I was first elected to the N.H. House in November 2010. Notwithstanding state law requiring budgets be balanced, we were burdened by the departing Democratic majority with an $850 million built-in budget deficit. We rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We soon adopted a balanced biennial state budget, containing not one red cent in new taxes or fees. Rather, we eliminated $1 billion dollars in unessential, superfluous Democratic wish list spending.
One of the starkest differences between Republicans and Democrats is the understanding of the basic purpose of budgeting and how the end product “must” be determined. Republicans, as do most households, look first at the amount of revenue available during the budget year. Spending priorities are then determined, and spending is balanced within the estimated revenue total. It’s the only proper way to do it. Either that, or tax yourself into oblivion.
Democrats, on the other hand, look first at their wish lists, notwithstanding their costs. Often, these superficially must-have programs are little more than pet peeves. For instance, all college education should be paid for by taxpayers. Of course, they never use the term “taxpayer,” they call it the “government.” Another one is, everyone should have free medical care, paid for by the “government.” Estimated state cost for that madness would total $16 billion annually. The newest “must-have program” is to give everyone, wanting it or not, 12 weeks off from work with pay. To do so, they will enact the first ever N.H. payroll/income tax. How terribly shameful.
In 2015, the Republican majority, wanting to jump-start the state’s economy, stagnated during Barack Obama’s eight years decided to, incrementally and carefully, with fallbacks if necessary, lower the state’s business profits and enterprise taxes. Notwithstanding gloom and doom predictions by Democrats, the Republicans stuck to their guns (no pun intended). Lo and behold, since being enacted, the tax cuts have created close to half a billion dollars in surplus revenue.
One hundred million dollars of it was used to buttress the state’s rainy day fund. The remainder went to increased funding for priority programs such as the opioid crisis and mental health. The business tax cuts are also responsible for a much more favorable rating from the national Tax Foundation, bringing in many new business entities. They are also primarily responsible for the lowest unemployment rate in the country, significantly higher and steadily rising wages, and in 2017, we became the state with the highest household annual income in the entire country. In 2018, we became the state with the highest per capita income in the entire country, not to mention the lowest poverty rate. “Thou shalt not fix that which is not broken.”
Now, the neo-socialist Democratic Party has the majority. The first Senate bill to be passed will, for the first time in our state’s history, create a payroll/income tax. More important, it will unconstitutionally take the authority to increase or decrease the tax amount out of the hands of the Legislature, the constitutionally designated supreme legislative body of the state, and into the hands of an unelected government bureaucrat.
They immediately repealed, in totality, the business tax cuts we passed in earlier sessions. Giving them the pseudonym “the Legislature of broken promises.” They passed more than $310 million in new taxes; increased the cost of fees from $1.8 million to $4.8 million, and have already added more than half a billion dollars of spending, requiring extensively higher taxation.
They have legislatively created two distinct classes of N.H. residents. Out-of-state students are urged and readily assisted by Democrats to vote in local and federal elections. Yet, for some unexplained reason, these same individuals are exempt from our perjury and motor vehicle laws. Wherein, those who are legally domiciled here, work and vote here, are, without exception, required to obey all state laws.
As a result of this un-American gerrymandering of our voting laws aimed at attracting liberal academia voters for the purpose of influencing our elections, it also costs the state and local communities hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost license plate and driver’s license revenue. And remember, for every out-of-state voter, one of your votes becomes worthlessly moot. What ever happened to absentee ballots?
Finally, they also saw fit to repeal an extremely worthy, no-cost, elementary/high school scholarship program, smashing the dreams and hopes of thousands of needy students and their parents. They claimed “it’s unconstitutional.” Knowing, however, by virtue of opinions rendered from both the state and federal Supreme Courts, it is not. The repeal is, in fact, motivated by anti-Christianity, and nothing more. Elections do have consequences.
Frank McCarthy is a former District 2 Republican state representative. He lives in Conway.