurate... and still people won't listen to the truth.

He is the WORST governor ever. I'm glad people are starting to figure it out.

All I have to say is that I voted for the other guy. I should move. It not like I have worked in Maryland in more than 5 years.

If I recall, Bob Erlich left Governor O'Malley with like a several billion dollar deficit. He made some spending cuts and raised the sales tax, which is what a responsible financial manager would do. Cato Institute is a Republican Party proxy organization that believes a responsible government is one that kites checks and leaves their children to pay the bills. If any of us managed our households that way, we would go to prison for fraud. If supply side economics is so great, where is all the prosperity that was supposed to trickle down? It's only been eight years and surely that is enough time for an economic theory to be tested. Why am I paying $250 for a grocery shop that four years ago cost $125? Why am I paying $3 a gallon for gas, when eight years ago I was paying $1.20? Why am I paying $500 a month to heat my house when five years ago it cost me $150? I personally don't think all these offsets are worth the crummy $300 the Republicans gave me as a tax cut. I would gladly pay a little more in taxes if I could have a cost living that existed when Bill Clinton was President. What these Republicans do is give their rich friends and corporations who ship jobs overseas huge tax breaks and then toss the rest of us a bone, while telling us how much more generous they are than the Democrats. What a crock and anyone who buys into it is fool.

What a bunch of whiners. We live in the richest state in the union. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Ehrlich burned through all the 'Rainy Day' money in his administration and left a structural deficit that required drastic action. How is it that "Socialist Maryland" has things so much better than Republican Mississippi?

I'm glad you and yours are happy paying higher taxes. Maybe O'Malley should just tax you and your friends who voted him in. It sounds like you are the typical Democrat who believes everything the liberal media (and O'Malley) feeds you.

You need to be enlightened on structural deficit. It is a created deficit to give O'Malley money to do whatever he wants.

O'Malley has really screwed us over big time.

I just turned 18, so I'll be able to vote from here on out and believe me, the minute I get the chance to vote O'Malley out, I will. His office doesn't respond to e-mails and he's just royally screwed us all over.

Whether or not O'Malley is the worst Governor in the nation depends on your point of view. From the the perspective of CASA de Maryland, he is the best gevernor in the nation.

Marylanders are now getting what they deserve for electing O'Malley. Now the Dem's want slots why didn't they pass the slots bill 4 years ago?

Marylanders are now getting what they deserve for electing O'Malley. Now the Dem's want slots why didn't they pass the slots bill 4 years ago?

OMalley stinks . Next go around lets
vote him out. We the middle class
are taxed to death.

It's really scary to think that so many people feel that they see the full picture with only partial information. Dems or Reps. Bigdaddy was right in pointing out the source of the study and inferring that there could be bias and so was Cheese in that the Sun is liberal leaning. In the case of the Sun it's from Baltimore so why wouldn't it be more liberal? Just like any paper in Alabama is probably conservative. So annoying when people make hypocritcal half truths as some big "ah ha!" statement.

Ehrlich cut revenue and increased spending, which was a recipe for disaster. He turned a surplus into an inherited debt (he cut the state's revenue stream for the sake of business in fiscal year 06, so of course there would be a shortfall budgeting for FY07 and beyond). He bet on slots to fill the void and lost that bet because he was so abrasive. O'Malley hasn't met a grudge he didn't like either according to rumors, but you can't cite his failures and not look at the reality of those you support too.

Look around, California is begging DC for billions of dollars because they are so bad off. Arnold isn't a liberal Dem last I heard. It happens. You can't cut programs and taxes and expect to get anywhere though. Everyone needs to get real. You want your ICC? It's not free. You want new schools? HOT lanes? It's either the Constellations that pay for them or it's us. If you cut too deep then we can be in a hole so deep no one can get us out. Look at the purple line. It got pushed off and pushed off to save money and now there is no way to pay the $20 billion price tag to do it right. If you cut school spending to the bones so we can save 1%, we just mortgaged a whole generation of kid's futures.

History will decide if O'Malley is some huge disaster, not some biased survey. Everyone thought Greenspan was God until this year and then we realized he was asleep at the wheel, not leading us to prosperity as it seemed.

Partisan bickering is what gets us in these messes. I'm all for differing opinions but calling someone a "fool" doesn't really further the debate. As we dumb down the public debate, we've allowed our officials to grind progress to a halt. We respond to attacks, not real action. Talk about those who get what they deserve...

MD Democrats must remember, the pretty face charisma, promises of change etc ect and what they got in reality as the end result when they VOTE in the coming election. There are many that cannot afford to stay in this state and are leaving I call it “The Mass Exodus of Maryland”

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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