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The Shape Of Things To Come

As a lot of people noted gleefully, my own state of New Hampshire turned decidedly blue last election. The Democrats not only held the governorship (with my vote for Governor Lynch), they won both US House seats and picked up majorities on the Executive Council, the state Senate, and the state House. (I am convinced that the only reason both our US Senators are still Republicans is that neither Gregg nor Sununu were up for re-election in 2006.)

Well, how have things worked out since the Democrats took the reins of power?

One of the hallmarks of New Hampshire politics has been a staunch anti-tax platform. We are the only state with neither a sales nor an income tax, and most of us like that.

But that could be coming to an end.

There's a group of people pushing to rework the state's tax structure. The Boston Globe is lauding them, pointing out that the state has a $50 million deficit in the first year of our two-year budget. Obviously, something has to be done, and these people say that raising taxes is the solution.

I find myself wondering what the hell happened. Astonishingly, the Boston Globe answers that question. But they have to bury the info, lest too many people manage to put two and two together and come up with "Democrats."

Way, way down in the 12th paragraph, the Globe realizes it can't cover up the essential facts any longer:

The debate over taxes is the latest sign of political change in New England's most conservative state, where Democrats currently control both houses of the Legislature, and Lynch, a Democrat, is in his second term. Last year, some conservatives cringed as lawmakers approved a 17 percent state budget increase. Others marveled at the state's adoption of civil unions for same-sex couples.

That's right. Feeling their oats, the Democrats jacked up the state budget 17% (I've read it as 17.5% in other places, places I trust more than the Boston Globe, but even 17% is bad enough) in a single year.

After years and years and years of getting hammered as "tax and spenders" and derided and mocked and run down, the Democrats finally got swept into office in 2006. And as soon as they did, they spent the hell out of the state's coffers, and now need to jack up taxes to pay for it all.

This is "change," all right.

I've always thought that New Hampshire should serve as a model for the rest of the nation in so many ways. For once, I'm thinking we can serve not as an inspiration, but a warning.


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Comments (21)

*cough* Michigan *cough*</p... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

*cough* Michigan *cough*

MI is in a one state recession because of Democrats. Our governor ran on a "no new taxes" platform, got re-elected in 2006, then raised taxes and called it an "investment" in the state. Who in this state even cares? Absolutely nobody. I don't know to what extent the budget has been raised, but instead of trying to control spending in order to meet the budget needs, in typical liberal fashion, they just raised taxes.

If your state is headed that way, toward a budget shortfall like ours, hold on to your wallets, jobs, and anything else you consider valuable because the democrats are coming for it.

Well Michigan's last electi... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Well Michigan's last election was odd. Not a freaking peep about the State's budget trouble from any of the media outlets. Two months after the election, we're officially in a crisis.

Michigan's problem isn't increasing spending as much as deteriorating tax base and the government living in a bubble that they don't have to cut employees nor trim employee benefits and salaries. I'd say they'd have to cut services but when I look around at the taxes paid and the services obtained, I'd say they were cut a long time ago.

I don't know all the facts ... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

I don't know all the facts on my state, but it is obviously in a state of decay. Even though people are leaving the state, they still raise the budget leaving more of a tax burden on the people who do stay here. Instead of reducing taxes and providing a climate where businesses can flourish, they raise the taxes and ultimately make the choice an easy one for residents and for businesses. Get out of MI.

You're right jpm, our legislators and governor live in a bubble, and Granholm thinks she can just talk and tax her way out of a one state recession. Not gonna happen.

I will say though that we are getting what we deserve here for re-electing a smooth talking liberal into office who can make promises and not keep them once elected. I wish they would have shut down the government in the ridiculous "budget crisis" this past fall.

I work with a bunch of 20 y... (Below threshold)
John S:

I work with a bunch of 20 year-old kids here in NH. They all voted Democrat in 2006. They will be really annoyed once they figure out they just voted themselves an 6 percent pay cut. This in a state that has some of the lowest salaries north of Alabama.

Add to that a massive federal income tax increase from the Muslim Messiah in the middle of the worst recession since 1974 and I'm guessing Republican fortunes will improve by 2012.

These kids barely remember President Clinton. And this generation typically starts their career with $40,000 college loan debt. Unfortunately, they're about to relive the 1970s and learn what inflation, unemployment, and Jimmy Carter means.

As an ex-Michigander, I can... (Below threshold)
epador:

As an ex-Michigander, I can clearly state there's no need to be the next poster child for what the Nanny State can do to your economy. PLEASE, NH, resist the Dark Side and come back to the Rebel Alliance while there is still time.

Put a fork in it, its done.... (Below threshold)
Gary-FL:

Put a fork in it, its done.

Yup, there is a reason I no longer live in New England. The sad thing is that as their economies tank up north these same people move south and vote for the same things down here. I personally blame the baby boomers. Bunch of dirty hippies...

:-P

Perhaps the Democrats will ... (Below threshold)
capital L:

Perhaps the Democrats will ruin NH so completely that Republicans will sweep back into power-- or so the argument goes.

Good luck undoing the government increases though.

"vocal group of dissenters ... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"vocal group of dissenters says the tide has turned against flinty tradition"

Yes because TRADITION can be so flinty, unlike euphoric PROGRESS....

"There has been a sea change in the political climate of New Hampshire"

Seems to me that dissenters against flinty tradition, and "sea change" equals massholes bringing libtarded way of life to NH.

I also interpret "people who were perfectly happy with the status quo 10 years ago aren't happy today" to mean Mr. John Q Liberal was perfectly happy in his Brookline condo 10 years ago, and now wants to bring that same warm fuzzy tax and spend bullshit to his new home in NH.

To ALL native NH residents..Respond to these loud mouth losers in ALL town halls. They are loud, ignorant, annoying, and persistent. Ignoring them will not work, they are like weeds you have to destroy them or they will keep coming back..
Save your state.....

Listen up, NH - I'm only 20... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Listen up, NH - I'm only 20 minutes from your border, next door in Maine, where our motto is: "Second-Highest Taxes in the US of A, but Striving for Number One". I shop and buy gas over there, so don't mess it up on me!

Its kind of funny how liber... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Its kind of funny how liberals ruin a place then move to where its still OK and ruin that too. Endless cycle.

jpm, in a sense you are say... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

jpm, in a sense you are saying they are like a disease?

Consume tax dollars, destroy lives and economies, move to the next area of prosperity, repeat.

I'm goin out west. To the ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

I'm goin out west. To the desert. Not too many tree huggin pinkos out there...too many cacti...

Ya wanna talk stupid libtar... (Below threshold)
Dr. Dean:

Ya wanna talk stupid libtards? Well I'm from California and our libtards are stupider than your libtards! We have a bigger budget shortfall in actual dollars or even per capita! Hah! Beat that you right coast lightweights.

For what it's worth, guys, ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

For what it's worth, guys, I live in Utah. The state legislature is 80% Republican, and the governer is too. We are one of the top 5 highest taxed states the union.

As a comparison, the libera... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

As a comparison, the liberal bastion "Taxachusetts" clocks in at #29 for tax year 2007, and New Hampshire is 49th. Maybe what Jay Tea is talking about hasn't taken effect yet.

Liberals = economic locusts... (Below threshold)

Liberals = economic locusts

jpm you are right, the sad ... (Below threshold)
just me:

jpm you are right, the sad thing is I don't think they realize they are the desease.

Perhaps the Democrats will ruin NH so completely that Republicans will sweep back into power-- or so the argument goes.

And at that point, will there be anything left to salvage?

I remember voting for Lynch thinking he wasn't so bad, but I quickly discovered he wasn't so bad, because the state house was controlled by the GOP.

Big picture, People get the... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Big picture, People get the government they deserve. Side effect, the rest of us have to pay for it.

I'm from Georgia, which as ... (Below threshold)
From GA:

I'm from Georgia, which as many of you probably know was once part of the "Solid South." Folks here were once staunch, albeit conservative, Democrats. Well actually, they still are in spirit, but they call themselves Republicans. It's kind of fashionalbe to be a member of the party of the rich, especially when the GOP is more than happy to give a wink and a nod to more base sensibilities of our most ignorant citizens.

Our geovernor, Sonny Purdue, was a life-long progressive Democrat until the political wind changed and the only way to get elected is to run as a Republican. He still governs like a Democrat in most regards, but he heals to the party line when it comes to snuggliing up to the business community as it it were a five dollar whore. Most of the older Republican members of the legislature are the same.

Here's what is happening in Georga as a result of the republican take-over. They make a lot of noise about "no new taxes" and, indeed, they have not increased our statewide sales or income taxes (which are some of the lowest in the nation). But they keep cutting back on services and funding local projects and services. You know, the little things like our already substandard school system. The more wealthy counties, such as those in metro Atlanta have been forced to increase property, ad valorum and local option sales taxes to make up the short fall. Our taxes are still going up, but the Republicans in the legislature don't have to take the hit for it and get to crow about their fiscal responsibility. The poorer counties, which do not have large tax bases? Well, they just get to do without. How many books does a rural school system need anyway.

Since the Republicans took over, the illegal Hispanic population has exploded. No one knows for sure how many are actually in the state. Estimates range from 700,000 to thre million. Based on the shear numbers of them in metro Altanta, I'd say the number is somewhere north of three million. What we do know is that if you are a white or black Georgian trained for semi-skilled or skilled jobs, you can't get one ot them. Restaurant workers, construction workers, carpenters, brick masons, factory workers, you name it, are all Hispanics. The cost of products and services haven't gone down at all, though quality certainly has. So profits are soaring at the expense of the citizens of Georgia. The Governor and legislature pay lip service to the illegal immigration problem, but they aren't taking any action.

And then there is the blight of the developers. Since the GOP took over, planning and zoning has become an "isn't it pretty to think so" thing. Land use plans have been radically altered in favor of dense development. Nothing and no place is sacred. If it can be developed, it will be. Even our pristine and beautiful mountains are being morphed into retirement villages and golf resorts. Only the National Forests are safe and pressure is being placed on the USFS to allow "limited" development in those. If a delveloper wants something, all he has to do is pad the right pocket. This happened when the Republicans were still calling themselves Democrats, of course, but then the practice was known as corruption. Today is known as "progress." Once, such business was conducted in backroom deals. Today they are it is conducted in front of the cameras. It's hard to tell where government ends and business starts sometimes.

There are still progressive Democrats in out government, but they can't get much accomplished. The new GOP cares only about the God Almighty Dollar and obtaining more of them is all that matters. So New Hampshire, the Democrats may change a few things. They may even put some taxes on you, but give them a chance. They can be infuriating at times, but they really do care about the people's well-being.

Anyone want to come to Minn... (Below threshold)
Jon B:

Anyone want to come to Minnesota the land of the largest tax increase ever and one of the top taxed states in the US now?

We had a large surplus last year. Where did it go? We elected Democrats...hmmm. Now they raise taxes without a vote which is unconstitutional in this state. I feel for NH, get used to it, it doesn't go away for a long time.

JayI'm just wonder... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Jay

I'm just wondering one thing- where you gonna move to next?

;-)




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