This morning the Republican Governors Association is chuckling over the newest sharp contrast between their chairman and the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (and governor of a neighboring state).
Just days after Virginia governor Bob McDonnell announced a $544 million surplus, Maryland governor Martin O’Malley told county leaders Saturday that Maryland may need to increase taxes to solve a $1 billion budget gap next year.
What makes the contrast even more striking is the fact that McDonnell previously balanced an inherited $4.2 billion budget deficit that Gov. Tim Kaine had said could only be closed with a $2 billion tax increase, while O’Malley has already signed the largest tax increase in Maryland history during his first term.
Both states benefit from the hiring spree and rare layoffs in the federal government, but the unemployment rate in Virginia is 6.1 percent, while the unemployment rate in Maryland is 7.2 percent.