To The Daily Sun,
Much has been said and even more has been written about the $11 billion budget here in New Hampshire. Rather than snipe back and forth in a political game of tit for tat, I believe it is more instructive to look at the essence of its basic principles.
First, by reducing the Business Profits Tax from 8.5 percent to 7.9 percent, this new rate places us lower than neighboring Massachusetts. Since 92 percent of our economy is small business, who can argue that this isn't a good idea?
Second, public, charter, and state university funding has been maintained at 2013-2015 levels.
To those who believe that tuitions are still too high, I suggest they research administrative and faculty salaries from top to bottom. The results will stagger the mind.
Third, passage of the Affordable Care Act has had a debilitating effect on state economies since its inception. Because the ACA shifts costs from the non- and under-insured to the non-subsidized full-payers, working Americans have had to shoulder this unfair burden.
By candidly acknowledging fiscal realities here in New Hampshire, I believe it is easier to make the tough but fair choices required in crafting this year's budget. By vetoing it in totality, Governor Hassan and the state Democratic Party are advocating deficit spending in our own backyard which is not the way we do business here in New Hampshire.
Peter J. Spanos
State Rep., District 3
Member, House Finance Committee
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 09:02
To The Daily Sun,
"It's a beautiful mornin', ahhh. Each bird keeps singin' his own song". Pragmatists are rejoicing due to victory after victory recently. Oh! "I Hear a Symphony." Affordable Care is secure and marriage equality is national. The Confederate flag is finally getting its just desserts and California has wiped out personal-belief exemptions in its new vaccination law. This is big. Governor Brown is expected to sign it. No vaccination? No public schools for you. Your junk science or religion can't endanger the community anymore. Did I mention Pope Francis and his climate encyclical?
June 26 is Confederate Flag Burning Day in America, so don't miss out on the exciting festivities because even latent pyromaniacs are finding their true selves and "Can't Put Out This Fire." You're out of luck if you don't have one of those symbols of racism and treason, though. All major retailers have taken out this white trash memorabilia for good. "Here Comes the Sun!" Flags are coming down, too. Oh Happy Day.
Oh, it gets worse for the people wrong about everything from climate change to feeding a family. On June 5, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down four of Idaho's abortion laws as unconstitutional based on 1992s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that a state cannot impose an "undue burden" on a woman seeking to obtain an abortion before fetal viability. A U.S. Appeals Court also rejected Arkansas' 12-week abortion ban based on fetal heartbeat.
Last week, The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a ban on so-called webcam abortions (prescribing RU-486) in the state on Friday, arguing it placed an "undue burden" on women. Why don't these glassy-eyed religious crackpots spend their time on something constructive: preventing unwanted and unplanned pregnancies with more family planning services. Abortion and teen pregnancy rates have dropped significantly over the years largely due expanded access to contraception and family services. Hey stupid, don't attack strategies that work.
I noticed Steve Earle is still doing what he has wanted to do ever since he was a pre-schooler: being a race baiter. Black this. Black that. Blah blah blah. Obsessive compulsive much? Well, no matter, we have to accept the fact that blazing ignorance exists in this world. And Russ Wiles! Did you see how he started out one of his recent letters about Cuba? "Liberals love those who commit evil." Tell us how you really feel! It has to hurt to be wrong on everything.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 08:57
To The Daily Sun,
I really enjoyed the "Risk Takers" story The Daily Sun printed on Saturday, June 27; I would like to make just one aside about the comment about city councilor's not frequenting downtown.
"'We're looking for some vision and direction for the community,' said (Bree) Henderson, who added that city councilors are seldom seen downtown save for David Bownes (Ward 2), whose office is on Canal Street."
Just this week, so far, I've been to the Local twice and Wayfarers (my third time since it opened). Also, in the past week I had breakfast at Water Street Cafe twice. Since the Holy Grail opening, I have been there four times. My daughter dances at Stages, another young entrepreneur downtown, and I have used both MC Cycle and Greenlaw's for those needs and no others. Less than a month ago I had dinner at Burrito Me. Henry's Dry Cleaners is a regular stop for me, too. Penny Pitou is my travel agency when I have that need. There are other businesses in the downtown too that I enjoy shopping at when I have a niche need, like The Studio.
I suspect other councilors and the manager have similar stories to share too.
Finally, LRGHealthcare my employer has two significant presences in the downtown, and I personally have been actively involved in the BEDC (just completing a nine-year term in March, the last as chair), as has the mayor, the entity that finally made the Colonial acquisition a reality.
Our councilors are committed to downtown in all respects.
City Councilor, Ward 3
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 08:53
To The Daily Sun,
You might wonder how the Republicans in the New Hampshire House and Senate came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to blow a $90 million hole in our state budget by giving the money to large corporations in the form of tax breaks. The answer, apparently, is from the Koch brothers. According to reports, Greg Moore, a political worker for a Koch funded operation, was summoned by Republican leadership to a closed-door budget meeting. Why do they need a political operative to help them figure out how to make a budget? And, more to the point, why aren't they working with their Democratic colleagues in the Statehouse to craft a bipartisan budget that the governor can sign.
How did we get to this place where each side is so sure they are right and the other is dead wrong? I agree with Republicans that we have to be careful of big government, that we don't want government overstepping its bounds, that people can and ought to make decisions for themselves, and that we should keep as much of what we earn as we can. But, that doesn't mean that government doesn't work at all. We need a prudent effective government to help make our lives better.
Lowering taxes is one way to attract businesses, but good roads and a healthy, educated workforce are also important. Business agrees. According to the Business and Industry Association, the state Chamber of Commerce that represents business in New Hampshire, these things are important, too.
And, government exists, at least in part, to take care of our weakest citizens. There is no doubt that some people screw up their own lives, but life also has a way of beating on some folks who can use a hand. Getting sick can happen to anyone. According to a survey done by the Health Policy Center, almost 10 million fewer families are feeling the stress of unpaid medical bills since the implementation of Obamacare. Having insurance lowered their life stress which is a good thing. That seems like a win for government to me.
The governor's budget is reasonable and responsible. It pays for things that we need and programs that work and it doesn't make someone else pay the freight.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 08:36
In her latest "coming out" announcement, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton gave an hour-long pander performance to all those who desire the government to provide for their well-being. Nauseating though it was, I listened as she told of what she would do for each group to make them "equal". Along the way, she also gave us an indication of her callous disregard for the First Amendment to our Constitution. Of course it was too much to expect that she would enlighten us on how her generosity would be paid for. Nor did she tell us why she has chosen to eschew the American dream in favor of what she calls equality. Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Obama, probably applauded her ability to prattle on about everything except personal responsibility and the American dream.
Winston Churchill once stated something along the line of, you can tell a lot about a country based on whether or not people were trying to get into it, or get out of it. He was speaking about the United States and its promise of the American dream. A place where immigrants could enter, not knowing the language and with little or no money, and struggle to find work to earn the money needed to support their families. In their early years of struggle, they learned the language and, in those years, they sent their children to school, where they too, learned the language and assimilated themselves into the communities. Some of those children often learned the trade skills of their fathers or other journeyman trades, and others went on to college to earn degrees and become professionals. (Back then, colleges didn't have fees that would bankrupt a moderate or low income family.)
In those earlier days of struggle, some things became predictable. For example, the immigrant families worked hard and were prudent with their earnings. They would pool those earnings and put aside money with which to buy a lot, and then to build a house. Most often, the house was a two family home and the mother and father would occupy the first floor and the eldest son and his family would occupy the second. As the mother and father aged, the eldest son and his family were there to take care of them. And, when they passed away, it was often the eldest grandchild who moved in to continue the process.
Common among the immigrants was the respect for work. No job was too menial not to be respected. To be without a job meant you were spending all day every day looking for work. If there wasn't a full time job, you would seek out a day labor job to do. You didn't quibble over the amount you were to be paid as there was always someone else ready and eager to step in to take your place. Those daily struggles never ended because there was always more to be done . . . another child to raise, money needed to fix or replace the furnace, the need to make room for a widowed aunt to move in, and more. You see, it wasn't the government's responsibility to raise that child, or to provide for that widowed aunt, or the aged parents, it was a family responsibility. Nor was it the government's responsibility to provide them with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, telephone service, and myriad other things.
Today, we seem to have lost respect for the things that made this country great. Instead of respecting and encouraging work, we tell people we will make them "equal". If we don't encourage learning and work, but we expect everyone to be "equal", that can only happen if we diminish the status of those who sought and achieved some higher level of achievement.
In recalling history, the Pilgrims initially tried communal living, where everyone contributed to the common store of foods and other necessities needed to get through the winter. But not everyone contributed their "fair share" as some chose not to work as hard as did others. But when winter arrived, those who had not worked hard or contributed much, expected to receive a "fair share" of the labor of others. The Pilgrims soon abandoned the each to his own ability, each to his own needs scenario. But today, our political leaders on the left are trying to convince us that we should ignore what the Pilgrims and those who lived under communism discovered about communal living. Rather they want the country that birthed the "Greatest Generation" and led the world in personal achievement, to try again to substitute group obeisance for personal responsibility.
We, the citizens, need to be careful of what politicians may be promising. What on the surface may sound like a harmless platitude is in reality a road not to achievement, but to subjugation of our personal desires and ambitions to the whims of government . . . a road to serfdom dictated by the non-elected bureaucrats who will spell out your rules for life.
(Bob Meade is a resident of Laconia.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00