As a member of a household or the owner of a business, you know that you cannot spend more money than you earn. The government has to operate the same way if it wants people to be prosperous. But the current representatives serving in Concord at large and about half of your current Derry representatives (both of the Democrats and some of the Republicans) have said the state has “a revenue problem” and want to take more of your hard-earned dollars. I emphatically disagree with that approach. It’s a philosophy that is irresponsible in healthy economic times and downright destructive in troubling economics times like we have today.
Clearly, the state has a spending problem. And when the state spends too much of our money, it always leads to new and higher taxes like we’ve seen with the LLC tax and an increase of car registration fees. Increased taxes dampen and depress economic activity in general, which further burden families and businesses, making it harder for them to make ends meet. Increased taxes also lead to the destruction of jobs as we move toward a less vibrant economy. But we need more jobs, more opportunity and not just balanced personal and business budgets, but prosperity. To achieve this, we need to cut taxes and costly regulations.
I am opposed to a personal income tax, the business enterprise tax, the business profits tax and a general sales tax, and I am in favor or reducing other taxes and fees that burden families and businesses so that we can all grow, prosper and promote the New Hampshire Advantage.
In order to cut taxes, we need to cut spending. According to the Center for Public Policy Studies, the Legislature has voted to increase average compound spending by 14 percent during the last 20 years. For example, the Legislature supported $3.2 billion of spending during the 1990-1991 budget, $5.5 billion of spending during the 2000-2001 budget and is now supporting $11.6 billion of spending for the 2010-2011 cycle.
Because of this spending, the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies says the state will have a $100 million budget deficit for 2010-2011. The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy expects the budget deficit for 2010 alone to be $171 million, giving us a two-year budget deficit of $250 million to $300 million for 2010-2011.
This current level of irresponsible spending and excessive taxation cannot continue if we expect to keep New Hampshire free. We must keep spending low, so we can reduce taxes and attract businesses and families to the state, stimulate job creation for the folks already here and those who might relocate, and build a more prosperous and stable state for everyone.
In detail, here’s what I’d like to do:
- Perform an audit of all state departments to determine which programs and employees are excessive, redundant, unnecessary or unconstitutional, and eliminate them. Post the results of the audit online for the public. Thoughtful spending-cut suggestions will become commonplace.
- Require zero-based budgeting, under which state department heads would build each budget from zero. Under this system, state department heads would have to justify every expense and would no longer be able to use the previous budget cycle as a spending baseline.
- New Hampshire currently has one of the worst corporate tax rates in the country, which is causing businesses to flee the state. We must reduce the Business Enterprise Tax and the Business Profits Tax to attract new businesses and jobs back to our state.
- Enact a state constitutional spending cap amendment that forces the legislature to spend only what money is available and cut other spending using a prioritized list.
- Return any savings to the people of New Hampshire by further tax cuts or repeal of existing taxes. Repeal all tax and fee increases passed by the Democrats over the past six years that have grown government, such as the gas tax and car registration fees.
- Privatize each state office, service, and function that can possibly be privatized.
- Enact right-to-work legislation and eliminate collective bargaining for public employees. Bring state employees’ salaries and benefits in line with the private sector, including the far-too-generous state pension system.
- Pass a state constitutional amendment to prohibit a state income tax or state sales tax.
- Require grant recipients to annually state their purpose, set a target success rate (depending on the program), list the cost per person assisted and report their success rate so successful programs can be rewarded and failing programs can be eliminated.
If you’d like more information about Andrew J. Manuse’s candidacy for State House, Rockingham 5, or about a particular issue, please call Andrew at 603-703-8857, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.andrewmanuse.com. Please contact me only if you want information about my campaign; do not contact me with sales or marketing pitches.