July 17, 2002
Same stuff, different state

Tony Adragna outlines what the candidates for Maryland Governor plan on doing about that state's looming deficit. Here's Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's position:

Top-to-bottom management and budget review.
I will direct a review of the structure and budget of every state agency to identify cost-saving measures and organizational changes to improve performance and save money. I will draw on the expertise of leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors during this review. Economic Growth, Fiscal Responsibility

Tough choices.
Based on this top-to-bottom budget review, we will make tough choices and eliminate any wasteful and duplicative spending. Last year, we took steps to freeze hiring and reduce spending across state agencies, and eliminated 3,500 vacant positions from the budget this spring. Until our economy is fully recovered, we will examine all budget options carefully and continue to make tough decisions where necessary.

There's more than that, but it's basically "no new spending" and a statement against casinos.

Her opponent, Bob Ehrlich, is even more vague:

Excessive government spending has led to a $1.5 billion deficit. Maryland's budget must be balanced in an honest and efficient manner, without sacrificing programs for the poor and others in need. Excessive spending on non- essential initiatives must be curtailed and our budget priorities redefined.

In other words, both candidates are in favor of a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility, but neither one wants to say exactly how they plan on acheiving those goals, presumably because it would involve a dirty word ("taxes") or could mean cutting funding for a constituency that might otherwise support them. Put a couple of ten-gallon hats on them and you might think they were running for governor of Texas.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 17, 2002 to Election 2002