No Difference Between Budget Hassan Demonized And Final Budget She Praised
"After caving on the budget and begging the Legislature to override her disastrous veto, it's clear that Governor Hassan wasn't sincere in her objections and was only looking for shameless political gain. The final budget is nearly identical to the version she demonized for months, proving the governor cares more about pursuing extreme political stunts at the expense of Granite Staters than doing what's right for New Hampshire." - NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn
Please see excerpts from Charlie Arlinghaus' column in today's Union Leaderbelow:
"Averting grave danger by doing nothing"
September 23, 2015
Remember the irresponsible budget that was so unbalanced that the governor felt she had no choice but to veto it? The business tax cuts were called irresponsible and a threat to our future. They could only go forward if balanced by about $100 million of tax increases. And the rest of the budget was a disaster that ignored critical priorities in at least five different areas, would "present a danger to our state's future" and was "unbalanced, dishonest about what it funds."
Obviously the Republican Legislature disagreed with the Democratic governor about her strong rhetoric. But compromise seemed impossible. It also turned out to be unnecessary. The final so-called budget deal included almost no changes of any significance.
The final deal is essentially the legislative budget that was vetoed. The supposedly catastrophic tax cuts are not just included but accelerated. If the last budget was "dishonest about what it funds" - and of course it just plain wasn't - no changes whatsoever were made to what it funds and how it funds them. If the vetoed budget was a danger to the future, so is this because the non-compromise doesn't change how it funds substance abuse, higher education or anything else.
If the old cuts are ridiculous, dangerous and unpaid for, how is this less so? The simple truth is that no one believed the old modest cut was dangerous, even the politicians writing those words. This budget battle was really only about words that had no meaning to their author.
And that's all that happened. The executive branch ceded back to the Legislature some of its traditional authority in exchange for the pre-negotiated pay raise. The supposedly horrible business tax cuts are still there; there are no changes to spending, and whatever might have been "dishonest" - other than the dishonest charge of dishonesty - remains.
So why did we waste three months of our policy life on nothing? I don't know, and frankly I don't think they do either.
The grave "danger to the state's future" has been magically averted by doing absolutely nothing. Thank goodness I wasn't paying attention.