State Budget & Debt
Balancing the State Budget and Reducing the State Debt
The Maryland state budget for 2011 is over 32 billion dollars. In 2010, the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) estimates a deficit of $1.318 billion, rising to $1.487 billion next year. The deficits will fall to the $800 million-$1 billion range after that. In total, between 2010 and 2014, DLS expects the state to suffer a combined $5.718 billion budget deficit under current revenue and spending projections. And those numbers include revenues from slots. (Source: Maryland Politics Watch). The state debt is over a billion dollars. (Source: 2010 Commission on State Debt Report).
What I will do.
1. As a symbolic first step in restoring the tradition of true public service, I will reinvest $90,000 of the Governor’s $150,000 yearly salary every year towards reducing the State debt.
2. As a short range measure, Doug and I will look at ways to consolidate functions among the 92 large and small agencies of the Maryland State Government. Internal services such as human resources management, information technology, budget and finance, contracts and procurement, communications/public relations, audit, and legal counsel could be shared, at least among agencies with similar missions (e.g., Education and Higher Education, Agriculture and the Environment, etc.).
3. Ultimately, government programs and subsidies to nongovernmental organizations will have to be cut back. I will review every function or service of the state government, asking one question: “Could these services be better delivered by private enterprise on a fee-for-service basis?” The elimination of publicly funded services will occur in tandem with tax cuts, so that Maryland tax payers will have the means to obtain the goods and services they need and want from providers of their choice. This approach will have the added benefit of creating real jobs and stimulating the economy. Doug and I are not beholden to any corporate or union interests, and are therefore free to make and implement the common sense decisions that our Democrat and Republican opponents dare not make.
4. Other principles of fiscal responsibility:
- Whenever a new bond issue appears on the ballot for approval it must state the total cost to the tax payer including all interest payments.
- All budget shortfalls will require budget cuts and can’t be financed by tax increases.