WaPo Laments Lib Gov. O'Malley's 'Modest' 2008 Agenda

A few months after cheering Martin O'Malley's successful push for tax hikes, the Washington Post's John Wagner is lamenting the Democratic governor may have to settle for a "modest" agenda in 2008 due to budget constraints.

Don't hold your breath for similar concern about everyday Marylanders and how they may have to settle for more modest spending thanks to tax hikes, particularly a boost in the sales tax to six percent from five percent.

Here's the opening few paragraphs from John Wagner's January 7 article, "O'Malley May Set Modest Agenda":

For much of his first year in office, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley referred to the state's long-festering budget problems as a "dark cloud" that hovered over all that he and lawmakers contemplated in Annapolis.

As he enters his second year, O'Malley is continuing to bask in praise from fellow Democrats for calling a high-risk special legislative session that resulted in major tax increases and spending reductions to fix the state's finances.

But the skies have not entirely cleared.

With the General Assembly set to return to work Wednesday, analysts are predicting more tight budgets in the years ahead that could be undermined by an uncertain economy. And that, coupled with legislative fatigue from last fall's special session, is likely to curtail what O'Malley will ask of lawmakers in the coming 90 days.

At the time, NewsBusters also noted the Post editorial board's praise for O'Malley's tax hikes.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.