Guest Blogs

Wednesday
Jan282015

Jim Rubens - New CBO Projection: $1.4 Trillion O’Care Deficit Spending by 2025 

New CBO Projection: $1.4 Trillion O’Care Deficit Spending by 2025

 

The Congressional Budget Office yesterday released its updated Obamacare net cost analysis:  $1.4 trillion over the coming eleven years, all of it borrowed and printed money. 
 
Obamacare costs (net of tax income) are divided about equally between $1.06 trillion for health insurance purchase subsidies and $920 billion in Medicaid expansion costs. This year or next, the New Hampshire legislature must decide whether to continue our state’s participation in Medicaid expansion, thereby burdening New Hampshire taxpayers with the risk that the federal government will be forced by currency or bond markets to curtail borrowing and printing and to welch on its promise to pay 90 to 100 percent of the $2.5 billion cost for our state through 2020.
 
The fiscal recklessness embodied in Obamacare must be restrained by two systemic reforms:
 
Ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution. Medicare Part D, Obamacare, Washington under either party cannot stop itself from promising more spending without paying for it. Congress has refused for decades to give a BBA to the states to ratify. So, it’s time for an Article V convention of the states to draft one for potential state ratification.
 
End the corrupt, crony capitalist campaign funding system.  Rather than implementing reforms to reduce America’s highest-in-the-world healthcare costs and using these savings to pay for expanded access, Obamacare was fashioned by entrenched special interests in the healthcare industry.
 
After the fight to pass Obamacare, PBS Frontline reported that healthcare industry (insurance and pharma) refused back Obamacare unless the President backed off his campaign promise for a “public option” (government run health plan), included the individual mandate to purchase private insurance, and continued to prohibit the federal government from negotiating lower prices for pharmaceuticals. Obama caved and to make this deal to pass Obamacare, the White House delegated then-Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who had taken over $440,000 in campaign contributions (2nd most in Congress after John McCain) from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries during the 2006-2010 election cycles.  
 
Howard Dean told Frontline, “There were two senior staffers in Max Baucus's office, one who used to work for United Health Care and one who used to work for WellPoint, who wrote the bill.” Forbes Magazine reports that Obamacare expected to increase pharma industry profits by $10 to $35 billion over ten years ending 2025.
 
If voters want a fiscally responsible Congress accountable to the people, we must demand an alternative to bought and paid for public policy. When they come to our state asking for your vote, ask the Presidential candidates what they will do to end this system corruption that gave us Obamacare and $1.4 trillion in new debt.

 

 

Jim Rubens

Wednesday
Dec312014

Jim Rubens - A Remedy for Bipartisan Political Corruption 

“A Rare Bipartisan Success” crowed the Wall Street Journal on passage of the $1.1 trillion Cromnibus spending bill, supported by House and Senate leaders Boehner and Reid, President Obama, and the New Hampshire Congressional delegation, other than Rep. Shea-Porter.

The bipartisan success is that Congress was once again able to duck its core obligation to craft a fiscally sustainable budget, adding another several hundred billion dollars to the nation’s credit card. Another bipartisan success is the gargantuan incumbent protection amendment snuck into the 1,603 page bill just hours before the House voted on the bill without reading it.

The amendment protects incumbents because a single donor and spouse can now give up to $3.1 million over each two-year election cycle to the national political party committees. The two parties and the entrenched incumbents they nearly always protect will now have even bigger war chests to fend off challengers. A small number of big-money donors with their usually narrow, self-serving agendas have now gained hammerlock control over our already bought and paid-for Congress.

Apologists claim that the mega-donor incumbent protection amendment is needed to offset the burgeoning mega-donor super PACs, ostensibly not controlled by the two parties. Having lost my primary against party-backed Scott Brown, I can testify with certainty that most super PAC money hews to the preferences of party leaders in the House and Senate.


Read More (as it appears in the Concord Monitor)

Friday
Dec192014

Speaker Jasper - Time to Get to Work For the People of New Hampshire

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/VtOLTKp5k70QT_b_dWXTh2dedWS5wiXat3NFpwNjMsvgwgX-aFoMqXT6YEG2hPIf-Hg_Wf3W6YXt2GOIzaC0jgK9fegH1a6GiFf1osIUHzCXfoZKrSgviOk-wg

Here in New Hampshire, we have long prided ourselves in having a truly representative government. We have the largest state legislature in the United States.  It is truly a citizen legislature made up of young and old, with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences.  With 400 house members, by its very design, we are meant to reflect the state we are all proud to represent.

While there has been much political analysis of my recent election as Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, it is with great humility and seriousness that I begin this new legislative session. It is about how best to serve the people of my hometown of Hudson and the state of New Hampshire. It is about taking the confidence expressed by a majority of my colleagues in the House, both Republican and Democrat, and working together to make our state a better place for our families.  It is about making New Hampshire a stronger place to start and grow a business, and assuring that the next generation of granite staters has even more opportunities to succeed.

For the past thirty-five years, I have been committed to public service at both the local and state level.  As a member of my town's Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen, I have always understood the need to make sure that hard earned tax dollars are used cautiously and with maximum benefit.  As a state representative for 20 years, I have always made it a point to listen, gather information and make informed decisions that would benefit my community and state.  There is never a shortage of well-meaning ideas, new programs to be offered or needs to be met.  But without strong stewardship by elected officials, government will always look to grow and consume more revenues.  I have made the tough decisions to keep spending in check , balancing wants with needs, throughout my career.  Through these efforts, I have been fortunate to earn the support of conservative minded groups because of my priority of low spending, from business groups for keeping regulations and impediments to their success out of the way and from law enforcement officials for supporting policies that keep our families and streets safe. It is a record grounded in conservative principles and carried out with a passionate understanding of the people I was elected to represent.

In New Hampshire, we face challenges that must be addressed.  The new biennial budget has built in deficits that must be overcome through sound management and a review of spending to see where we can generate further efficiencies.  We have an energy crisis produced by a lack of new supply that has rates for homeowners and businesses soaring to record heights. Without addressing the need for additional energy sources, we are leaving our families with the potential for overwhelming natural gas and electric costs and our business community at an economic and competitive disadvantage when compared to their peers in New England and across the country.  And while New Hampshire prided itself in leading our region out of times of recession, we are seeing our neighbors with stronger economies than ours, attracting new businesses and offering more opportunities for the next generation to find educational opportunities and jobs without migrating to another state.  These are all challenges that we must face together.  As elected officials, we are all entrusted with a temporary power to lead the state in problem solving. The problems don't require a Republican or Democrat solution.  They require a New Hampshire solution.

As Speaker, I pledge to make the next two years as productive as possible by working with those who are truly committed to public service.  Yes, I have my beliefs and am guided by conservative principles. But, I am excited about the opportunity to join with all 399 of my colleagues to do the people’s business and make sure we leave our beloved state of New Hampshire a better place than we found it.

 

Speaker Shawn Jasper

Wednesday
Oct292014

NH Rep O'Brien on Today's Tax Foundation Report 

Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Non-Partisan Tax Foundation Identifying New Hampshire as Third Worse in the Country for Business Taxes

In 2010 when the Republicans took back the majority in New Hampshire’s Legislature, Democrat tax increases during the preceding two, Democrat-dominated legislative terms had driven New Hampshire down to the bottom of all states in the country for business tax according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation.  New Hampshire had the highest business taxes in the country. We were number 50.
 
Republican fiscal reforms in the 2010-2012 legislative session paid off.  By 2013, New Hampshire jumped past four states and went from last in the nation – the state with the highest overall business taxes – to number 46. The signs looked good for more progress. 
 
Unfortunately, New Hampshire has experienced another two years of Democrats controlling the New Hampshire House.  According to the annual Tax Foundation survey released today, New Hampshire has now fallen back to number 48 and the signs are not good.*  With another two years of a Democrat House majority together with the most liberal Democrat governor in New Hampshire’s history, we will be back at the bottom again.
 
To know how harmful this huge tax burden is on businesses and job growth, we need only compare New Hampshire to Wyoming.  Wyoming’s business taxes are the lowest in the country and its economy grew 7.6% last year, over four times the national average. ** On the other hand, with about the highest business taxes, New Hampshire’s economy grew at 0.9% last year.  This is not only half the national average, but less than Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have lower business tax burdens.***
 
As a high business tax state, New Hampshire is losing ground.  If we shed that liability, we can have Wyoming’s additional 6.5% growth. In our $70 billion state economy that would be $4.5 billion more business and all the resulting jobs.  All we need to do is reduce state government spending and reduce taxes.
 
Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Democrats say we can’t afford to reduce taxes. Actually, we can’t afford not to reduced taxes.  We can’t afford to throw away $4.5 billion in growth and more each year because of a lack of fiscal discipline in Concord.  We need to reduce state spending so we can get the New Hampshire corporate tax rate of 8.5% below Massachusetts’ 8% and even New York’s 7.1% rate.  If we do that, businesses, jobs and our young people will be able to return and prosper to New Hampshire. And not just that. More tax revenue that will be more affordable will come in from a larger state economy.
 
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* http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index
**Wall St. Journal, Oct. 28, 2014, page A18.
*** http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/_images/gsp_0614.png

Saturday
Oct252014

Rep. William O’Brien’s - New Hampshire identified as the Worse State for Young People in the Nation

Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Investment Group Motley Fool Identifying New Hampshire as the Worse State for Young People in the Nation

On the surface it is a paradox that the Democrat Party, which claims that it is the party for women, minorities, young people, and whatever other group it can conceivably define as aggrieved, invariably harms each of them.  So after years of pandering and false claims of racism and wars on women, under Democrat control in Washington and Concord, labor force participation for women is at more than a 30 year low under the Obama Adminstration. Unemployment among black Americans, especially among young people, as well as their rates of poverty, are at levels not seen since the Great Depression.
 
In Concord, we have listened to this rhetoric for three of the last four legislative terms and it has always lead to more spending.  And it is in that fact – the growth of Government generated by ever increasing spending by Democrats – that lays the solution to this paradox in New Hampshire.  When government grows, the economy stagnates and it is the most vulnerable among us- the young, minorities, the historically disadvantaged, who suffer first, suffer the most and suffer the longest when the economy isn’t growing.
 
In New Hampshire these past two years under Maggie Hassan and House Democrats there has once again been demonstrated that this law of economics – too much government spending leads to too little economic growth - invariably trumps the laws of Big Government, producing the opposite of the desired effect.   A well-respected investment organization geared to young people known as Motley Fool has, for the first time, identified New Hampshire as the worse state in the country for young people.
 
As the report indicates, when legislators vote too much spending, people will vote with their feet and leave.  And that is what young people have done in New Hampshire.  They have left and our population of 25 to 34 year olds is shrinking.
 
There is an alternative however.  All of us can vote at the ballot box on November 4 to remove the over-spenders in Concord, from Maggie Hassan through House Democrats and, in doing so, ask our younger citizens to stay and come grow the economy with us.