Quirk’s Un-Truth Squad

On Quirk’s website he has a section entitled “The Truth Squad” which is interesting because as you read through it, most of his “truths” are unsubstantiated at best and untrue at worst.  Just because you say something is not true does not make you a true myth buster.  i don’t have time to unravel every point, though I’m sure this will not be the last you’ll hear from me on this topic.

Quirk Untruth #1:

MYTH:  Baltimore County has a $144 million budget deficit

Baltimore County is required by law to have a balanced budget every year.  It does not have, and has never had, a budget deficit.

Really, Tom?  It’s never had a deficit?  I beg to differ.  In December the County Auditor reported a $138 million budget deficit.  By February, that shortfall had risen to $144 million. By May, when the budget was voted through, the deficit had reached $160 million. See, we don’t just pull facts out of our butts.   Now Quirk is right about one thing, it is the law that the budget is balanced come June.  So the Councilmen and County Executive were forced to make up for the downfall.  On May 27, they passed their 2011 budget, and they were kind enough to not raise our property tax rates or furlough county employees.  Why would they do that?  It’s an election year.  That would have been political suicide.  Why do you think they passed that ridiculous excuse for a pensi on reform bill?

A couple notes about the current budget:

  • Saw the smallest cuts in over 20 years, only $200,000 (compared to $900,000 – $1.6 million range in previous years)
  • “In times of recession, it is not a choice to be fiscally responsible,” say Olszewski.  Seriously? So being fiscally responsible is a choice otherwise?
  • “Many departments, which were forced to cut their budgets in this fiscal year to eliminate a $160 million deficit, saw their budgets further reduced for next year,” says Bryan Sears in his article.
  • “If the economy does not improve, they must be prepared to cope with the effects of economic factors and decisions outside their control,” says Olszewski of the councilmen who will take office in January.  Basically newbies, be prepared when the band-aid falls off.

The Un-Truth Squad will return.  Don’t you worry your pretty little head.




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