« Who was that woman in the red dress? | Main | Maryland budget crunch? Frank Conaway's got a plan »

December 4, 2008

Seize the day off!

Looks like Gov. O'Malley is going to take his five furlough days along with the rest of state employees. (Cost to him: Somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,900, depending on how you calculate it.) Any suggestions for what he should do with his new free time? O'Malley's March reunion tour? Go to Ireland and don't come back?
Posted by Andy Green at 9:34 AM | | Comments (89)


My suggestion? Resign.

Might I suggest going to a refresher course in math so we do not have to go through this again!

Spend a couple of days reversing the 72% BGE rate hike that he promised during the election. Oh yeah, it's now upt to 84%.

Harsh crowd. We're the richest state in the nation during the worst economic time ever. A lot of states have it worse off then us. O'Malley made lots of unpopular choices that needed to be made in order to get us here. He's no perfect, but many of the issues he faces are not his fault.

Isn't the reason the state is still in a budget crisis after raising taxes because revenues have fallen short of projections? How will cutting people's salaries save money? There will be additional loss of revenues when they don't have money to buy things!

Sell off the governers mansion and any state planes, cars etc. that he does not need or should not have in the first place.

I currently work for the state and I don't necessarily agree with the idea of furlough's for obvious reasons. And while I'm hapy to have a job instead of being laid off I believe that we should explore alternative methods to save money. For instance there are some jobs that we perform as state workers that could be performed at a more optimal level from home. If our government would allow us to work from home we could help the state by saving money on the cost of electricity and heat. We could also save the state money by contributing less to the smog in the environment if we were allowed to work from home. Some local goverments and private industries have tried this approach and it has been proven to be cost effective.

if o,malley would stop people from useing tax money as a open book to live a high class lfestyle and get away with it like he did that woman last year they would have money how many havent been caught

Regardless of the fact that I'm a State Employee and O'Malley is my boss....I'd take a furlough over a permanent layoff any day.

What he needs to do with his time off is think about ways of cutting the budget that don't involve hurting employees, working class, and ultimatly the tax payer.

Let's take a look at all the special intrest projects, over 9,000 acres of newly purchased property and laws that aren't working efficently that are costing money just to keep them on the books. I'm sure there's more...

A previous post said it perfectly: How are you going to keep revenues up when you are forcing people out work? It's a No-Brainer O'Malley!

How dare Martin O'Malley make tough decisions in order to balance the MD budget while other states operate Billions of dollars in the Red.

I would gladly take 2 to 5 days off without pay in order to save a person there job.

And budget projections are just is IMPOSSIBLE to know how much revenue the state will have.

Enroll in a Golf School. Then he can spend all his time playing golf like the last Governor did

Sad that buying land is more important than people.

I would love to see O'Malley resign and if he was truly a nice guy ... move out of State. A early Christmas present for the taxpayers.

get rid of the Lt.Governor for starters,stop these junket trips,get rid of the 3 PSC positions you created,Cut back state vehicles.And most of all, EVERYBODY that is a state employee take off with no pay,not just union people.Revamp the pension plans of the people in office.What a rip off for tax payer that is. serve one term in office and receive a pension.

I work for the State and I will gladly take my 4 furlough days. It's very simple for me - the State has already stripped my division of essential resources to do our jobs so I might as well take a few days off and not get paid for them. At least I don't have to deal with the aggravation of trying to find better ways to do things when we don't have the manpower or money to make REAL changes. I'm also very much in favor of the proposal to close most State business on 12/26 and 1/2 - you're not getting paid for those days but at least you get long holiday weekends.

Apropos the golf comment, David Nitkin just forwarded me an amusing analysis of the golf prowess of presidents. If Hillary had won, maybe O'Malley wouldn't need the golf lessons, but apparently he will if he wants to rub elbows with Obama:

Obama Ranks 8th on Golf Digest’s List of Presidents
(From January 2009 issue, on newsstands Dec. 9th)
President-elect Barack Obama will become the 15th of the past 18 American presidents who has played golf. He doesn’t play often, but he did during a vacation in Hawaii in August. Vice President-elect Joe Biden, who discovered golf less than 10 years ago, has a Handicap Index of 8.2. Here is Golf Digest’s ranking of the Top-15 golfing presidents:

1) John F. Kennedy
2) Dwight D. Eisenhower
3) Gerald R. Ford
4) Franklin D. Roosevelt
5) George H. W. Bush
6) George W. Bush
7) Bill Clinton
8) Barack Obama
9) Ronald Reagan
10) Warren G. Harding
11) William Howard Taft
12) Woodrow Wilson
13) Richard M. Nixon
14) Lyndon B. Johnson
15) Calvin Coolidge
For more on golfing presidents and the top current golfers in Washington D.C. go to

Tell him to stay on leave and never come back!!!!!!!! Maryland has something to be proud of, he is the Vice Chair of Governors. What does that tell you when he is ranked the WORST Governor in the USA.

Join an Irish Street Gang

Oh that's right, he's already a member.

Every time Maryland's budget needs money State Workers wind having to face losses. This is not new but this economic situation is different. This is a time when the "Middle Class" needs to have confidence and spend money. Guess what State Workers are a large part of that middle class. 80,000 employees are not just indiviuals but families and friends who will suddenly realize we're losing money. This to me is what is now called a "Plaxico" or shooting yourself in the foot. There is more then 34 million dollars of unecessary spending in the Budget - ask a couple state workers to find it for you and they will!

hi Tell the gov. to go down to north ave for five days and see if he is still the gov. Because if he is still against the death penalty good luck. An stop padding the books on Homicides,becaus thats against the LAW see how your city is out of control like OK Corral so keep pushing against the death penalty.

Take the cut in pay and work anyway.

Go to Ireland and not come back sounds like the best idea. But he'll probably spend the time trying to think of ways to blame Ehrlich for all the state's problems.

As a state worker I think its fine if it needs to be done. At these times its important that we sacrifice something for the greater good of this country and state.
Its funny how there are so many republicans making nasty comments but as usual they offer no solutions or sacrifices. Try not to be a hater!

Spening $ 71 Mil for land preservation at the same time furloughing state employees to save $ 34 Mil. Brilliant idea, what a genuis we have as Governor, can't wait to re-elect him for a second term. I am so anxious I might send in my absentee ballot while I am on my second furlough day.

Why are so many State Employees posting on here at 11:00 AM on a work day????

Though he has no control over the senators and legislators, they should also take the furlough days, this should apply to ALL state employees, also instead of taking an extra furlough day out of us, why not take our health ins out for 26 pays instead of 24?

Have EVERY STATE EMPLOYEE TAKE THE TIME-OFF. In the past, the highest paid staff were exempt. Go back to school and do the math !!!
NO EXCEPTIONS!! Have Supv.'s actually cover for their staff. By doing some remedial math will show you that your special interest employee groups are not giving accurate info.

I'm a State employee as well and I agree with some ot the others that the furlough is certainly a better alternative to layoffs. I also think the 4 day holiday softens it a bit. What I object to is the lack of information when it comes to the supposed amount of the savings.
Specifically, is this a total savings or a net savings?. After all, all of these wages to be saved will not be subect to state income tax thereby creating an additional shortfall in anticipated revenue. Furthermore, as someone else suggested, this will be a further dimunition of purchasing power during a time when personal budgets are already stretched thin. This will further reduce state sales tax revenue which is already overestimated. Therefore I repeat my original question; "what is the REAL net savings? Has anyone bothered to even try and estimate this or is it just another case of "voodoo economics"?

He should be working to close corporate loopholes and cut University budgets of the costly extras like all the lavish lunches and dinners that are had just to get faculty to comes to meetings that are part of their jobs.

Stop funding CASA De Maryland and other border jumper organizations

I second the notion, resign

Get a radio show. Isn't that what Governor's do?

I think he shuld work during his furlough. On second thought, he can't stop spending money, so maybe he should be furloughed for the next couple years. Heck, now that I think about it - I'd even be okay with paying him to stay home if he promises not to raise taxes and spend more money on wasteful things.

I'm thinking about heading to Delaware, PA, or W.V to play slots on my furlough days!!

Slots passed, why is MD still dragging their feet, I'm sure that revenue would cover plenty more than stealing from hard working, dedicated employess. (who are also voters!)

Why not look at the Comptroller's Office. Travel is a big expenditure that could be reduced. By using a travel agency ,they book hotel rooms at double the price that an employee can book on line at a cost savings Why pay the Travel when it only costs two times as much as it should

I like Ed's suggestion. Take a cut in pay and work anyway. Followed by resign, however, neither are likely.

How about this? Party politics aside, why in the heck is the state of Maryland funding stem cell research?? Why don't we fund a manned mission to Mars as well?

Sad that buying land is more important than people.

Posted by: | December 4, 2008 11:24 AM

They made buying people illegal 145 years ago, Mr. "Won't Put His Name!". I for one still stand behind that wholeheartedly, even if I do agree that buying land for no reason is silly.

"C" is for sarCasm.

Ed, you're pretty wrong about that.

Been living in the city awhile, its been a much better year this year. Despite the recent surge.

The timing of the furlough is certain to have an impact on Holiday shopping.

Everytime there is a shortfall in the budget, the State employees end up getting slammed. Why not make all working Marylanders donate 2 or 3 days pay to the state and not just the state employees? The state employees have already taken the same hits as the rest of the Marylanders, higher utility bills, food costs, taxes. Why not share the wealth? Oops, I mean lack of.

Go to the liberal savior Barack Obama and get some of all that free money he is going to give to people who do not pay income taxes and some more from the universal health care for everyone and pay the people who do pay work and pay taxes. Funny there was no layoffs and good times when Ehrlich was the Guv. Owe-Malley and Owe-bama is what happens when people who don't work and expect the government to be your nanny and liberal guilt team up and go to the ballot box.

I am a state employee and will take the furlough over a layoff or termination. I have some other ways that can save the state money too. I have seen a few good ideas already above.

Find another job and take the rest of the Bozos in the legislature with him. What ever happened to the budget surplus OMalley inherited? If things don't change I may as well leave the Dems and be a Rep.

6 percent pay cut for all state workers making 100 grand a year or more!
Eliminate Lt. Governor’s staff!
Eliminate the Governer’s wife staff.
Let them both piggyback off OMalley’s staff!
No more free lodgings for assemblymen and women who reside within 45 miles of Annapolis.
Let them drive like the rest of us!
Cut support staff by 6 percent in Annapolis.
Buyouts, early retirement and do help them get new jobs!
Do these before furloughs!
Run government like a business.
Stop spending!

O'Malley should take his furlough days and enroll in a personal finance course. Maybe he'll learn that when your choice is to either pay the bills or buy stuff, the responsible thing to do is pay the bills.

Furloughs are not new and neither are recessions. Maryland has weathered many recessionary periods. Its easy to blame whoever is governor but Maryland is a small part of the big picture. 43 states are now suffering from the present fiscal situation.

As a former 40 year state employee, I gave up 5 days during the Fy' 92 recession. and by the way, I went in and worked every one of those days as did many others. Stop whining and deal with the situation!

Run government like a business? Which one, GM or AIG?
Get rid of the SUV's and stealth Lincolns that the State Police sit off the road and hide in. Eliminate State Police overtime, and put all the so called protective staff back of patrol where they belong.

O'Malley, Just Quit.

We elected him to raise taxes and spend money. More importantly, we'll re-elect him to do the same. The government knows what is best for us and the government allows us to keep some of their money regardless so stop complaining.

Go hunting with Dick Cheney...

I think there is a program bug in the matrix. Can we reboot and restore the Ehrlich patch?

He needs to remember that State Employees (and their families and friends) vote. Guess who they won't be voting for ever again (for any office he chooses to run for)

No hablo ingles. But thanks for the cash.

whoa! i forgot a biggee!!

stop all funding for CASA De Maryland!!

Well.....unless the people find someone to run against O'Malley in...what ? 2010...he's going to get another term...

Speaking of golf, does the free membership that Cave's Valley gave to the "Governor's Office" when Ehrlich was Governor still stand for O'Malley?

Help design the new Hammer & Sickle logo for the new MD flag.

Love the state workers reply!! "For instance there are some jobs that we perform as state workers that could be performed at a more optimal level from home. " Only a state worker could turn budget cuts into a paid vacation!!!!!! Welcome to the USA!!!!!

Seek medical treatment to correct tht cranio-rectal impaction he has suffered with since doing such a shabby job as Mayor of Baltimore.

Additionally, he should look into requiring strict accountability for all social welfare programs as well as establishing firm limits on the length of eligibility for such programs.

be like the last do-nothing governor, do nothing at all for four years, play a lot of golf, see which way the political wind is blowing, and get a lot of bad haircuts.... and still do more of nothing for his four years and get a radio show where he can talk about all of the nothing that he's done while the state falls apart.

Volunteer at an animal shelter since he made his kids give away one of their dogs.

1. Make a list of previous administrations to blame;
2. Make list of phrases to replace 'Patriotic Neighbor' & 'Working Families';
3. Force BGE customers to take another loan and claim you are helping them;
4. Bite lip, pout, repeat until camera is gone;
5. Bite lip to stop spontaneous laugh when you realize how dense most MD'ers are;
6. Thank George Bush for instilling enough dislike that even you could be elected;
7. Book next overseas trip;
8. Don't return Hillary's call, Papa Barack might find out;
9. Figure out how to raise the gas tax and claim it is patriotic.
10. Nap time.

Think of something more humane to solve this problem than breaking the backs of underpaid State Employees. Another way is to repeal the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Work harder to beat the US Congress approval rating.

the owe'malley boy should continue to work. he is the ceo of maryland-- only because he backed hillary and not yo'bama.

Send CASA de Maryland a bill for all illegal kids in MD schools and all ER bills for illegal immigrants.

Hire a voice coach to help him to overcome his tendency to mimic (quite effectively) the late Mr. Rogers from public television whenever he speaks.

He obviously thinks wimp-speak makes him sound sympathetic.

It does not!

He will probably work his furlough for no pay. If you haven't been paying attention for the past four years, a structural deficit was handed to O'Malley by Ehrlich, and the current economic disaster has only made things worse. At least O'Malley has the guts to make the tough decisions, unlike his predecessor.

O'Malley should go to Antartica and stay there. Every Marylander will be better off with him gone since he's the worst politician in the history of the United States.

Be a true leader and not take a salary in 2009 - donate it to charity or back to the local schools.

Can someone please tell how many cooks work at the state house? Are there house service people at the Gov's house? What type of cars do the top state employees get to ride in? How many staff employees does the pretty Gov have? Pretty boy O'Malley take a look at the upper tier worker waste before you furlough the average state worker.

layoff all these whiney state employees that voted for him. These people couldn't cut it in the private sector, be glad you still have JOBS!

In re: the question about cuts vs. reductions in planned increases, it's some of both.

The first line of the Gov's Office bio says it all: "Martin O’Malley is a fearless, intelligent public servant who puts people before politics."

Apparently he didn't take Econ 101 at CU as an undergrad, so my suggestion is he use the time off to bone-up?

First, the Governor should take a course in economics, doesnt he know doing this and especially at Christmas will hurt tax revenues more and ruin Christmas for Maryland Business also. Next the Governor should think about repealling the balanced budget amendment, then OMalley should prepare himself for a new job because he will not get elected again losing the votes of State employees.

Prepare yourself for a new job, you wont be elected again with this foolishness.

He should check himself into
Taxaholics Anonymous.

He will figure out some way to get his mug in the paper

I haven't seen any confirmation of O'Malley's plan to furlough himself. If he does he should volunteer in the neediest, poorest, lowest scoring city school the entire time.

Repubs have better ideas, Here's some for you.First, cut some of those $90,000 - $100,000 plus staffers the gov and legislators have. Next, how about pay and bonus ( yea bonus ) cuts to the top fat cats. How about a fair accounting as to where all the revenue collected from the LOTTERY goes and JUST what is that figure. And while we are accounting for revenues, how about all the money pouring into MVA, Judicial, Legal taxing of documents and fees for professional service. Next and most simple, revert back to the pre O'mally budget. You know the one that had over a billion surplus before O'mally grew the budget 9%, held a special session so he could ADD over a Billion of new taxing and spending ( Our Money ) to it. How's that for a few good REPUB budget suggestions.


How about spend close to 2X the appraised value for a piece of land owned by one of his buddies but not disclose it's one of his buddies until after the transaction is done? That would be good use of our tax dollars and in line with what he's done in past. Also, a new 87m software package makes a lot of sense when we are in dire straits. will pay for itself---how about just doing your job and earning your pay for the next couple years while we are going through this crisis!

Take a walk around the 9,200 acres the state acquired for $71 million and don't come back!

Lets try this.Lets start off by paying state workers a comensurate salary with the private sector . State workers are over paid under worked already get plenty of days off,benefits and retirement is way more than the private sector .Go ahead and complain about a measly furlough Lets take the benifits instead

Party Marty can take some time to think of a few more reasons to blame his predecessor for the budget woes.

Stop all funding for CASA De Maryland, Stop personal use for state owned vehicles including take home police cars, Make any state employee raises based on MERIT and deport ALL illegal immigrants.

To Dave ( 3 posts above):
I would really like to see a source cited to back up such accusations.

It sounds like you've never had experience in government employment. If anything, state wages are subpar compared to the private sector. State employees have been working undermaned and under funded for years....All the while being expected to provided a high level of service to people like yourself.

Maybe you're just jealous? But if we have it so good, why aren't you working with us enjoying our high wages and excessive benefits?

Regardless.....if you were being furloughed, you'd complain too.


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.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
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.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected