Concord, NH – In an op-ed in today's Union Leader, failed CEO Walt Havenstein tried to distort reality with his misleading attacks and put forward an agenda right out of the Koch Brothers playbook. Havenstein’s op-ed recycles the failed talking points we’ve seen up and down the Republican ticket from Bill O’Brien to Scott Brown as he tries to cover up his record of mismanagement, thousands of job losses and sinking stock value at SAIC.
As yesterday’s Suffolk University poll showed, Granite Staters recognize Governor Hassan is taking our state’s economy in the right direction as businesses are creating jobs, our unemployment rate is at the lowest level since 2008 and seventh lowest in the nation, and our state has reclaimed nearly all the jobs lost in the Great Recession.
Below is a fact check of Havenstein’s misleading claims and anti-middle class agenda.
Havenstein’s Claim: "New figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that we had the smallest growth in New England.”
Fact: New Hampshire businesses are creating jobs, our unemployment rate is nearly 2 points below the national average and seventh lowest in the nation (lower than Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island). Our state also led the nation in export growth last year. In 2013, per capita real GDP was higher in New Hampshire than in Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.
· “Jobs rebounding in Granite State” “It appears that New Hampshire has regained nearly all the jobs it lost in the recession. In fact, in April, there were actually more private-sector jobs here than there were in April of 2008, before the crash. […]The state unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, far below the 6.3 percent national rate. And economic development officials point to a recent surge in interest by businesses looking to locate or expand here.”[Union Leader, May 31, 2014]
· New Hampshire’s Unemployment Rate is the Seventh Lowest in the Country (and Lower than Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island). Vermont (3.3%), New Hampshire (4.4%), Massachusetts (5.6%) Maine (5.7%), Connecticut (6.9%) and Rhode Island (8.2%). [BLS.gov, accessed June 20, 2014]
· “N.H. led nation in export growth in 2013” “For the second time in four years, New Hampshire led the nation in export growth, according to the International Trade Administration. Companies in the state exported $4.3 billion in 2013, a 22 percent increase over 2012.” [NHBR, February 27, 2014]
· 2013 per capita real GDP was higher in New Hampshire than in Maine Rhode Island and Vermont.[BEA.gov, accessed June 20, 2014]
Havenstein’s Claim: “Maggie Hassan followed Jeanne Shaheen’s lead by embracing Obamacare, which has forced people off their insurance and made them find new doctors and hospitals.”
Fact: More than 40,000 Granite Staters enrolled in affordable coverage through the New Hampshire Health Insurance Marketplace last year, over twice as many as expected. In 2015, each New Hampshire hospital will be included in at least three provider networks and consumers and businesses are expected to have more than 50 plans to choose from.
· “40,262 Granite Staters enrolled in Obamacare marketplace” “More than 40,000 New Hampshire residents signed up for health insurance at healthcare.gov, twice what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had hoped for.” [Union Leader, May 1, 2014]
· “Average monthly premium in NH under Obamacare is $100” “New Hampshire residents who buy the silver plan, the most popular plan on the federal health- insurance marketplace, paid on average $87 per month, after tax credits, according to a new report from the federal government.” [Nashua Telegraph, June 18, 2014]
· “Each New Hampshire hospital will be included in at least three of the provider networks” “at least several plans will offer coverage at all 26 hospitals” and “the number of plans available to New Hampshire individuals will increase from 14 to more than 50” [Associated Press, June 17, 2014]
Havenstein’s Claim: “Onerous red tape schemes, such as the regional cap-and-trade program, known as RGGI, and arbitrary government mandates for renewable energy are driving up the cost of electricity for businesses and homeowners.”
Fact: The New York Times recently noted that the states participating in RGGI – including all of our neighbors in New England – have substantially reduced carbon emissions while also having stronger economic growth than the rest of the country. In addition, PSNH recently announced it plans to reduce monthly electric bills for consumers.
· “Best of Both Worlds? Northeast Cut Emissions and Enjoyed Growth” “The nine states already in the program — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — have substantially reduced their carbon emissions in recent years. At the same time, those states have had stronger economic growth than the rest of the country.” [NY Times, June 6, 2014]
· “PSNH reverses prediction, proposes rate cut” “Residential customers of Public Service of New Hampshire would see their monthly electric bills drop slightly — not rise as earlier forecasted — starting July 1 if regulators approve.” [Union Leader, June 16, 2014]
Havenstein’s Claim: “I’ll apply 30 years of business experience to restore a common-sense, conservative approach to government and establish priorities to dramatically improve our economic environment.”
Fact: During Havenstein’s most recent stint as CEO of SAIC, he oversaw thousands of job losses and SAIC’s stock lost 32% of its value as the company experienced declining sales and profit under Havenstein’s failed strategy.
· [SAIC reported 46,200 employees in 2010. In 2012, SAIC reported 41,100 employees. Source: SEC.gov]
· [On September 21, 2009, the beginning of Havenstein’s tenure, the closing stock price was $71.32 per share. On March 1, 2012, Havenstein’s last day as CEO of SAIC, the company’s stock price was $48.64. Source: Google Finance]
· “Havenstein, the previous chief executive, moved the company toward a more integrated approach [...] The company struggled under the strategy, watching its profit and revenue decline.” [Source: Washington Post, August 30, 2012]
Havenstein’s Claim: “We can cut red tape, reduce the tax burden on small businesses, make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new companies, and align our state’s learning centers with the goals of our industry.”
Fact: Governor Hassan is making it easier for entrepreneurs to start up and flourish in New Hampshire through her “Live Free and Start” initiative. The Governor has also worked to better align our state’s higher education with the needs of our business community.
· “Governor launches high-tech startup initiative” “’Live Free and Start,’ a new state initiative aimed at helping to make it easier for high-tech businesses to start up and flourish in New Hampshire, was unveiled Monday by Gov. Maggie Hassan other state officials.” [NHBR, June 2, 2014]
· “Gov. Maggie Hassan praised the partnership between Great Bay Community College's second campus, devoted to advanced technology, and two aerospace composite businesses” “Great Bay's advanced composites manufacturing curriculum at the ATAC has been developed to fit the needs of area manufacturers, among those, Albany Engineered Composites and Safran Aerospace Composites, which will be co-locating a new manufacturing plant in Rochester at the Granite State Business Park.” [Seacoast Online, July 12, 2013]
Havenstein’s Claim: “I will make it a priority to reduce the size of government to ensure that tax dollars are used wisely so that spending does not grow faster than our economy.”
Fact: Havenstein continues to attack the most bipartisan budget in over a decade, a fiscally responsible budget, which restored critical investments without a sales or income tax and passed unanimously in the Republican Senate. Governor Hassan has responsibly managed our state’s budget, securing a bipartisan resolution to the MET issue that will provide budget stability and prudently putting in place a freeze on general fund spending to continue to ensure a balanced budget.
· “Agreement with hospitals provides boost for NH governor’s reputation” “in her own publicly soft-spoken style, Hassan led big-time on this occasion, and as a result will have a significant achievement that should put the state on more solid financial footing in the future. Meanwhile, legislative negotiators who sanctioned the deal Friday couldn’t have made it more obvious that they were essentially out of the loop.” [Nashua Telegraph, June 1, 2014]
Havenstein’s Claim: “Imagine what New Hampshire could be.”
Fact: Havenstein offers no ideas for keeping our economy moving in the right direction, just empty Koch Brothers rhetoric.
Havenstein’s Claim: “No offense to our friends in Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but we should be doing a lot better than them.”
Fact: According to independent accounts, New Hampshire is doing a lot better than our neighbors.
· “Politico Magazine rounded up 14 different state rankings from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate. Then we averaged out each state’s 14 rankings to come up with a master list—atop which sits none other than New Hampshire.” [Politico Magainze, January 24, 2014]