Maryland's debt bomb
Forget the federal fiscal cliff, the state has financial problems of its own
"There is an imminent financial crisis in Maryland, however: state debt.
According to the nonpartisan nonprofit State Budget Solutions, the total debt of Maryland is almost $82 billion. (http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/...ver-4-trillion
) That works out to $36,821 per taxpaying household in the state, based on IRS data.
Using Census data, on a per-capita basis it's more than $14,000. State Budget Solutions does not include other sources of debt, including planned but unfunded transportation projects, making the figure a conservative estimate.
State Budget Solutions estimates that Maryland's pension obligations to state employees are about $48.2 billion and other benefits about $16.4 billion. And given that Maryland's 10-year return on pension investments is way below its target rate of 7.75 percent, the state will basically have to earn double the return set as the benchmark each year to not fall further behind.
So when state leaders say the budget is balanced, don't believe them. And don't believe them when they say that casino revenue or higher taxes on those making more than $100,000, passed earlier this year, will solve chronic budget deficits.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, in the midst of launching a national political campaign, would be the last person to want a real record of his time in Annapolis.