To The Daily Sun,
Have you tried putting a size 12 foot into a size 6 shoe? It does not fit. Only with amputating part of the foot and cutting away parts of the shoe will there be a solution. BUT, a real solution is not found.
Our state budget is in just this predicament. We cannot fund our state's needs with the revenues available. A healthy state economy needs a certain amount of funds to operate correctly. This is not merely a question of a "spending problem," but because we never conduct an assessment of our needs. For example do we want a state with adequate roads and safe bridges? The answer is pure mathematics. Our state's engineers can tell us. Do we "want" to support our sick, elderly, and impaired? Again, we can simply ask our state's care-giving agencies what is required. They are the professionals on the line who see our reality every day. We should listen to them.
Our state government is not charged with the task of putting a size 12 foot into a size 6 shoe. Our government is charged with providing for the well-being of the general public. This is required by the New Hampshire Constitution.
If the government cannot provide the proper support and sustainable level of funding needed for our basic needs — infrastructure, education, health services — then our elected Legislature needs to find funding to fulfill their responsibility as our elected officials.
We need to talk openly across the state about a fair, equitable revenue structure which spreads out the cost of government services fairly across the electorate. Various citizens, academics, and institutions of this fine state have studied this problem for years. I know by listening to them that a broad-base tax system can be easily developed that would fairly spread the costs across the citizens of New Hampshire plus those outside New Hampshire that need to also contribute. And, fairly.
Most states find a broad-based income tax is the best method. Properly designed, this income source would reduce what we pay currently through our property taxes. High property taxes are keeping young people from buying homes, and forcing many elderly to sell prior to their being otherwise ready to leave their family homes.
But wait. In New Hampshire we don't want income taxes. That is our "motto" and we require a pledge of all who run for high office "take the pledge!" Sorry, using the pledge to avoid the hard work to deal with the problem is not good enough anymore. We have been doing that for years and now we are seeing the results. And, that is trying to put a size 12 (modern 2015) foot into a size 6 (1970) shoe. It won't work. It is not working. If the Republicans say it is working they are wrong and the people of New Hampshire are being short-changed — cheated. We are being cheated because of our inadequate tax structure and an inflexible and uncaring Republican Party-dominated state government that cannot or will not acknowledge the 21st century. They have their heads in the sand looking for grains of truth from the 1950s.
That era is passed. We need to solve our revenue problem and the Legislature and governor are the people to start the process now.