Monday, February 19, 2007

Lynch's big budget: More spending, more taxes

Our government and schools having a spending problem and not a funding problem. The more taxes/fees that get poured into the system the more difficult it will be in the future to fight tax and fee increases because more individuals will be feeding off the public trough. At the current rate of spending perpetual tax increases will be needed unless spending is controlled. It is time to contact your legislators and tell them to curb spending before we reach a point of no return.

The following editorial appeared in Sunday's Union Leader.

Lynch's big budget: More spending, more taxes

Announcing his record $10.2 billion budget last week, Gov. John Lynch said it "uses taxpayer dollars wisely to meet state government's most fundamental responsibilities."

If it did that, he wouldn't need to raise taxes and fees by roughly $111 million and raise millions more by expanding state lottery games, hiring more tax auditors and auctioning off moose hunting permits.

And whom does the governor tax? The poor!

He would raise $92 million by again hiking the cigarette tax, which falls mostly on low-income families. He'd raise another $4 million by creating a $30 scratch ticket for the state lottery, again taking money from low-income residents.

Gov. Lynch needs this revenue not to maintain state services, but to increase spending. He hikes general fund spending -- that's the portion paid for out of your state taxes -- by 15 percent. The total budget, including federal spending, grows by 9 percent, well above the rate of inflation.

And although he says he does this "to meet state government's most fundamental responsibilities," he does not. He puts $12 million into LCHIP, fully funding the popular land and historic conservation program (which we also like very much), while only partially funding the waiting list for people needing developmental disabilities services.

By contrast, Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen's proposed budget would eliminate the developmental disabilities wait list in two years, ensuring that everyone who needs those services gets them. Lynch opts to spend some of that money elsewhere and cut the wait list only by half. No doubt parents of children with developmental disabilities will be interested to find that Gov. Lynch would rather fund tourism advertising and land purchases than fully fund services for the disabled.

Gov. Lynch has always said that he would run a frugal and efficient state government. Instead, he's proposed four straight years of tax hikes and spending increases.

The worst part? This time around, he's got a Legislature even more eager than he is to tax and spend.

Quote of the day
"Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." Calvin Coolidge

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