Open Letter to Republican Members of the New Hampshire House

Emailed to the entire caucus, Wednesday Morning, 2-27-2013

Honorable Republican Representatives,

In the wake of the errant email in which NH Gas tax sponsor David Campbell (D-Nashua) reveals the true nature of his proposal, I wanted to take a moment to offer up some relevant observations.

Mr. Campbell remarked that his gas tax will provide a bounty (I’m paraphrasing) of revenue (taxation) for other purposes.  It matters not whether he was being glib or just honest.  The facts are these.

Two years ago the Democrat party majorities left the state with almost a billion dollars in spending for which there was no revenue in the following years.  They left that hole after adding to the state budget for four successive years–during a recession–and despite raising scores and scores of taxes and fees, and cramming costs down on towns and taxpayers.

This is not just about the gas tax or how the dollars will be spent so much as it is about Democrats, spending, and taxes.  There is no “enough.’  There is no limit to their plans for the expansion of the state.  There is not one of them who can tell you how much they need to pay for everything they think government should do because there are no limits to that which they believe government should do or how much of someone else’s money they will require to do it.

And the Democrats will call it whatever they must and claim it for whatever public good they think will get them what they are after, including Republican support as bi-partisan cover

It is critical that you challenge them to explain why it is more important to invest time in taking more from citizens in rough economic times than it is to double efforts to find additional savings in the existing costs of state government instead.  Are we to assume no such savings exist?  How did that state of being come to pass and who is responsible?  Could they have tried a little harder?

If it is so critical that we pass this tax and raise these funds, why give the bonus money to Fish and game, why not to relieve the desperation of the oft promoted mental health care crisis in our state or whichever other heart-string-tugging victim class is in line behind them?

If they already have other plans to fund those as well (with other taxes) exactly how much more of the taxpayers money do the democrats need?  The people are making sacrifices to get by. Raising the gas tax will only require them to make more cuts to their family budgets.   Before the state asks for another sacrifice shouldn’t government look to do the same before asking more from them?

It is my opinion that this is just another head-fake, using an existing need like roads and bridges, to convince (even scare) people into padding another line item in the budget.  Once (or if) an increased gas tax is passed, it will add millions to the budget every year no matter what the amount, or where it ends up, never to go back down again. That sum will be extracted from the state economy every year and dumped into the unproductive bureaucracy, only to become the new baseline for the next demand for more taxes without which the world will come to some pre-planned Democrat-narrative apocalypse which the previous increase (sadly) was insufficient to address our needs.

To quote the pop culture, “It’s a trap.

Do we need money for roads and bridges?  Of course we do.  But am I to believe that we can’t find a few million here and there in the current bureaucracy to tide us over until the economy improves?  If roads and bridges are so bad why not defer money the governor would give to UNH (which as we know is more than capable of raising millions in donations on its own) to make sure there are a few more roads and bridges for future university system students to travel on to get to and from school or work?

Where are our priorities?

The previous Republican legislature may have been the only political body to ever put these two issues in the proper perspective.   Why must the Democrat majority’s priority always be to take more from families and business owners first to solve the next perceived problem–which could be as simple as them seeing government as too small and doing too little?

Why are Republicans helping them?

The committee voted unanimously to increase the tax burden on Granite Stater’s.  They voted to let the government off the hook for austerity while demanding it of their constituents first.  That is how the last Democrat majority ruled and we grew the state budget by leaps and bounds, still came up empty everywhere we looked, and landed very close to their being able to make a case for one or more broad based taxes to pay for all that spending in future years.  And even that would have been just the beginning.

When times are good Democrats say “now is the time to grow the government.”  When times are bad Democrats say “now is the time to grow the government.”  When you agree, you are setting a precedent that government comes first, before the people.  Someone has to say no.  Someone has to say, before we burden our constituents even more, we need to take a harder look at cleaning our own house first.  We need to find more money internally.  We should look to growth policies that will add revenue from existing tax sources.

We should not ask more from them than we can sacrifice ourselves, not now.

Progressive tax and spender will balk, they may laugh, and they may even insist there is no place to cut.  Let them say it.  Make them say it.  Make sure you can quote them.

Depending on how you vote, I may well ask these same questions of you.  Please be prepared to respond.


Thank you for your time and attention.

About Steve MacDonald

Steve is a New Hampshire resident, blogger, and activist. A member of the 603 Alliance, NHCMP, NHRVC, LFGC, and the host of GrokTALK! Please Note: My opinions are my own and not those of my Family, employers, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok

  • C. dog e. doG

    Well done Steve. If I were a Republican, I would insist on a full accounting of gas tax distributions the past 10 years (maybe more if things look shady), a prioritized budget of capital expenditures (major bridge and major road repair), and on-going maintenance. I would also insist there be evaluations of current practices as compared to best practices to accomplish same. What do you bet there’s more than enough money to get us by, rather than build Taj MaRoads like I’ve seen south of Manch Vegas?
    – C. dog pretending to be a Real Republican™

    • nhsteve

      There are buckets of money laying around being wasted but no incentive to save them. No one wants their budget cut. State employees don’t want to pay for their own retirement or have to put more towards health benefits. The university system just wants more money, like any state organ.

      Yet all these things could loosen up millions for useful purposes. You can’t just keep whipping taxpayers every time you need a dime or a few million of them.

      By the way. Just heard today. A republican sponsor of this gas tax bill from Merrimack has changed his mind. He will no longer support it.

      • C. dog e. doG

        Regarding last sentence, things that make me go … hmmm. Any correlation Skip to a pithy post missing the post-hole :-)?
        – C. dog meteorologically springing for joy

        • granitegrok

          A post? No.

          A comment? hmmm…maybe….

          (looking sly)

          • C. dog e. doG

            Oh, so now you’re going to get cute on technicalities, eh, Post Meister? Don’t worry, I understand, and have seen the fruit of such forbearance. Wunder how many degrees of separation were involved to turn up the burner to a sufficient heat?
            – C. dog rejoined … cleverly

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