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Maryland's sickness

|Includes: Nuveen Maryland Premium Income Municipal Fund (NMY)

A wonderful article in the Washington Examiner about the excess of Maryland State government can be found here.

" Employees of the Department of Natural Resources were absent due to sickness an average of more than 140 hours per year or 3.5 weeks in 2007. Combined with their other leave time and holidays, DNR employees are off an average 11 weeks per year, all paid."  The average private sector worker misses 5.2 days per year due to illness.

That job must just be so stressful and unhealthy.  They must have strict 8 hour days, lots of deadlines, profit goals to meet, blackberries going off left and right.  The average worker missed almost 1 month per year of work due to illness.  So if that's the average and some people probably did have a good work ethic, then how much time DID others miss?  I haven't even taken off that much time in the last 2 years of vacation and sick time combined!  It isn't even about trying to "get mine", it's about doing the right thing.  Imagine that, at one point in time people would look down on the values that enable shirking.

"Combined with other benefits, including health care and pension payments, it means state employees receive $38,647 each year in benefits alone, for a total average compensation package worth $86,097. Remember, the average private sector worker in Maryland makes less than the average state worker on wages alone, so benefits push the public employees even further ahead."

Imagine that kiddos.  You want to make good money after college?  Become a doctor, a lawyer, an entrepreneur?  Nope, become a government worker for the people's Republic of  Maryland.  You get paid more than the funders in the private sector world, you get off at 4:59 every day, calling in sick 3.5 weeks a year is acceptable (even normal), early retirement, and you get a great pension paid for by future worker bees.  All in the name of public "service".  Do good!

So my question to you is, what happens when states have all sorts of financial outlays and promises, but funding dries up?  What happens when the property tax cash cow sees values plummet?  When that posh Bethesda place goes up in value, so do taxes, but what happens when that house is worth 70% of what it used to be?  Do taxes go down too?  Do they go up?  Do you trust your government?  How come Maryland Millionares are moving south and out of the state?

That "rebuild our infrastructure" second stimulus we had was a great way to kick the can down the road for state budgets.  Instead of states having to make tough choices, we had the federal government bail them out.  So what happens next year?