Are you better off than you were when John Lynch became Governor in January of 2005? If every voter asks himself or herself this question, it is hard to see how John Stephen can lose.
Granted some of us are better off than we were six years ago.
Bond traders are better off. One maneuver used by Lynch to hide the stratospheric budget deficit he has created was to borrow over $150 million to pay for current spending. That is like taking out a credit card in your kids’ names to make the payments on your car loan, but no doubt some bond traders made some good commissions at the future expense of our kids.
Violent criminals are better off too. They no longer have to serve their full sentences because, in an attempt to mitigate the budget deficit, Lynch signed a law that lets rapists, murderers and other violent criminals out of prison early.
And Lynch’s accountants, assuming they are paid by the hour, are better off too. Lynch’s $150 million in borrowing to pay for current spending is just one of the many accounting gimmicks Lynch has used to mask his out-of-control spending. Other ploys included crediting $80 million of federal education funding meant for the 2011 fiscal year to 2010 and overestimating revenues from projected sales of State assets. Indeed, Lynch’s smoke-and-mirrors accounting was so inventive that he was able to announce a $70 million surplus for the 2010 fiscal year.
The vast majority of us, however, are not…
…better off than we were six years ago.
Lynch has already increased taxes and fees on virtually every human activity. Eating-out, registering your car and even fishing are more expensive thanks to Lynch. All told he has increased over 80 taxes and fees. And that is on top of all of his accounting gimmicks and the hundreds of millions of federal bailout money that he has received.
When the bailout money ends next year, we are facing a potential deficit of between $500 million and $1 billion. When you won’t cut spending, that can only mean a broad-based income tax or sales tax or both. And if you believe that Lynch, with his track record of arbitrarily discarding campaign promises, will not turn to a broad-based tax or taxes to balance the books once he has made history by becoming the first four-time governor of New Hampshire, then you probably believe that there really is some bank account in Concord with $70 million of surplus in it.
Small business has particularly suffered under Lynch. Rather than being able to create jobs, small businesses had to spend most of the past year fighting off Lynch’s attempt to impose a new tax on limited liability companies that would act as a stealth income tax. And health insurance premiums have skyrocketed as Lynch has signed new mandate after new mandate after new mandate into law. Do you think you should have the choice whether to purchase insurance for stomach-stapling surgery? Lynch doesn’t.
Believe it or not, even government workers are worse off. Joshua Ruah an associate professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University rates New Hampshire as one of the worst state pension systems in the nation. In a little over ten years, it will run out of money.
A simple yet potent question defined the 1980 presidential campaign. During the campaign’s one and only debate, Ronald Reagan asked the American people to ask themselves when they went to vote whether they were better off than they were before Jimmy Carter became President. The answer, given Carter’s inability to deal with stagflation at home and his humiliations at the hands of the Ayatollah and the Soviet Union abroad, was an obvious no.
Thirty years later, here in New Hampshire the question is just as relevant and the answer is just as obvious. John Lynch has put us on the path to fiscal ruin. Our streets are less safe, health insurance costs more, and more of our money goes to pay for government that we do not want and do not need. Indeed, people have already begun to vote with their feet. Since 2007, more people have moved out of the State than have moved in.