To The Daily Sun,
New Hampshire has a "structural deficit" problem. What is a structural deficit? What does this mean for you and me? And, what does this mean for the great state of New Hampshire?
Structural deficit means that New Hampshire's tax revenue is growing more slowly than the economy as a whole. By "design", our state cannot collect the financial resources to satisfy our needs to be a vibrant healthy state.
The problem we face is not, as the Republican's state, a spending problem. Our problem is a revenue problem — a huge ongoing drop in revenues. The purpose of the state Legislature is to provide for the "common good" of its citizens. The purpose is not to "balance the budget" on inadequate tax revenues. The N.H. Constitution is clear on this point.
Our only broad base tax is the property tax, which pays for about two-thirds of our expenditures. This tax is used mainly for schools, and municipal and county governments. We need another broad base tax. We can't continue to balance the budget on the backs of property owners. Also, taxation should be fair and equally shared by all according to the N.H. Constitution. So, forget tax breaks for the rich. We are all in this together.
Unfortunately, our current Republican Legislature believes that spending is out of control and we "will" live within the current revenue predictions however inadequate they may be. With this philosophy we can expect cuts in mental health, health care in general, child care, care for the elderly, and public safety, ie, state police. Cuts will be made in our infrastructure; roads and bridges will not be maintained. The protection of our environment will be in jeopardy and NH may suffer the consequences of less tourism.
The result for the State of New Hampshire is that we will not attract new businesses, we will lose some existing business, we will lose our youth to colleges and universities out of state with more reasonable tuition; many will never return. For you and me it will be more personal. We will lose vital public services. Safety and security will be jeopardized. Our roads and bridges will become dangerous. Our children will receive a less than adequate education. We may have significant difficulty handling old age because of a loss of services, ie, meals on wheels, etc.
This structural deficit problem will not get better on its own. The state will simply spiral down and become a second class entity with an exodus of those who will find life in another state more secure and tolerable.
For further information read research by Mark Fernald, former N.H. State Senator. And, read the N.H. Constitution.
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