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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Wall Street Journal: Oh My, O'Malley
Oh My, O'Malley
By STEPHEN MOOREAnyone who watched his speech last night at the Democratic conventionknows that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is an unflinching critic of Republicans and defender of President Obama's record. But what about Mr. O'Malley's record?
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan now say they want to take America back. And so we ask: Back to what? Back to the failed policies that drove us into a deep recession? Back to the days of record job losses?" said the governor, who is expected to run for president in 2016. "No, thank you. I don't want to go back."
Yet Mr. O'Malley's own record as a job creator and champion of fiscal responsibility is spotty at best. He tends to embellish his
performance as governor with selective facts. When I criticized him
for falling short of Virginia and other states in the region on most
measures of progress, the governor fired back with a press release
filled with ad hominem attacks and cherry-picked statistics. That's
par for the course, Maryland political watchers tell me.
But the facts are tough to dance around despite Mr. O'Malley's best
efforts. Maryland has lagged behind Virginia in job growth since 2007. During the first six months of this year, Maryland has lost jobs compared to gains in both Virginia and Pennsylvania. The political group Change Maryland notes that he has raised taxes or fees 24 times as governor. And Ohio, under Republican Gov. John Kasich's reforms, is now rated as more pro-business than Maryland.
Mr. O'Malley's fiscal record is a bust, too. His press office says
that he "has cut more state spending than any governor in Maryland's history—$8 billion." But Change Maryland says that "nobody understands where this number comes from." Its research shows that the state budget expanded to $35.5 billion today from $28.8 billion in 2007 .
"With our lagging economic performance and record tax increases, the evidence grows by the day that Maryland is falling behind other
states," says Larry Hogan of Change Maryland. With this record,
Republicans think that Mr. O'Malley is the ideal spokesman for Mr.