With the official opening of Major League Baseball, one is reminded of the great Yogi Berra and his famous “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Buckley and the Democrats are calling the last biennium budget short by $30 million not bad considering the $700 million disaster left by the outgoing Democrats, which included Senator Hassan four years ago. The Bradley-O’Brien Budget, as Buckley calls it, did an outstanding job with what they were left to work with. It also is important to note that Senator Chuck Morse was one of the key drivers of that very difficult but necessary budget.
With the April 3rd vote on this latest Democratic attempt at budgeting, the finger-pointing begins. I disagree with Republicans on one important issue. The budget will be balanced on the backs of the working men and women taxpayers as usual, not on the backs of the poor.
I do however agree that the raiding of dedicated funds without limitation could be disastrous. Senator Hassan showed what she could do with budgeting based on inflated revenue projections four years ago. The state is still trying to fix the mess at the Liquor Commission since then Senator Hassan took the Liquor Commission out from under the oversight of the Executive Council. The results of that poorly thought out move, in an attempt to balance the 2008 budget, has been front page news almost every month. The bottom line is that the Democrats have followed the lead of the Obama administration by growing government. They just don’t get it – we need to reduce the size of government, not constantly grow it. Taxpayers need to know that when the NEA backs the budget and gambling, we are all in trouble.
The Democratic budget raises spending by approximately 8% from the previous biennium budget. The special interests are being rewarded for the support in the recent election: the increases in funding to the University system, twelve new State troopers, an increase in the tobacco tax, and a $ .12 increase in the gas tax – a tax that the sponsor e-mailed his fellow Democratic representatives as “the gift that keeps on giving.” The Democrats don’t realize that in these tough times, in which gas prices have never been higher, the working people are having a hard time getting by, now is not the time to increase the gas tax. The Legislators need to cut spending, not increase it and certainly stop utilizing their flawed revenue projection model. They need to find innovative ways to help the truly needy by giving them a hand up and not a generational hand out and they need to find work for those that are not inclined to look for work. Creating jobs should be their number one focus and it is not.
Let’s hope Yogi is wrong, but this path the state is once again headed down under the leadership of the Democrats has proven to mean higher taxes and fees, bigger government, and a happy group of special interests. I had hoped the Democrats had learned a lesson in 2010, but with this latest spending it does not seem they have.
Jim Adams is the Chairman of the Granite State Taxpayers Alliance