No change in Democrats' ways
From the Union Leader:
Rep. Sherman Packard of Londonderry is the House Republican leader.
In a recent column Terie Norelli, speaker of the New Hampshire House, did an excellent job of co-opting a philosophy that House Republicans have been espousing for three years -- one of low taxes and decreased spending. The speaker of the House claims she is concerned with "striking a delicate balance between protecting services and taxpayers," and yet she has stood by the last three years as general fund appropriations, i.e. spending, have increased by almost 25 percent under her leadership as the deficit continues to grow.
When she wrote, "we were able to increase aid to communities," was she forgetting about the $50 million in general revenue sharing or the $15 million in rooms and meals revenue sharing that were reduced by Democrats? Did she intentionally overlook the $131 million that Democrats downshifted to the cities and towns -- a move that severely impacted the local property taxpayer?
When Speaker Norelli talks of "working hard to craft a responsible budget," is she intentionally overlooking the more than 40 taxes and fees that Democrats either created or raised to pay for their so-called "responsible budget"? They increased the rooms and meals tax, including a 9 percent tax on campers; they created a new tax on gambling winnings, a new tax on small business and increased vehicle registration fees, among others. Their mantra of "let's increase spending and then create more taxes to pay for it" has to stop.
In the midst of a major recession when families are feeling the pinch in their personal budgets and when most other states reduced their budgets by an average of 2.5 percent, New Hampshire Democrats chose to increase state spending by more than 6 percent. In tossing the word "responsible" around, was Speaker Norelli forgetting the more than $400 million in one-time money they relied upon to balance their budget -- money that quite simply won't be there when we sit down to craft the next budget?
When she mentions the Republicans' "simplistic" offer of across-the-board cuts, what she fails to point out is the fact that House Republicans offered specific reductions in departments that submitted requested budget data and across-the-board cuts in those that refused to cooperate.
In November 2006, the people of this state handed the Democrats control of the State House for the first time in several generations, and in just three years, we find ourselves faced with a half-billion dollar deficit as a result of what they term "a responsible budget." We have witnessed drastic fiscal and policy changes that have placed our state into such a large fiscal hole that we find ourselves on the brink of having to enact an income tax. It should come as no surprise that both Speaker Norelli and Rep. Susan Almy, the chairman of House Ways and Means, recently reintroduced the idea of an income tax into the public forum.
It is clear that whoever is in charge of the budget the next time around will start with over a half billion dollar deficit because of the use of one-time money and the excessive spending by the Democrats. As we move forward, the people of New Hampshire can be assured of only one thing: The Democrats' solutions to the problems facing our state will be "more of the same" and will only serve to create an even larger deficit, destroying what has made our state so special. Hopefully the people of New Hampshire are done being fooled.