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March 11, 2009

What's worse, layoffs or pay cuts?

All the pain Gov. O'Malley had said would be staved off by the federal stimulus package is now back on the table, with another new twist thrown in: In addition to the possibility of layoffs, lawmakers are now considering the idea of a 1 percent pay cut for all state employees.

Another possibility that hasn't gotten much traction yet is a major shifting of costs to county governments. Legislators have been talking about it for years, but O'Malley has resisted the idea, on the grounds that it just transfers the pain from one place to another without accomplishing anything. I wonder how much longer that can last. The state has now been squeezing fat out of the budget for a year, but I'm not sure that most counties have yet had to do the same.

O'Malley's office just sent out an announcement that he'll be talking about the budget at 1:30, so stay tuned...

Posted by Andy Green at 10:30 AM | | Comments (7)


Dear Andy,

Thank you for making sure that you used the term "most" when talking about the lack of county government fiscal management. As you know, Baltimore County takes its responsibility to manage its finances very seriously. Over the past two years, Baltimore County worked with labor groups to totally restructure post employment health and retirement benefits, reducing its annual GASB contribution from $190 million to $148 million. The county increased the retirement age for both general county employees and its public safety employees, and it was the only county in the state that did not give cost-of-living increases for county and Board of Education employees last year. As a result of these difficult actions, county employees are not facing layoffs or furloughs, and the county has been able to avoid across-the-board budget cuts that would impact services to county citizens.

Baltimore County prides itself on its fiscal management over the years.


Don Mohler

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added a one week extension to the muskrat trapping season in all counties except Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard and Washington. The new closing date for the season is be March 21, 2009. No other hunting or trapping seasons have been extended.

Thanks Don for the info. BC also has resisted raising prop tax. Thanks again.

Why not force our state employees from the Governor on down making 6 figures take a 7 percent pay cut?
Let those who can afford it the most take a pay cut.
Consolidate staffs
does Lt. Gov. Brown really need a staff-
I think not.
Let O'Malley's staff handle his bookings!
What the hell does a Lt. Gov. do anyway?

If MOM is going to revisit furloughs for State employees, maybe the employees that make over 6 figures (and there are a lot) - (check the Budget Book) should take the brunt of the next furlough plan - originally employees earning $60K or greater had to take 5 days in total. Ther is a BIG difference between making $60K and over $100K. Once again the real workers are getting screwed. HELP!

We have an employment problem in America. Nostradamus predicted this problem and the recession behind it, but less well known is the fact that he also included a solution. The language of Nostradamus is complex, and involves ciphers, anagrams, and other codes embedded in quatrains written in four languages, plus some made up stuff he put in when he inhaled too many vapours from his potions. So we’ll skip the details of how he derived his solution and go right to the answer.

The solution is a huge, hyper-advanced military. The U.S. has a tiny, puny, minuscule military by modern standards. Example the military might, investment, and numbers found in China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea, all countries the U.S. is likely to have trouble with in the near future. Our technology, training, and equipment are substandard and outclassed.

Remember, this is the insight of Nostradamus we’re talking about here. And you can’t argue with a 400-year-dead prophet whose predictions keep almost coming true.

So we simply quadruple the size of the U.S. military. I’m willing to bet that’s spending the GOP would get behind in an instant. And the Democrats could hardly balk, since it’s no worse than the various pet projects and earmarks already in place.

Every state would benefit as military bases are reopened, factories for producing new vehicles and weapons are brought online, and one to two million new personnel are brought into the Armed Services. Think of the high-tech training our youth would get, along with the discipline and obedience they desperately need. Another boon from this plan, right?

Of course, the intelligence community needs to be expanded too. The job of spying on Americans, and occasionally the rest of the world, requires more than the roughly 100,000 people involved. Kick that up to a million, and spend enough money so that the U.S. does not go to Russia with a “reset” button that actually says “overcharge” in Russian.

Remember, these are all middle class jobs we’re talking about here. No high pay or perks, no stock options or golden parachutes, and lots of patriotism, service to the nation, and benefits to the economy.

Finally, Nostradamus reminds us that a large military does not have to be used. You can have big guns and big bombs, and not actually field them. But the U.S. has to be ready for anything in this age of certain uncertainty, and Nostradamus has come through with an idea that is right for the times.

Hi Dave Snyder!
Stop watching the "History" channel and related A&E Television Networks. Although I doubt you and the rest of the "American Majority" are capable of making decisions without your television, why not try reading books for the hell of it (oops sorry meant heck, don’t want to offend your southern sensibilities)? Your self-assured trust of prophetic writings, religious dogma and political doctrines alongside your miniscule knowledge of history is not only inane it is probably the norm for the rest of America. Building a huge military complex for world domination is costly (although it will provide job growth); building one for posterity is a stupid waste of resources. The rise and fall of empires is a result of resources being applied to a worldwide focus causing the center socio economic structure to collapse. The Roman and British empires are good examples. “Example the military might, investment, and numbers found in China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea, all countries the U.S. is likely to have trouble with in the near future.” These are likely to be trouble because US foreign policy creates it and the core reason is the “Christian-Judaic” sanctimony. Americas’ enemies closely coincide with Jewish enemies. The US is now; like the Zionists; Anti communist after the Trotskyites were expelled from Russia, anti French after Frances discontinued support of the Israeli nuclear program, anti Middle East because “God promised us this pile of sand and we want to destroy the Arab world” (this is an inferiority complex brought on by the lack of oil) and anti Third World because they have key resources that we the WASP/ Jewish bankers and CEOs don’t control and that’s really threatening to us. By the way, why is it that all you religious right and republican Christians are so cozy with the Zionists? The US / British support of Israeli Imperialism has directly resulted in the first bombing of the WTC (I was there), 9/11 and the overall rise of terror from the Muslim world. British Imperialism was financed through the Rothchilds and their influence combined with control of Trans Jordan has resulted in the pariah of Israel. Once British power waned in the early 20th century the Zionists immediately migrated to the US. They popularize themselves as neoconservatives who coincidently are bedfellows with Christian Evangelists (Ironic: they killed Jesus but now you are best of buddies?) I don’t personally care being an Atheist but the logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a faulted one and the result of simplistic binary logic (which is preeminent in the “Big Three” religions). No surprise we are in another spate of Holy Wars. For all of you religious zealot, political wonks and all you can eat buffet and NASCAR fans, take a lesson from Europe the true cradle of civilization; leave the sanctimony behind and focus on life. The Europeans create the best cars, watches, food and clothes while America mass produces massive crap for massive profit. And do you middle Americans wonder why the automotive companies are falling, the petroleum companies are at all time high profits and the bankers and hedge fund managers walk away with over a Trillion Dollars?

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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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