Monday, October 05, 2009

Countdown to 2010: What’s at stake?

Here’s a scenario for you to ponder.

You’re the head of an average household in New Hampshire, working hard in these troubling economic times to provide your family with life’s bare essentials.

You’re living paycheck to paycheck, but you’re making it. Your wife and kids are healthy. You’ve got food on the table and a roof over your heads.

Then, one day, you wake up and decide you need a new speedboat, a home theater system, and a tropical vacation. So, you head out with your credit card and blow through your credit limit in one afternoon. The boat looks great sitting in your driveway. Movie night at home is now a weekly tradition. And, the whole family is tanned and relaxed.

You’re happy…or so you think.

Then, the bills come due.

You’ve now racked up a seemingly insurmountable pile of debt, spending money you didn’t have. Creditors are calling. You need to pay off that credit card fast, or suffer for years to come with a tarnished credit rating.

Acting out of fear and desperation, one morning, you wait until your next-door neighbor goes to work, jimmy open a window by his back deck, make your way upstairs and empty out his wife’s jewelry box.

At the local pawn shop, the clerk becomes suspicious, calls the police, and you are arrested and charged with breaking and entering, burglary during the daytime, and possession of stolen property.

You are now looking at a possible felony conviction on your record and five to seven years in prison.

It’s too bad you’re not a Democrat state legislator in Concord.

You see, when they spend beyond their means, rack up a mountain of debt, and then force you and your neighbors to pay for their recklessness it’s called “being a good, progressive Democrat”.

The Democrats in Concord have increased state spending by more than 25% over the last two years, while introducing or increasing dozens of taxes and fees forcing the taxpayers to pay for their fiscal malfeasance. I have yet to meet anyone in New Hampshire whose household spending has increased by the same margin since the Democrats took majority control in January of 2007.

Well, they’re still coming up short on their balance sheet, and it comes as no surprise to those of us who have been paying attention that the Democrats are entertaining the notion (once again) of enacting a statewide income or sales tax.

The prospect of such a tax becoming reality here in New Hampshire illustrates, better than anything, the fork in the road ahead and the perils that await us if we, the voters in this state, make the wrong choices over the next 13 months.

This goes way beyond being a simple matter of bringing revenue to the state coffers to close this so-called “budget crisis”. This goes way beyond merely increasing the tax burden of New Hampshire residents to cover up reckless spending going on in Concord.

This is about the irreversible, and wholly intentional, restructuring of our system of state government.

What the Democrats are trying to do is take control of people’s tax dollars away from the taxpayers at the local level, where such control belongs, and funnel it upward to a centralized system of taxation and spending.

Currently, the bulk of New Hampshire residents’ tax burden comes from local property taxes, and is controlled at the local level where residents have control over how much they’re taxed and how those tax dollars are allocated.

When taxation and spending are controlled at the local level, it’s the people who are in charge of their money and their communities. When that power and control are shifted upward to a centralized state government, and away from the cities and towns in the state, the damage caused is twofold.

Not only will it result in a loss of economic freedom for the taxpayers, but it would open the floodgates for outside lobbyists, corporate special interest groups, and labor unions looking to set up shop in New Hampshire and corrupt our state government in exactly the same way they have all across the country, most notably in our neighboring state to the south.

The Democrats would like nothing better than to take our current system of state government and turn it on its head. Of course, if they were to accomplish that, the next step would be to do away with our voluntary legislature and call for full time salaries for state lawmakers – with full benefits, expense accounts and pensions, of course. After all, it would be a lot of work to distribute all this new found “wealth”.

I moved up to New Hampshire from Massachusetts in December of 2006 for the sole purpose of getting away from such a top-heavy, inefficient, and over-bloated state government. It’s time the voters in New Hampshire are made aware of what’s really going on in the State Capitol Building these days. The path we’re currently on is unsustainable and, if left unchecked, will lead us to economic ruin.

It’s time for the Republican Party in New Hampshire to step up to the plate and say “Enough is enough!”.

It’s time for the Republican Party to once again stand proud as the party of limited government, common sense, and respect for personal and economic freedom.

It’s time we band together and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do what’s needed right now, and in the months and years to come, to preserve our unique New Hampshire way of life.

It’s time to choose.