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

February 11, 2013
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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….