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Hear it First: “Stephanie (you don’t have to put on the red ink)”

February 11, 2013

Mayor SRB is set to give her “State of the City” address today, portending big changes in taxation and city pensions.

Last week, to prepare the ground, she released a consultant’s report claiming the city faces a $3 billion deficit (mostly infrastructure and pension funding gaps) in the next decade. This is a standard tactic politicians use when they mean to privatize public services, cut budgets, etc.

Saying “we can’t afford it” precludes any discussion about whether a given expense–police eligible for full pensions after 20 years of service, say–is good public policy or not.

Meanwhile, the consultant’s projections are squishy–not only because all 10-year budget projections are squishy, but also because Baltimore City does not do audits like other cities: a fact that appears to please the mayor.

We found it all pretty inspirational. OK, maybe “inspirational” is not the right word….