Governor O'Malley on the Maryland state budget: Pot. ketle

Marta Mossburg reports:

Last week the nonpartisan Chicago-based Institute for Truth in Accounting released Maryland's "Financial State of the State," and the news is not good. It says the state's retirement system is underfunded by $33 billion as a result of overpromising benefits while underfunding obligations. For example, in fiscal 2009 the state set aside $1.3 billion for retirement benefits even though actuaries said a minimum of $2.2 billion should have been deposited.

The result: The state has 49 cents for every dollar promised to state workers. Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, did not create this problem. Underfunding of the pension plan started in 2002, said R. Dean Kenderdine, executive director of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System.

But O'Malley has continued to raid funds dedicated to transportation and cleaning the Chesapeake Bay, issue debt to pay for current projects -- and push massive pension obligations into the future, increasing their cost, at the same time he claims fiscal responsibility.

His sleight of hand to balance the budget shows that he is also living in the financial "fantasy land" that his ads accuse former Gov. Robert Ehrlich of inhabiting.
For a variety of financial reports from the Maryland Comptroller's office from the 1990s to the present day, go here.

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