NH Democrats Love/Hate Relationship with the Most Recent Republican State Budget

NH Dems want credit for a Republican suplusDemocrats railed on Republicans and mercilessly chided them to spend-spend-spend in 2013, but they wouldn’t do it.   In the end the Democrats caved, more or less duplicating the previous ‘O’Brien Budget’ with some minor cost-of-living adjustments.

Democrats got nothing they really wanted, but after they swallowed that bitter pill the only think left to do to save face (seeing as they were running the NH House) and to try and take credit for it as a bi-partisan effort and hope that when it failed they could let the shelf life expire on the bi-partisan part and smear Republicans for their failed budget.

Well the results are in.  Less spending produced more revenue.  The budget is officially in surplus (again) to the tune of $76 million.

Democrats can’t smear Republicans for passing another O’Brien budget so instead they are taking credit for a surplus from a budget that had none of their spending priorities in it, and none of their new taxes. (Hint: That is why there is a surplus.)

And, of course, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan is out front accepting accolades she does not deserve.

The union leader sums the act of fraud better than I could…

Hassan’s spin: Who created the state surplus?

Again Gov. Hassan is taking credit for spending cuts she opposed.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is shamelessly spinning the state budget — again.

When Hassan was Majority Leader in the state Senate, she led the crafting of two state budgets. Those budgets raised state spending by about 24 percent in just four years. Even with the dozens of tax and fee increases, those budgets were in the red, so Hassan and Co. borrowed — increasing state debt by $285 billion, or an astronomical and unprecedented 43 percent in four years — and shifted accounts off budget to give the appearance of balance.

When the inevitable happened — a $300 million shortfall in the budget Hassan had laughably called “balanced” — Hassan blamed the economy. But Republicans had warned all along that the spending would far outpace economic growth and would have to be cut. Gov. John Lynch was forced to make the cuts Republicans had predicted, bringing spending closer to levels Republicans had initially proposed and Hassan had opposed. Running for governor, Hassan claimed credit for those cuts.

The state just finished fiscal year 2013, and the current budget is $76 million in surplus. That is because Republicans in the previous Legislature undid the Hassan-Lynch spending spree and Republicans in the current Senate forced Hassan and the House to keep spending significantly lower than the governor had proposed.

Hassan strenuously opposed the previous state budget and the Senate’s proposal this year (which became this year’s budget almost entirely), both of which she called reckless, irresponsible and cold-hearted. Yet now she takes partial credit for the surplus created by the budgets she opposed, saying in a statement that “A strengthening economy and sound fiscal management from state agencies resulted in a strong surplus.”

No, the surplus is the result of spending decisions she opposed, ridiculed and derided. During next year’s gubernatorial race, look for her to continue taking credit for a budget that was balanced in spite of, not because of, her own actions.

Call NH Republicans what you want, they understand living within your means and establishing budgets that have some sense of the economic climate.

Democrats spend first and Tax later, then tax more and more.  There is no such thing as too much revenue, even though that money comes out of your pockets, those of your employers, and customers. Democrats only care about making the state budget bigger.

We watched New Hampshire Democrats do it for four years running.  If it were not for 2010 we’d up to our eye-balls in debt and looking at broad based taxes.  And the end result of that is always less overall revenue, more debt, accounting gymnastics, crazy late-night decisions like the tent-tax, LLC-tax, selling land for a sum though no one knows what land, where or to whom, cost down-shifting onto towns and cities….and that just accelerates us down a path toward even higher  taxes, economic slowdowns, and back-sliding.

The Republicans deserve all the credit for this surplus.  But there is one “surplus” Governor Hassan can take credit for from her first year in office.  It is her surplus of  miscues and legislative failures.   But $76 million…that is awfully close to the invisible $80 million Hassan imagined from casino licenses–minus the casinos, crime, gambling addiction, and loss of local control, oh–and the fact that her plan wasn’t legal yet.   So she’ll be clinging to the party meme that she “is” responsible and that is fine.  We will be more than happy to revisit every example of how she is not, and why, in detail.

One more point.  Naturally, the Democrats are anxious to spend it all….the surplus I mean, and none of their spending priorities include giving back to the people who actually earned it or using it to offset the next budget to give relief to those whom they are supposed to serve.  We’ll need to look to the Republicans to defend us on that point.  Again.

Sorry- Two points.  Democrats might decide that this is proof that the budget WAS to low, but that is a fanciful notion which ignores the laws of commerce and human nature.  Higher taxes inevitably reduce revenue and bigger budgets suck resources from the state retarding free-market innovation, employment and growth–which is what produces budget surpluses.

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, politicians, campaigns, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok