CONCORD – House Deputy Majority Leader and Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Stepanek (R-Amherst) today offered the following comments in response to statements made by Democrats nominee for Governor Maggie Hassan in today’s gubernatorial debate sponsored by the Business and Industry Association (BIA) and broadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR).
Deputy Majority Leader Stephen Stepanek
“Maggie Hassan has a right to her opinions, but not a right to change reality to meet her political goals. Her War on Facts is at best troubling and at worst represents the type of leadership that took us to the brink of fiscal ruin with dishonest budgeting. We need leaders who will tell the truth about our economy and the best way to grow jobs, not list a series of made up inaccurate figures that simply mislead the voters.”
On Hassan’s allegation that this legislature passed “largest tax hike in history (on hospitals)”
“Apparently, Maggie Hassan can’t tell the difference between taxes and spending. That could be how she set up a nearly $900 million deficit for New Hampshire in her role as Senate Majority Leader. It could also be how she thought passing over 100 new and increased taxes and fees wouldn’t cost the state jobs. In reality, the Medicaid Enhancement Tax has been in place for 22 years, and it was not touched at all in this current budget. Senator Hassan might want to do her homework before she starts talking about taxes and fees.”
On Hassan’s allegation that when the Democrats controlled the legislature, they “balanced the budget while keeping the tax burden one of the lowest in the country.”
“Maggie Hassan sure doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good story. Both Democrat budgets needed to be reopened in their second year, and required all sorts of accounting gimmicks in order to ‘balance.’ What the Democrats never had was a budget like the current one, which balanced honestly and doesn’t require any games to finish. As far as the idea that Democrats kept tax burdens low, Maggie needs to start telling the truth and let the voters know that, under the Democrats rule, New Hampshire fell to having the highest business tax rate in the nation. That’s a real job killer, and she will continue her tax and spend goals as Governor.”
On Hassan’s assertion that the Disproportionate Share Hospital program will “go away” under ObamaCare, as a reason to expand Medicaid.
“While it is true that ObamaCare will severely change the Disproportionate Share Hospital program and likely cost New Hampshire millions in federal funding, we have no idea what the final outcome will be since the federal government has not offered the rules that lay out the final impact of the program. Saying that we should commit the states to billions of dollars of long term expenditures on the basis of speculation about federal rules is irresponsible at best, dishonest at worst. She should just come out and say that she supports a big government takeover of our health care system, since her voting record shows that’s exactly how she feels.”