Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The state of the state of Maryland is strong, or stronger than it was, or growing stronger still.
In each of the last eight years under Gov. Martin J. O’Malley, the people of Maryland have been so informed.
Even during the years of the greatest recession to hit the country. A recession coupled with structural budget deficits in Maryland that approached $2 billion, resulting in-year spending reductions and reductions in other anticipated spending totaling $9.1 billion, according to O’Malley.
I know what you’re thinking, that can’t be true. Well, no worries. Skepticism is a valued quality around here at the Eye on Annapolis blog.
Today, in his final State of the State speech (which essentially offered no news that hadn’t been reported earlier in the session), the governor said: “Today, because of the hard work and courage of our people, I can report to you that the state of our state is strong, and growing stronger by the day.”
This is a lot like O’Malley’s first State of the State address in 2007:
“These are our goals, and fourteen days into the four years that the people of our State have given to us to make progress, I am glad to join you today and report that thanks to the hard work of our fellow citizens for decades, maybe even indeed centuries past – and despite the drift of recent years – the state of our state, today, is strong.”
And in 2008: “For these reasons Maryland has been a strong State and, in many respects, we’re stronger today than we were at this same time last year.”
In 2009: “Thanks to the tough decisions we’ve made together over these last two years, the state of our State is once again strong enough to overcome the very challenging times at hand.”
In 2010: ”As a result of the choices we’ve made in the face of adversity, the state of our State is stronger than most, and in areas like public education, it is stronger than every other state in the union.”
In 2011: ”The State of our State is stronger than it was two years ago. It is stronger than it was even one year ago, but better isn’t good enough. Not with so many moms and dads out of work, and so many businesses just barely holding on.”
In 2012: ”There is nothing more important for a family’s security and future than a job. We are all in this together. And in this important work, the state of our State is strong.”
In 2013: As we emerge, and we still have a long ways to go, but as we emerge from the toughest of economic times, the State of our State is strong, and we are growing stronger still.
So there you have it. Maryland is fine. Go throw on your muscle shirts and grab your guitars, Maryland. You’re looking stronger.
Stronger than yesterday. Stronger than two years ago. Tomorrow we’ll all be stronger still.
Break out those yellow rubber bracelets because we’re Lance Armstrong “Live Strong.”
Or break out the iPod and crank up Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”
Because today is your day.