More on NH Budgets, Surpluses, and Left-Handed Spending

by Steve MacDonald

I wanted to start with a snippet from Charlie Arlinghaus’ recent Column on the State Budget and surplus.  This clears up a few things I got wrong here about which budget the surplus came from that Hassan is taking credit for.  It was the First O’Brien Budget–the one that was to usher in the apocalypse.    Yeah.  It produced a $76 Million dollar surplus, proving once again–a point I always seem to get right–that Democrats are almost always wrong about spending and taxes, and continue to be  your worst enemy regardless of the economic environment.

From the UL

The state has just announced a surplus left over from the budget prior to the current one. New Hampshire’s two-year budget finishes up on June 30 of the next Legislature’s term, and the unaudited final numbers aren’t announced until October. So we just received a final report (actually semi-final, there will be slight changes to the audited number) on the budget passed in 2011.

You remember that budget. It reduced spending for the first time in two decades to make up for the gimmicks of prior budgets. The governor at the time refused to sign it and the current governor spent a campaign and most of the recent budget process talking about what a horrible, distasteful thing it was.

That was then. This is now. The governor now takes great pride in the “sound fiscal management” that has produced a $76 million surplus, the largest we’ve enjoyed since the $82 million Benson surplus announced eight years ago. Sadly the abuse of that Benson surplus looks to be our fate a decade later if we aren’t careful.

The Democrats are not the only ones to blame for spending the raining day fund or pilfering other dedicated funds for that matter.  There are plenty of progressive tax and spender in both parties who are inclined to jack-up spending, and the wave voters in the GOP tend to vote to spend and tax more when the Democrats are in the majority.

But on the whole the NH-GOP reps and Senators have been more cautious (historically) about using your money for state purposes.  They are not like the Jackie Cilley’s or Dan Eaton’s who set the tone for lefty-leadership when they say ‘we need to know how much we are spending before we look for revenue,’ or to “look to the sky for revenue to make all that Democrat Spending look affordable in their bloated budgets; the end result was debt spending, fiscal gymnastics, and a billions flushed away that we would never be able to replace without massive tax increases during a down economy.

There is no fore-though in left-handed accounting.  They just fill the cart with the cultural equivalent of progressive candy and when the bill arrives they hand it to the taxpayers.  The end result is higher fees and taxes, a near-constant destabilization of the wage-hiring-firing-benefits merry-go-round as cuts become policy to hide waste, fraud, and abuse.

It is one thing to attempt to make a cogent case for expanding the role of the state, win or lose, it is another to expand it willy-nilly just becasue you think you have the votes.  Democrats defer to the latter while making unproven claims of bureaucratic competence (forget whether the state should or even can do what they want it to) if you just part with a few more dollars.   But whenever you make promises with other peoples money–and government makes no other sort–you are guessing that either the cows you are milking will let you milk them, dry if need be, or that should they rebel and”jump the fence “that your police state will be capable of restraining any objection to keep the cash coming, or corralling them in before they run too far.

So the only guarantee they offer is that those paying will tolerate continued claims on their labor and incomes for the expansion of the state and all the responsibilities it insists that it alone can manage.  And that it can continue to fund those promises in perpetuity.

As of this date in human history this has never been done without the state resorting to force, essentially reducing everyone to slaves of their government one one side or the other, and dividing the society into a two class system.

Government’s “slaves” are different but still on the same side of the balance sheet as the Progressive politicians; rent-seekers incentivized to “stay” through political favor that advantages them (cronyism) or on the receiving end of entitlements they have been convinced they deserve or simply need to survive in what it probably a depressed economic climate that made them that way–a result of these or other progressive policies.

The combination of this progressive “spoils system” creates one of the biggest lies in politics–“that Progressives are out to fight for the little guy against big business”;  their system can’t survive on those terms.  They demand a few-well-heeled lap dog monopolies who are beholden to big government.   Creative destruction becomes planned destruction, reducing “competition” to single-player beneficiaries of government largess who move by the “rules” of the state just to stay in business.  The monopoly guarantees them income with little or no competition, results in increased cost, less access, lower quality, and a two-class system that divides the middle between the top and bottom.

Yes, I have wandered a bit far afield, but the ends are a product of the means.  Liberal Democrat fiscal policy leads to this foregone conclusion if not intercepted along the road to serfdom by tireless, unappreciated agitators, who do not see liberty as something to bargain away for a seat on the Democrats short bus to limited prosperity for the aristocracy.

It starts with progressive busy-bodies changing the law to allow them to spend what they should be saving; to disadvantage future generations in exchange for political capital today.   It always matters, whether it is a town budget, country state, or national.  Every dime they take is one you will probably never see again and it will not want for company.  If you do not stand firm on every effort to fritter your earnings away you will find yourself will less or none, at the mercy of the political class and their select companions at the top.  That is why the founders tried to make it as difficult as possible for the state to abuse your rights, the most important of which is the right to your person and the expression of labor in the form of property.

Government cannot exist without your stuff.  That is why it is your government, right up until they no longer fear an uprising from the rabble whom they must pilfer to stay ‘in business.’  It is why they want us disarmed, intimidated, and compliant.

And there is no liberty in any of that.

 

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