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.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2015 08:33
To The Daily Sun,
When President Obama said, "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded," he was not talking about arming civilians or creating a national police force.
Factcheck.org has what he actually said which you can read here: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/11/obamas-national-security-force/
You will see that he was talking about increasing funding for civilian service organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps — organizations that increase our strength through volunteering and doing good works.
Beware of words taken out of context. President Obama has done plenty of things to criticize. What is the point of making stuff up?
Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2015 08:25
For several years, people have been trying to get medical marijuana legalized in New Hampshire. Although opinion varies regarding the recreational use of cannabis, it appears that most New Hampshire citizens at least support making the drug legally available for medical users.
Marijuana is a drug that can be given to patients with a number of conditions including cancer, AIDS, and such neurological diseases as multiple sclerosis. While it is certainly not a "miracle" drug, it does have legitimate medical uses. It helps enhance the appetite and relieve the nausea of many chemotherapy patients. It can also help with muscular spasticity for MS patients. Moreover, it frequently gives patients with terminal and chronic conditions a better quality of life.
Many New Hampshire physicians would prescribe it to their patients it if were legal as is the case in a number of other states. Marijuana gives relief to a number of patients. Why should we ban it for people who have chronic or terminal illnesses if it makes them feel better? The old Puritan idea that pain and suffering is somehow good for your character seems a bit harsh.
The support for such a reform in our cannabis laws has been reflected in the state Legislature, including a session under Republican control and a session under Democratic control who have realized the need to legalize the drug for patients who need it. What stood in the way of a compassionate marijuana law have been two Democratic governors, Governor Lynch and Governor Hassan. Governor Lynch vetoed a bill to allow for medical pot and although it passed under Governor Hassan who supported it, it has been held up because of those who have put pressure on the state's executive branch. This has at least partially been the work of state law enforcement organizations.
The original idea was to allow patients (or a caregiver) to grow up to a certain number of marijuana plants for medical purposes. Now, Governor Hassan insists on only four legal dispensaries or outlets for the drug and these will not be up and going for at least another year. At this point, they are still reviewing the applications of those who will set up the dispensaries Nor have patients receive their cards. It seems likely that the recent cuts to the Department of Human Services will only delay the process.
One has to wonder: who will make a profit from these outlets? Meanwhile, medical marijuana patients have to choose between being lawbreakers and doing without the medicine that their doctors have advised.
One argument advanced by law enforcement officials is that if medical marijuana is legalized or even made easier to get, some of it will get through to the "recreational" pot market. They are probably right but there are a number of legal prescription drugs, including opiates, that make it to the recreational market and we do not ban those medicines for patients who need it.
And, America's most dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are completely legal and available "over the counter" as long as you are 18 (for tobacco) or 21 (for alcohol). No one would argue that at least some alcohol and tobacco does not reach our underage population but we do not completely ban those drugs!
Several years ago when this discussion started, I attended a debate on the issue. A representative of the N.H. Police Chiefs Association realized that maybe some patients needed cannabis but he said that such patients should "trust" our police officers to make "the right decision" when dealing with a medical marijuana patients and distinguishing between "medical" and "recreational" use. With all respect to law enforcement, the police and the courts should be subject to the law, not the individual whims of a police officer!
One has to wonder why law enforcement is so opposed to such reforms. Do they think it will result in less "business" for them?"
(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford)
Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2015 08:21
To The Daily Sun,
June Huot's letter of April 22 demonstrates blind partisanship and ignorance of history and economics.
According to Wikipedia, the grassroots TEA Party movement was "kick-started" in 2007 (by Ron Paul, not the Koch brothers) essentially in opposition to deficit spending. But, its dramatic growth was in response and opposition to the Wall Street bailouts proposed by President Bush. (Citing Frank Rich as an authority on the TEA Party is like citing the devil as an authority on morality.)
Wealthy people have always been involved in politics. Like billionaires Gates, Buffett, Steyer, Soros, Zuckerberg, et. al. who will help Hillary raise $2.5 billion for her campaign and fund other Democrat candidates, the Koch brothers fund things they like.
Whatever the Kochs' position on deficit spending, TEA Party members oppose deficit spending and are trying to elect politicians who will end it and the immoral burden that our debt passes to subsequent generations.
The TEA Party doesn't oppose regulations. It opposes excessive, wasteful, or non-enforced regulations that kill jobs and/or create false feelings of safety that lead to disasters such as the 2008 credit crisis.
Plenty of regulations and regulators existed and should have prevented the 2008 credit crisis, but they didn't. Why aren't people in jail? Or at least fired? (Unbelievably, President Obama promoted Timothy Geithner, who failed his responsibility for regulating the banks, to be Treasury secretary.)
Despite Dodd-Frank and Obama's many other increases in regulations, our nation's finances are more risky now than in 2007-2008. National debt is up about 80 percent. Government is again encouraging very risky mortgages. Wall Street's exposure to financial risk is two to three times what it was in 2008 and, over opposition of the TEA Party, Elizabeth Warren, and conservative politicians, taxpayers are again on the hook for those losses. The rich are richer, the rest of us are poorer, and our nation faces a worse financial catastrophe than in 2008.
TEA Partiers want Obamacare repealed and replaced with an affordable system that works without putting government bureaucrats between doctors and patients. TEA Partiers care about everyone, including the millions of people hurt by health insurance cancellations and significant premium and/or deductible increases. TEA Partiers oppose Obamacare waste, government controls, rationing, insurance company subsidies, and taxes that slow investment in medical advances. If Huot thinks these are good things, then she and TEA Partiers won't agree regarding Obamacare.
Since Huot complains about Huckabee whether he says one thing or its opposite, it seems Huckabee is simply guilty of being Republican, unable to say anything that Huot would approve.
The "Republican war on women" (a charge which amuses Republican women) is simply a Democrat propaganda scheme, aided by the Democrat-controlled media, that exploits the poor historical and economic educations provided in Democrat-controlled public schools.
Huot is outraged at Huckabee's desire to empower women and insists that women aren't victims of their gender. But, then Huot lists some existing and proposed laws that women need. So Huot does think that women are victims and wants women to be empowered, she just doesn't like Republicans who want women to be empowered.
Since the 1963 Equal Pay Act (when there was a real problem), women (and men) have been able to sue employers for discrimination in pay based on gender. (Ken Gorrell's article, "It's Time For Reality Day", in the April 30, 2015, The Weirs Times —www.weirs.com — provides interesting information on pay "inequality.") If pay inequality isn't just a trumped-up political issue, one wonders why Democrats continue supporting politicians like President Obama and Hillary Clinton who pay women less than men in equal jobs?
Democratic politicians promote minimum wage increases to falsely give the impression of compassion for minimum-wage workers but really out of self-interest. Minimum wage increases often drive union wage increases which drive union dues increases and union contributions to politicians.
Typically inexperienced and unskilled workers receive pay increases above the minimum wage as they learn and demonstrate useful skills. Our real problem is that there are too many unskilled and inexperienced workers and too few jobs because of our stagnant economy caused by progressive education, regulatory, tax, energy, and other policies which drive jobs overseas.
Huot says Democrats are strong advocates of women controlling their medical choices; so are the rest of us. But Democrats seem to be happy with government bureaucrats getting between patients and their doctors, the rest of us aren't.
But it is true that many Americans disagree with Democrat Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who believes that healthy, small, even 7-pound, women (and men) can be killed in the uterus just for a woman's convenience.
The progressive politicians and policies that Huot supports, no matter how beneficent they sound, actually victimize women (and men). Single motherhood, which usually guarantees a life in poverty, is way up since progressive policies were implemented to "help" the poor. Too many young people are deprived of decent educations because Democratic politicians care more about their union supporters than students. Tens of millions of good manufacturing jobs have been driven overseas by excessive regulations demanded by environmental extremist supporters. And, private sector workers are overtaxed so politicians can buy the loyalty of government workers with compensation which far exceeds private sector workers in similar jobs.
To fund all this, progressive politicians create Ponzi schemes and enormous debt which steal from future Americans, impose heavy taxes, and inflate away the value of people's hard earned money. As a result of progressive policies increasing numbers of Americans, even two wage-earner families, struggle just to pay today's bills.
Sadly, blinded by her partisanship, Huot fails to see that the people working against her interests are in Washington, D.C., not in the TEA Party.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 May 2015 09:35
To The Daily Sun,
Why do liberal/progressives, mostly of a Democratic persuasion, want to relive the 1960s all over again? Why do they patronize our black population by excusing their bad behavior as a necessary response to any perceived or real slight? Why does our president continue to bring up slavery, Jim Crow laws and segregation as a reason for today's young black males to believe they can't make it because the white man is holding them down? Lest we forget, those three historical examples belong to the Democrat party. The very same party of condescension that continues to keep the bar so low for young blacks, that many actually believe government is the only solution to their poverty, poor education and lack of economic opportunity. I can't think of anything more racist.
Liberal journalists and academicians continue to ignore the root causes of a remarkably unchanged poverty rate among blacks despite some $22 trillion having been spent on poverty programs since the 1960s. They claim it's police terrorism, white racism and right-to-work states that cause young black men to loot businesses, destroy cars, burn down buildings, join gangs and kill each other. Yes, they destroy their very own neighborhoods as we have witnessed in Baltimore.
CNN's own professor, Marc Lamont Hill, claimed that there should not have been calm after Mr. Gray's death because black people have been dying in the streets for decades. So he asserts that the Baltimore riots should rightfully be called "uprisings". Professor Hill, where have you been? Who has been killing over 90 percent of blacks over those many decades? Isn't it other black people? Well yes, but that doesn't fit the progressive lens of persistent and pervasive "white racism" and "killer cops".
John Perazzo, columnist for Frontpage magazine, encapsulates the likely thinking of President Obama who cleverly disguises the way many believe he really thinks: "White Republicans are a pack of greedy racists who reject my wealth-redistribution plans for our inner cities. And that's why Baltimoreans are angry." I think Jeremiah Wright, Frank Marshall Davis and Obama's Marxist professors would agree.
Baltimore taxpayers are currently spending more than $16,000 per year, per pupil for the city's public schools or 48 percent more than the national average. Baltimore has been run almost exclusively by Democrats for 50 years. They have driven millions of people to the suburbs and hundreds of businesses out of the city with excessive property, school, sales and business taxes.
What does Baltimore have to show for all these expenditures? A median household income that is 45 percent below Maryland's state average and a poverty rate close to 70 percent higher than the national average. Nearly 37 percent of young black men between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed. Baltimore has now lost one-third of the population it had back in the 1960s. Back then, the city had nearly 1 million residents, 23 percent of whom were black and the median family income was 7 percent higher than the national average. Black families had a marriage rate that was equal to that of white families. Now, 73 percent of black children are born with parents who are not married.
Baltimore is following on the heels of Detroit as are many other large cities. The great majority of these young black men have grown up without a father in the home. Nearly three-quarters of black families are lacking a male parent in the home. Family disintegration is at the very core of this problem. Union-backed inner city public schools are graduating students without the requisite skills to compete for jobs, so many turn to drugs as the only way to earn money. Democrats have driven businesses out of the city leaving young black people with little hope of getting out of poverty.
Yes, Freddie Gray's death is a terrible tragedy. The police may have acted badly, so let's hope we have a thorough and fair investigation. But can we be clear about what led up to this unnecessary death. Freddie did make bad choices, but he had the misfortune of being born into a corrupt, government-controlled climate that left him with few choices.
Police are rarely ever the problem despite being placed daily in dangerous situations while trying to protect black communities. It is over a half century of failed Democratic social policies, a complicit media and ideologically deluded university professors that is the cause of most of this misery and death. Even now, they offer a terribly misguided rationale for the current rise of rioting and anarchy. Unbelievable.
I think Derek Hunter's assessment of the failure of the War on Poverty tells the true story. "We still have the same rate of poverty. Because that money was not spent to help those in poverty; it was spent on government bureaucrats to administer benefits to those in poverty." Or, as Star Parker has brilliantly illustrated in her book of the same name, the government has created a modern day, "Uncle Sam's Plantation".
Democrats somehow still believe that another 50 years of failed Great Society programs, including redundant jobs programs, welfare without work requirements and disincentives for families to remain intact is still the desired method to lift people out of poverty. Martin Luther King, Jr. once reminded us, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Democrats and liberals in academia claim that we need an honest discussion about race relations. Yet they continue to foment hate, divide the nation along racial lines, attack our police force and demand more money for more government programs without accountability. Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell have been having honest conversations about race relations for a long time, delivering much needed light on this subject. Yet President Obama picks Al Sharpton to be his top adviser on race relations. I think that says it all doesn't it?
Last Updated on Friday, 08 May 2015 09:24