White’s successes troubling for NH
To the Editor:
I read Sen. Ray White’s view of the past legislative session with great interest. I found his list of “successes” very troubling.
This budget is extremist – perhaps the most ideological of any budget in the history of New Hampshire. It was balanced exclusively on the backs of those most hurt by the recession, when their needs are greatest. It targets the poor, the disabled, police, firefighters and teachers.
Many programs eliminated were matched by federal dollars – we lost almost $500 million in federal dollars. New Hampshire used to get back about 83 cents on every dollar we paid in federal taxes. We are more of a “donor state” after these foolish cuts.
This budget is a disaster for New Hampshire. It destroys hundreds of jobs in legal services, in education and health care. It demonstrates the callousness of our newly elected legislators in their eagerness to please out-of-state lobbies.
It is a budget balanced by knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Donor towns and teacher performance look trivial in the face of the unprecedented slashing of funding to the university system by 48.3 percent. Further, White was one of only six senators who voted to lower the dropout age to 16. Life is very difficult for those without adequate education; it is no coincidence that 80 percent of our prison population has no high school diploma.
Deadly force – a frightening term, and it should be. Now every Elmer Fudd can carry a loaded gun almost everywhere, and feel empowered to start shooting whenever he feels threatened. Cut the justice budget, police salaries and pensions, and what is the successful solution? Self-deputized, untrained Barney Fifes with concealed weapons, itching to protect us with unchallengeable deadly force? Public shootouts?
The pension system is in trouble because employers were excused from paying their contributions back in the ’90s when the market was so good. The employees had no such relief. Whoops! Markets do go up and down, and those missing employer contributions are now necessary to fund pensions. The solution: make employees pay more!
Cut the price of cigarettes. Give tax breaks and incentives to border convenience stores, so they can create more minimum wage jobs and more lung cancer. Add at least $50 million more in business tax write-offs. This kind of business-friendly policy will destroy the quality of life in New Hampshire, and turn us into the Mississippi of the North.
As for endorsements, Americans for Prosperity, dominated by the Koch brothers, is dedicated to eliminating regulation of the oil and gas industry, among other frightening objectives. The NH Liberty Alliance is closely tied to the Free State Movement and the Libertarian Party, hardly a traditional Republican support group.
White’s claims of success are hollow. All I see is failure: failure to acknowledge, let alone address, the serious problems in New Hampshire . Failure to build on the successful model we spent decades constructing, that made New Hampshire the most livable state in the nation. Failure to care for our most vulnerable citizens.
Dismantling our civil infrastructure so ruthlessly is not success: it deserves an F, not an A.