Pension Follies, Resumed

      Maryland has, just, preserved its AAA bond rating, though with a negative outlook from Moody’s. Moody’s has issued a publication reporting that Maryland is one of the ten worst states in terms of the burden of pension debt, Maryland’s pension obligations being almost exactly equal to one year’s gross revenues, 99.5% of […]

Mismanaged Maryland

    Mismanaged Maryland Despite talk of reforms and budget cuts, Annapolis dabbles in excessive borrowing, noncompetitive projects and risky investments   By George Liebmann6:00 a.m. EDT, March 11, 2013   There is a sharp disconnect between the image and reality of the O’Malley administration’s fiscal policies. The image features pension reforms, reduced structural deficits, […]

Federalism and Obamacare

    Federalism and Obamacare   by George Liebmann       The Supreme Court decision allowing ‘Obamacare’ to survive should not have   come as a surprise to anyone. Save where confiscatory legislation is involved, the   Constitution as it has been construed for at least the last 80 years imposes few   barriers […]

Maryland’s Mismanaged Pensions

      Questionable investment strategies could put state’s bond rating at risk   Comments 2 Share0   By George Liebmann12:34 p.m. EDT, July 9, 2012   There are serious clouds over the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and the way the O’Malley administration has managed it. Consider the following: 1. The rate of […]

The O’Malley Fiscal Record

The O’Malley Fiscal Record   After five years, it is time to take stock of Governor O’Malley’s fiscal record. This may be done under several headings:   1. New Spending Initiatives   A. Employment Tax Credit   This $20 million “Job Creation and Recovery Act” credit was initially claimed with respect to only 1000 jobs, […]

Injecting Sense Into School Construction

  www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-school-construction-20120301,0,1047591.story   State should not agree to commit vast sums over decades to a questionable building plan By George W. Liebmann 4:18 PM EST, March 1, 2012 Advertisement   On the important issue of school construction, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has displayed refreshing common sense by demonstrating skepticism about a vastly inflated — indeed […]

Confronting Party Myths

Confronting Party Myths by George W. Liebmann Some cheer can be obtained from recent fiscal events. The Reagan-Bush tax cuts ended the Democratic era of tax and spend. The debt limit crisis ended the Republican era of borrow and spend. Perhaps the hour of the late Adlai Stevenson, who told us “there are no gains […]

Turn Out the Lights

The current state administration likes to boast of its economic development record, but the best test of economic development is provided by the way that people behave in fact. For many years, Maryland was one of the fastest-growing states in the East. Its growth was spurred not only by the growth of the national government […]

For O’Malley, Politics Trump Policy

There are many resemblances between former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Gov. Martin O’Malley, but this election is not a choice between tweedledum and tweedledee. Mr. Ehrlich has compromised himself in conventional ways, most notably by signing an unaffordable Democrat-sponsored election-year increase in teachers’ pensions on which he should have bestowed a foredoomed veto. […]

Hit and Run Politics: Baltimore City and Maryland State Pensions: A Short History

In March 2006, the Institute issued a Report, The Baltimore City Retirement Systems: Heading for Trouble. The summary at the front of the Report stated: “The skimming off of surpluses to provide new unfunded benefits in good investment years, together with mediocre or worse investment performance and an escalation of disability claims in the Fire […]