Below you see why O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake allow their administrations to be full of lying, cheating, and stealing-----rankings for this and that. Maryland is the wealthiest in the nation------except that much of that wealth is massive corporate fraud that needs to come back. Maryland is number one in education except that in every category measured we hear time and again that fraud in data is involved. Below you see the skewing of data by making sure low achieving students aren't in school on test day-----this included underserved students as well as special needs. Principals are pressured to make O'Malley look good on paper and they give him what he needs. O'Malley did the same with policing in Baltimore as all crime stats were skewed while he was Mayor of Baltimore. Police were told to meet a goal and they made it all up to reach that goal. Maryland has no oversight and accountability so no one checks the data.
DO YOU KNOW THAT WHEN THE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AUDITS FOR THE LITTLE OVERSIGHT WE SUPPOSEDLY HAVE THAT ALL THEY DO IS CHECK TO SEE IF FORMS ARE COMPLETED AND DO NOT CHECK THE DATA ON THE FORMS? I want to emphasize that the people charged with this corrupt process are the Maryland Assembly people running now for Maryland Attorney General----Frisch and Frosh.
That is how it makes the ranking below in this list of WELL-RUN STATES.......LOL!!!!!!
Remember, this headline was created so O'Malley can use it in running for higher office! THE ENTIRE MEDIA PROCESS IS GEARED TOWARDS PROVIDING PROPAGANDA FOR GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS!
We know the crime and education stats are bogus so let's look at the other categories. I love this one......perfect credit.
This is O'Malley's recipe for perfect credit......take a $1 billion mortgage fraud settlement for people defrauded by banks and put most of it in the state coffers. Refuse to pay almost a billion in state court approved settlements for underfunded Baltimore City schools......cut Medicaid even more than the Federal government and pretend health care for the lower-class was never better. Send teacher's pensions to the localities at a time when the state knows localities cannot handle this debt-----but it's off the state record now isn't it? O'Malley is the one who underfunded all Baltimore City pensions for the few decades at City Hall and was in office when pensions were used as fodder by Wall Street in a move that sent state and city pensions from the safety of then bonds to the imploding stock market-----public malfeasance and fraud.
Next you use credit bond leveraging and selling of public assets to hide debt as with moving public offices to rental properties that expense by the year and hand the Port of Baltimore to a private corporation to expense costs to an annual renter's fee. So, he is changing long-term cost to annual cost creating a false look at expenditure and lost public value. Is it public interest to hand the Port over to business losing a few billion in revenue each year in exchange for a few hundred million in Port rent? Public private partnerships that place the public in the position of paying all costs of operation of public services while private businesses reap tons in profit by just operating the public service.......REALLY? Of course not, but O'Malley is using this to make it look like there is perfect credit and low debt.
IT IS ALL MIRRORS AND O'MALLEY HAS ACTUALLY POSITIONED MARYLAND FOR A HARD FALL AS THE NEXT ECONOMIC CRASH FROM AN IMPLODING BOND MARKET HITS AND WE ARE WITHOUT ASSETS AND LEVERAGED TO THE EYEBALLS! Remember, it is easy to have perfect credit by leveraging your debt with all kinds of financial instruments until you cannot anymore. Think of an individual who gets one credit card after another to keep current on credit bills until he reaches the maximum-------IT'S THE SAME. THIS IS WHAT O'MALLEY IS DOING. When a pol uses skewed data to the max one can only expect this deception to sink the ship of state government!
THIS IS WALL STREET'S PLAN FOR TAKING OVER ALL THAT IS PUBLIC------LEVERAGING MUNICIPALITIES JUST LIKE THEY DID HOMEOWNERS DURING THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE FRAUD! AN ECONOMIC CRASH WILL MEAN MUNICIPAL DEFAULT.
But we have to leverage because states and localities are poor you say!!!! We are not poor, we simply have suspended Rule of Law and have tens of billions coming back to Maryland from massive corporate fraud!
WE LACK JUSTICE, NOT REVENUE!
Maryland: Low Poverty, Perfect Credit, Debt and High Crime
Find out where Maryland ranks in list of best- and worst-run states.
Posted by Deb Belt (Editor) , November 26, 2013 at 08:50 AM
How well run is the state of Maryland, and how does it rank among the 50 states?
Maryland falls in the middle of the national rankings at No. 24.
Debt per capita: $4,348 (13th highest)
Budget deficit: 9.5% (28th largest)
Unemployment: 6.8% (tied-17th lowest)
Median household income: $71,122 (the highest)
Pct. below poverty line: 10.3% (3rd lowest)
Here is how 24/7 Wall St. describes the state:
Maryland’s population is the wealthiest in the country. The state had a median household income of $71,122 last year, nearly $20,000 higher than the U.S. median. Also, just 10.3% of the population lived below the poverty line. The state had a relatively large amount of debt, at approximately 60% of annual revenue as of fiscal 2011, compared to 50% nationwide. Still, Maryland maintains a perfect credit rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Moody’s credited the wealthy tax base as a factor for its rating, as well as the state’s “history of strong financial management.” One negative factor is the state’s high violent crime rate, which was one of the highest in the country last year.
I wanted to include this education piece just to show how data in Maryland is so skewed as to mean nothing in looking at rankings or stable government.
I will talk more on education reform another time.
George calls for hearing on school ranking
November 26, 2013|By Michael Dresser
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron George has called for a General Assembly hearing into whether Maryland's exclusion of a high percentage of special education students from standardized testing artificially inflated the score of the state's schools in national rankings.
George, a state delegate from Anne Arundel County, issued a statement Tuesday in which he called for answers on what he called the O'Malley administration's "reading test cheating scandal."
The Sun reported last week that Maryland may have achieved its No. 1 ranking on Education Week's ranking of state school systems in part by excluding a higher percentage of special education students from reading testings than any other state. By excluding special ed students at such a high rate, the state appears to have gained 5 points in eighth grade reading score and 7 in fourth grade.
George, ranking member of the House Ways & Means education subcommittee, accused the administration of cheating its way to No. 1 -- a ranking Gov. Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders frequently boast about.
"I am demanding answers about who in the administration was involved in this cheating scandal, what exactly they knew and when they knew it. I am calling on the leaders in the General Assembly to convene hearings to get to the bottom of this matter," George said. "We tell our students cheating is wrong and hold them accountable when they make a mistake. What message are we sending them now when corrupt politicians abuse the education system to advance their own political agendas?"
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Michael E. Busch said no hearings have been scheduled on the topic.
George is seeking the GOP nomination in a race against Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Charles County business executive Charles Lollar and former Ehrlich administration appointments secretary Larry Hogan.
On the Democratic side of the race, Attorney Douglas F. Gansler also weighed in on the controversy.
"The parents of Maryland deserve honest and transparent testing – and a more thorough explanation of how they were misled by a system that appears to have put a blind desire to pump up scores ahead of the needs of Maryland families," he said in a statement released by his campaign. "Let's not shy away from challenges, let's take them on with a commitment to early education programs, afterschool and summer learning bridge initiatives, getting our children the tools they need to succeed."
Gansler is running against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Montgomery County Del. Heather R. Mizeur for the Democratic nomination.
In a statement, O'Malley press secretary defended the state's record and downplayed the significance of the test scores in the Education Week ranking system that bestowed the No. 1 ranking on Maryland. The publication also considers school funding levels and other factors.
"Some people are so desperate to score political points, that they're willing to question the achievements our students and educators have earned for five consecutive years," Press Secretary Nina Smith said.
Now, O'Malley will pretend to have leveraged to the gills to protect Maryland workers and unions and indeed, this is why labor supports O'Malley even as he kills them with other labor policy issues. HE COULD HAVE CUT JOBS BUT HE USED BOND AND LEVERAGE TO SAVE JOBS. THAT'S THE STORY AND LABOR WILL STICK TO IT. It is why labor comes to O'Malley's defense over the Baltimore Hilton debacle that used taxpayers to advance the Baltimore Development Corporation's vision of city growth. LABOR WAS RIGHT THERE TELLING MEDIA THE HILTON WAS GOOD FOR THEM.
Well, if labor understood O'Malley's end game they hopefully would not be allowing this neo-liberal to garner their support. First, it is the billions of dollars in corporate fraud that goes without recovery that has Maryland's budget strained and just collecting that would end the need for all this leveraging and guess what?
IT IS BETTER TO USE RULE OF LAW AGAINST CRIME THEN TO USE BOND LEVERAGE KILLING THE STATE'S FUTURE TO BALANCE A BUDGET. Make no mistake.....O'Malley is deliberately loading the state and Baltimore with debt because he wants to hand all that is public to Wall Street when this next economic crash occurs! HOW IS THAT GOOD FOR FAMILIES?
O’Malley, Md. lawmakers use debt to lube state’s path through recession
By Aaron C. Davis,March 22, 2011 Washington Post
Stacked into the budget that Maryland’s House of Delegates will debate Wednesday is a grim look at the state’s fiscal future:
To cover mounting debt, Maryland will have to raise property taxes after next year or begin eating into operating funds for schools, social services and public safety.
By 2014 — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s last full year in office — the state will have to curtail spending even further to begin repaying money used to close budget shortfalls during his first term. And by 2017, the state is projected to break through one of its debt ceilings.
Maryland’s debt costs are trending toward 30-year highs, even without factoring in billions in unfunded retiree health-care and pension costs. Maryland is far from alone. Almost every state has ramped up borrowing and gone deeper in debt to try to spur job growth while balancing expenses during the recession.
But in Maryland, O’Malley (D) has sought to use bonds and other borrowing to continue to fund initiatives that have been gutted by this point in the downturn by politicians in most states.
Once again in this year’s budget, and backed by lawmakers, O’Malley has spread out over several years the cost of tens of millions of dollars in open-space land purchases and has sought to issue bonds for efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
The governor and his budget team have cast the borrowing as a bridge to get the state to better economic times without throwing aside wholesale O’Malley’s environmental agenda and other state initiatives he sees as important.
But the state’s fiscal trajectory has also begun to splinter Maryland Democrats, with more conservative ones arguing that the state has gone too far in leveraging its future.
“We’re basically spending every cent we have and maxing out the state’s credit cards to the nth degree,” said state Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Montgomery County Democrat. “If something goes wrong in the economy again, we could be very vulnerable. We have no reserve capacity.”
But compared with the way worries about debt have paralyzed budget discussions in a split Congress in Washington and in many state capitals, O’Malley and the legislature’s Democratic leadership remain largely on the same page and comfortable with pushing Maryland’s debt load to the max long after their current terms end.
This is just one example of leverage beyond what the state will be able to sustain when the next economic crash comes. What projects do you think these transportation funds will address? We know that the Port of Baltimore and the high-speed rail are tops on the agenda and neither is vital for Maryland's economy. The Red Line is not a bad project but if the state defaults-----it belongs to private investors backing this deal as are the state's roads. If we have a crash next year as big as financial analysts are calling---do you think the Red Line will move forward? The high-speed rail and Port will.
What this makes clear is that these leveraged deals hand all of the states future tax revenue to these bond holders just as Baltimore City uses TIFs to hand decades of tax revenue to corporations both starving public coffers and soaking the middle/working class with taxes and fees to make up the difference.
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS IS ONLY ONE OF MANY CREDIT BOND DEALS O'MALLEY AND RAWLINGS-BLAKE HAS TIED TO PUBLIC PROJECTS AND THEY WILL BRING US TO DEFAULT AS GOVERNMENT WILL NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO WEATHER ANOTHER ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!
Fitch Affirms Maryland Transportation Auth's GARVEE Bonds at 'AA'; Outlook Stable
October 15, 2013 03:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings affirms the 'AA' rating on the Maryland Transportation Authority's (MDTA) $479.035 million outstanding grant and revenue anticipation (GARVEE) bonds. The Rating Outlook remains Stable.
KEY RATING DRIVERS:
PRESENCE OF BACKUP PLEDGE MITIGATES FEDERAL CONCERN: MDTA bonds are secured by the first lien on Maryland's federal highway funds and the legislatively mandated subordinate lien on certain pledged Maryland Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) tax revenues, which helps offset reauthorization risk. The back-up pledge of tax receipts is subject to appropriation by the state's legislature.
UNCERTAINTY OF THE FEDERAL PROGRAM: The federal program, which was once a formula-driven program funded on a multiyear basis, has now morphed into a program where future policy is less certain. This means funding levels are less predictable and the program is more dependent on frequent action to extend authorization and on general fund transfers that will likely need to be continued indefinitely barring an increase in the federal gas-tax or a significant reduction in spending.
STRONG COVENANTS AND TIMING MECHANISMS: Additional leverage is limited by a strong additional bonds test of 3.0 times (x) maximum annual debt service (MADS). A debt service reserve fund equivalent to the maximum semi-annual interest payment provides debt service support. The eight-year maturity of the bonds is short relative to other federal reimbursement bonds and exposes bondholders to a lower level of uncertainty surrounding the highway trust fund (HTF) but this is more than offset by the back-up pledge.
ADDITIONAL LEVERAGE NOT ANTICIPATED: The authority has reached a statutory cap on GARVEE issuance and additional bonds are not expected in the medium term.
-- Increased leveraging of the TTF or a significant change in the basket of state highway revenues that weakens the secondary pledge;
-- Failure by the state to appropriate state highway revenues if needed to cover a shortfall in federal funds.
The GARVEE bonds are secured by a pledge of the trust estate, consisting of annual allocations of federal aid and a subordinate pledge of certain TTF tax sources.
HTF's expenditures have been exceeding revenues over the past several years. The most recent authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), provides funding certainty for the next two years but it does not address longer-term issues regarding the sustainability of the federal program or solvency of the HTF and relies on a total of $18.8 billion general fund transfers in 2013 and 2014. Funding levels have become less certain and difficult to predict beyond current authorization. In addition, the increase in corporate fuel economy standards approved in August 2012 would adversely impact gas tax revenues which support the HTF. In Fitch's view, the unsustainable trajectory of the HTF may lead to policy changes that could affect bondholders.
The pledge of subordinate TTF funds provides an important offset to this reauthorization risk and supports the current rating level. The TTF tax sources include a portion of motor fuel taxes, titling excise tax on vehicles, sales and use tax on vehicle rentals and corporate income tax. The GARVEE bonds have a pledge of these revenues that is subordinate to the department's consolidated transportation bonds (rated 'AA+' by Fitch). Total TTF revenues equaled $1.39 billion in fiscal 2012 (state fiscal year ending on June 30). Fiscal 2012 debt service coverage remained strong at 6.4x with federal revenues alone and 18.7x including state revenues.
The TTF's distribution of the state's corporation income tax after certain General Fund deductions is currently at 9.5%. For fiscal 2014 through 2016, the distribution will be 19.5%, and for fiscal 2017 and fiscal years thereafter the distribution will be 17.2%.
MDTA is responsible for coordinating, planning and implementation of the GARVEE program in consultation with SHA. SHA is the recipient of all Maryland Federal Highway Funds; GARVEE debt service paid directly to the trustee. SHA is also responsible for letting contracts and management and delivery of the ICC project.
The rosy future given by Moody's ranking of Maryland as AAA tempered by Maryland's ties with the Federal government for jobs and revenue give you a glimpse as to what will happen as the next economic crash occurs. Because the Federal government has not recovered tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud it is leaving the national debt so high that it will not be able to send help to states like it do in 2008 and will be forced to cut more government agencies and assets-----which is the goal of Wall Street and its dismantling of US government sector. Keep the high debt by suspending Rule of Law and implode the economy with yet another bubble---this time the bond market.
Remember, it was Moody and S & P that gave us the AAA subprime mortgage loan fraud and they didn't feel any justice for that! IS THEIR NEXT RATINGS FRAUD WITH STATE RANKINGS? YOU BETCHA!!!
Maryland's cloudy credit horizonOur view: Moody's promise to drop the state's AAA-status if it downgrades the federal government is frustrating but may not mean much
February 18, 2013 Baltimore Sun
It would be ironic if Maryland, for the first time in the history of municipal bond ratings, lost its AAA status now. Thanks to a combination of spending restraint, tax increases and other reforms, Maryland's balance sheet is stronger that it has been in more than a decade. Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget proposal leaves nearly $1 billion in various reserve accounts, and the legislature stands poised to change the way it funds employee pensions to make the system more solvent.
But thanks to the dysfunction in Washington, that's just what may happen. Moody's Investors Service, one of the big three bond rating agencies, issued a report this month about which AAA-rated state and local governments would face downgrades if the federal government is downgraded. On the list: Maryland and Virginia, along with Missouri and New Mexico. More that a dozen local governments in Maryland and Northern Virginia are also in line to be whacked, including Montgomery, Prince George's, Harford, Howard and Baltimore counties.
Other publications from Moody's suggest that a federal downgrade isn't necessarily imminent, and the agency hasn't said whether any particular event — like a failure to raise the debt ceiling or to address the sequestration cuts due on March 1 — would trigger action. Rather, Moody's is concerned about the medium and long-term trends in the ratio of federal debt to gross domestic product. "If the upward trend in projected debt ratios and interest costs continues, and further measures to stabilize and ultimately reverse them are not put into place, the rating could eventually move down," Moody's said in a Feb. 8 report.
Moody's has not changed its assessment of the strengths that have prompted it to give Maryland its highest possible rating — a history of responsible fiscal management, a strong economy and a highly skilled work force, among other things. But the agency has a rule that if a "sub-sovereign" entity — i.e., a state or local government — has particularly strong linkage to the sovereign government, its rating cannot exceed the national rating. The agency looks at five factors to determine such linkage, and both Maryland and Virginia are rated as outliers on two of them: federal employment as a percentage of total employment, and federal procurement contracts as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Moody's observation about the linkage between the state's economy and the federal government is bound to become subject to tsk tsking by the Maryland-is-bad-for-business crowd. They are right that the state needs to explore ways to diversify its economy and that, given the likelihood of federal cuts, Maryland can't count on the federal government for economic growth. But it's not like a radical change in the political climate in Annapolis could solve our current predicament. In order to grow its way out of being considered by Moody's to be strongly linked to the federal government, Maryland would need to increase its GDP by 73 percent and its workforce by 77 percent without getting another dime in federal contracts or a single additional federal job.
What would happen if Moody's did downgrade Maryland's bond ratings? That's entirely unclear. Theoretically, it would lead to higher borrowing costs. But neither of the other two major ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, has said it will automatically downgrade any state or local governments based solely on the federal rating. Indeed, S&P did downgrade the federal government after the debt limit standoff of 2011 without taking corresponding action against Maryland. Moreover, S&P's federal downgrade didn't significantly increase borrowing costs, and it's altogether unclear that bond buyers would look at Maryland much differently if it had merely two out of three possible AAA ratings.
In the end, what we're talking about here may be little more than a matter of Maryland pride. Governors like to brag about Maryland's AAA bond rating, and saying we are top-rated as a credit risk by two of the three major agencies doesn't quite have the same cachet as having always been triple-AAA.
Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp has argued Maryland's case to Moody's, to no avail. Rules, it seems, are rules, and it is the arbitrariness that she and other state officials find so frustrating. But there is at least one consolation: Virginia, our rival and political mirror image across the Potomac, is in exactly the same boat.