Friday, June 13, 2008

Overspending: A bad school aid plan

So often the Union Leader editorial board expresses a thought so well I wish I would have written it myself. The Union Leader is spot on with their assessment. Lynch et. al. are mortgaging our children's future dollars away. This irresponsible spending will only lead to an income tax and higher property taxes unless New Hampshire voters wake up, get educated and vote for fiscally responsible people at all levels of government.

Overspending: A bad school aid plan

Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

GOV. JOHN LYNCH'S inability to stop legislative overspending is getting tiresome.

On Monday, Lynch allowed a terrible school funding bill, which he opposes, to become law without his signature. As usual, he waited until the very last moment to make a decision, and it was the wrong one.

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The school funding plan is bad for lots of reasons. The most obvious is that it spends $180 million the state doesn't have. Spending money the state doesn't have is becoming a Lynch specialty.

Last year Gov. Lynch signed a state budget that raised general fund spending by $475 million, even though the state didn't have the revenues needed to meet the increase. That budget is now estimated to end roughly $200 million in the red.

In addition to overspending, the new school funding law brings back donor towns and gives the same base amount of money to each district, rich or poor, regardless of the district's need. Lynch opposes both of those bad provisions. But he let the bill become law anyway.

We remember a certain governor who managed to prevent legislators from overspending. He simply promised to veto any bill that raised taxes or spending. He ended up having to veto a state budget. But the state didn't collapse. Instead, legislators realized he meant business, and they fell in line. Runaway spending stopped cold.

That governor's name was Craig Benson. He was defeated by a fresh-faced former executive named John Lynch who promised to be just as fiscally responsible. Unfortunately, Gov. Lynch hasn't lived up to that promise, and the result is the biggest state budget increase in two decades and a school aid plan that overspends to the point that it sets us up for an income tax.

We're pretty sure Benson would have vetoed, or at least threatened to veto, this awful school funding bill, as Lynch should have done. Benson would have found a way to keep legislators from spending money the state doesn't have. Gov. Lynch said he would do the same. He just hasn't commanded enough authority in Concord to make it happen.

Quote of the Day - "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session." ~Author Unknown

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