To The Daily Sun,
A state representative responded to my opposition to the proposed gas tax hike letter to the editor via e-mail and I thank him for the included editorial written by Richard Barry. The piece asserts that 20-plus years ago the state took 18.2 percent of all money spent on gasoline for itself. The reasoning being that since the cost of gasoline went up, the amount of tax paid should go up proportionally. The piece further supports the need for additional taxation by asserting that the volume of gas purchased in New Hampshire has decreased for a number of reasons: more fuel-efficient cars, more hybrid cars and people are driving less. Tax raisers lament that without an increase in the fee, the amount of revenue the gas tax provides actually goes down each year. To which I say, it should.
We do not need a gas tax hike. We need less governmental spending and an increase in disposable income for the people who live here. The article fails the logic test. The largest reason the price of gas went up is that the Secretary of Energy tried to force it up to $7 a barrel for political reasons. The price rise was uncoupled from inflation and general pricing. And if we are buying less gas because we are using more efficient vehicles which are lighter they wear out the road at a lower rate. And if we are using less gas because we are traveling fewer miles then we should require less highway maintenance due to less usage. And if we are traveling fewer miles it is because we are poorer and doing less business. And if we are using other fuels then we should be getting the highway taxes from those other fuels not from gas. What we have here is a lack of legislative perspicacity.
A different state representative responded by explaining that without a gas tax increase the choices are: no snowplowing on almost all roads, many bridges closed, or in the alternative we can implement a 50 percent increase on car and truck registrations. Now that's leadership — make a straw man argument. Base the argument on false assumptions and make tax increase answer the only alternative. Please.
We all have budgets in which spending level is determined by income available, not the other way around. When we want something that is beyond our means it goes on the wish list. We must prioritize our spending. New Hampshire should, too.
The New Hampshire state budget is all smoke and mirrors. The state matches authorized spending to expected revenue. The system is laughable, constitutional, but laughable. There's no accountability or sense of personal responsibility to the results. That's why New Hampshire is the 49th fastest growing state in the nation, young people don't stay here and businesses don't come here.
Sorry, the time to tighten the belt is now. It is time to decide what's nice and what's necessary.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:19
To The Daily Sun,
After seeing what happened at the March 16 Alton selectmen's meeting, I feel compelled to write this letter.
Loring Carr put a motion to restrict all public input to subjects that are on the agenda for that meeting. The vote was 4 to 1 to pass the motion, with Mr. Wittmann the only "no" vote. When I questioned this rule change I was told that public input was a privilege, not a right, and could be taken away at any time.
Starting immediately, we, the citizens of Alton, must write a letter to the town administrator to get permission to speak on subjects other than what is on the agenda.
"Public participation in the board's regular meetings is a privilege that the board has adopted in order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board and bring matters to its attention may be heard."
This statement is written in the rules governing selectmen's meetings from the town website. I feel it is our right and duty to speak. It should not be a privilege given by the people we elect to represent us. If we do not have the right to free speech, what do we have left?
I feel it is time for the citizens of Alton to call for a public meeting of Selectboard to change this statement from privilege to speak, to right to speak on any subject.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:42
To The Daily Sun,
L.J. Siden is at it again, demanding I prove my opinions are my opinions. Okay LJ, I'll call on all the readers who regularly read my letters to attest that what I think is what I believe. There you go L.J., enough?
I was watching TV news the other day and James Carvel and another well known liberal lady, whose name escapes me at the moment, were mutually agreeing that Hillary Clinton has not broken any laws or rules over her e-mail operation. Turning the channel to Fox I see a couple retired judges hosted by a lawyer who arrive at an opposite conclusion. They site Form SO109, which they say all State Department employees leaving the service of the government must sign, swearing under oath that they have given over to the department all communications (which includes personal ones) to be reviewed by the department. That person can request personal e-mails to be returned. The discussion went on for a time and the conclusion was that Mrs. Clinton violated federal law by having personal servers in her home, owned by she and Bill, which contained government communications and which were not turned over at her time of departure from State. Guess Carvel and company didn't settle the issue after all.
So many Democrats are expressing their doubts about the legality and ethics of Mrs. Clinton actions, I'm guessing this story is not over. Many Clinton excuse-rs are on the march to brand this "a vast right-wing conspiracy". Once again they omit that it was The New York Times that broke the story in the first place. Along with this story the Washington Post broke the story that millions and millions of dollars have been donated to the Clinton Foundation by Middle East nations (see WP for list). Every one of these Muslim nations abuse, denigrate, and violate women's rights, and human rights as part of their culture. The Post asks how can Hillary accept money from these people and still stand up and say she is a leader for women's rights? This while acting as our Secretary of State. What was the quid pro quo?
Poor Hillary, it's just one big question after another, year after year, decade after decade. Her supporters never seem to be bothered by it, but will independents finally have enough of her "poor me" act? Her speech the other day "explaining" the personal servers in her home and wide-eyed innocence belies the fact that she's been in Washington, forever it seems, and knows all the rules. Just thinks those rules, and laws, don't apply to her though, too inconvenient?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:39
To The Daily Sun,
Well, now that spring has arrived and the snow is melting and the flowers blooming, I suppose we will also have the billboard signs across from beautiful Hesky park in Meredith, advertising what is available on Main Street. I would think that by now, everyone knows what is on Main Street and if not, just drive up there — or walk.
I notice that as I get older with each birthday, different changes happen to my body. I noticed some liver spots. Well actually a lot of liver spots! Now, if they could only come together, I would probably have a wonderful tan all over and in the winter, people would think I had been to an island. I have, but it's called Long Island and it is in Moultonborough.
I also notice my skin changes, sometimes I might get a little pimple or two but I don't worry about that because my wrinkles hide them. There are some advantages to getting old and one of them is getting old. I was dusting the shelves in my dining room and there is a wedding picture of me and my husband — or my husband and I, whichever you prefer — and I almost didn't recognize myself. How time does fly and believe me it does. So to all you "old folks" out there, God bless you. To the young ones out there, just come to the local hangout, listen to our stories and have a good laugh. Happy Easter to all.
Barbara J. Perry
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
I've stated before that the Department of Fish and Game is in the throes of an $3.5 million shortfall in their 2015-16 bi-annual budget and expects to get a $1.5 million bailout from the state's general fund. So where is the rest of the money to come from?
The House Finance Committee's proposed HB-2, directs the department to raid dedicated funds. The proposed budget requires Fish & Game to use the Wildlife Habitat Account, RSA-214:1,F and the Fisheries Habitat Account, RSA 214:1,G, "to support staff costs, wages, salaries, benefits and other expenses of the department employees."
These two accounts are in place for the "management, preservation, conservation, restoration and maintenance of wildlife and fisheries habitat on both public and private lands" with 50 percent of the annual revenue to be dedicated to pay the cost of labor and materials for direct Wildlife and Aquatic management activities. Any remainder of funds in these accounts is to be used for the acquisition of private land to protect critical wildlife and fisheries habitat.
In addition, the $5 boat registration surcharge that is intended for the purposes of the statewide public boat access program, RSA 233-A:13, will now go to offset the operating expenses of the department and its employees.
None of the monies from these three accounts was ever intended to be used to "fund" staff or operating expenses. By diverting this money from its intended purposes the department fails in its primary mission and we might as well change the name to the Department of semi-public Bait Hunting and Fishing Employee Support Fund.
This is just another Band-Aid solution, what happens in the 2017-18 bi-annual budget? What other programs will be gutted?
Eric T. Rottenecker
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:33