In response to your editorial last week, I submit:
Governor Lynch, the “cuts” you have made in the out of control State spending budget in New Hampshire are akin to slicing one strand of hair from Rapunzel’s coiffure and calling it a crew cut. It’s Unfortunate, that during one of the worst economic times in America, when most States are respecting the harsh economic realities of people struggling, you have again, dug deeper into the pockets of ordinary citizens, stripping them of their personal financial security. Governor, even a fifth grader knows that if the Budget in the last cycle was $10.4 Billion, and the new Budget passed is $11.5 Billion, that sir, is no cut. By way of comparison, when you assumed office the State budget was approximately $8.9 Billion and the current budget of $11.4 Billion shows you have increased State spending 30% since you have gained office. Hardly the promise of a responsible fiscal conservative as you commit to in your speeches.
Although readily acknowledging that State revenues are projected to retract to 2004 levels, one would think that you would reduce State spending to 2004 levels. After all this State is supposed to have a balanced budget. Instead, you have levied 36 new taxes and fees at an additional cost to New Hampshire tax payers of $300 Million Dollars, just this year alone. And then cost shifted significant amounts down to local communities, further increasing individual challenges. When that wasn’t enough, you reached into the pockets of Doctors and Hospitals to illegally take their money too. You have shown that you are out of touch with the New Hampshire populous. When every working household and business is struggling to find a way to cut expenses to match a much lower level of income, you and the out of control leadership in Concord are pillaging the future of our State. Every responsible household and business understands that under this reduced level of income, expenses have to be cut. Luxuries given up and hard choices to be made. No-one wants to spend less money. No-one really wants to give up the things they have worked so hard to accumulate, but they understand that this is a different time and being frugal is important.
Today, the great people of New Hampshire are in crisis which is much greater than rising waters or wind-blown trees. At a time when over 55,000 people are presently un-employed and most others are underemployed, the State has ignored the cries for help. There was a time, not long ago, when New Hampshire was an economic powerhouse. Unemployment virtually non-existent, 20 different healthcare providers competing for business, economic opportunities for anyone willing to work. When social programs were designed to get people back up on their feet, not up off their feet. New Hampshire was a State that embraced small business and understood that the success of New Hampshire was based on the success of business. Now for the first time, our State population is shrinking, your own reports show an inability to attract and retain young workers.
If there was ever a time to face these challenges it is now. The Federal Governments’ Stimulus money to repave our roads will end when the weather turns cold, resulting in a significant jump in unemployment. We cannot count on the Federal Government to rebuild our economy; we have to do it ourselves. Our economy will only rebound when everyone has a job and those employed have the confidence to participate in the economy. We have to return this State to a self sustaining budget, to clear the way for business to succeed and provide gainful employment. If you are having a difficult time finding a way to cut the budget, please, reach out and I can bring as many small business owners and home owners as you have room for, to provide realistic cuts and efficiencies to the State Budget. It’s not necessarily about laying off State workers, as no-one wants or desires to be laid off during these times. Reportedly attrition of State employees due to retirement and or moving on is almost 1,000 per year. This in itself should provide an opportunity to retain those who are employed, while providing the ability to institute real meaningful efficiencies in State operations. Through realistic commonsense efforts we can have a win-win situation, where the cost of living in New Hampshire is reduced, yet opportunities for gainful employment exists.