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The Deficit

Where is the money going?

Ten years ago, our state population was 1.3 million people, and out state budget was $6.3 Billion. In 2010, our population was still 1.3 million people, and our state budget had exploded to $11.7 Billion. Additionally, we were projected to have an $800 Million budget deficit for the next cycle.

It is disappointing to know that we have doubled state spending with no increase in population. And despite the past administrations’ rabid attack on our wallets which created almost 100 new taxes and pulled over $750 Million in new taxes out of our pockets, Government was still holding out its hand, demanding even more of your hard earned dollars.

How do we fix it? It starts with my position that government has to live within its means and be frugal with your tax dollars.

Today, even after our successful reduction of the 2010-2012 budget where we reduced $1.2 billion dollars, we still have a government which spends too much, taxes too much and over-regulates to the point where it is inhibiting economic expansion. Our ability to fund government should not come from new or expanded taxes, but from an expansion of the economic base, combined with real world efficiencies.

The challenge I see with many politicians today is a lack of real world solutions. Merely creating budget cuts across the board does not solve our challenges. In fact, it only makes government try to do the same job, with fewer resources, setting up the perception of failure, resulting in backlash of political activists.

What we need to do is actually reform how government operates, for if we don’t, it will only ratchet spending back up to previous levels.

In New Hampshire, we have not taken a hard look at true reforms in over 30 years, and I believe it’s time. Beyond the fact that government spends too much, the real problem is it wastes too much, meaning it provides fewer services than it could with the revenues it has at its disposal.

We need to consolidate or eliminate some of the 68 separate agencies, force technology into the system to reduce waste (some of our agencies don’t even take charge cards today, forcing labor intensive manual operations for example), and create modern accountability systems to insure efficiency.

We can fix how government operates with the right people and the right ideas.

Starting with my legislation (SB92) which will cut nearly $300 million from the next budget (which we should send back to tax payers), to my efforts to streamline government operations and modernize processes, I want to save you money and make the interaction between you and government easier and more affordable. We also passed legislation last session requiring the state agencies to now submit smaller budgets, and Senators like me are forcing our government to find better ways to operate.

Being a small business owner, I know the government-run-wild approach of the past will not fix our problems of the future. We can fix it — and I will — with common sense and frugality, and a business-like approach to the administration of your tax dollars.

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