Press Releases

 

Entries in Editorial (36)

Tuesday
Jan272015

NHDP - ICYMI: Monitor Editorial: Cut to business taxes will only hurt business in NH 

Key Point: "Businesses need good roads and bridges and other infrastructure. To attract employees, they need communities with good schools, parks and other amenities. To the extent lower tax revenue leads to a reduction in public services and state investments in infrastructure and education it will harm the business climate. Business taxes are well down the list of a company’s concerns when locating and in New Hampshire, despite the nominally high rate of the BPT, the overall business tax rate isn’t all that bad. The Tax Foundation ranked New Hampshire seventh in attractiveness to business."

Click here for the full Concord Monitor editorial or see excerpt below.

Haven’t we already heard this story about the wondrous Republican perpetual motion machine? In this latest version, it’s the promise that cutting two of the state’s major sources of revenue, the business profits tax and business enterprise tax, will increase revenue. There’s no reason to believe that’s true or, for that matter, any reason to believe that reducing business taxes will attract and retain businesses. There is, however, good reason to believe that making up for the lost revenue will require even deeper cuts to New Hampshire’s already frugal budget. Those cuts will not just hurt the needy, but make the state less, rather than more, attractive to young, well-educated workers and the businesses seeking to hire them. 

That’s why lawmakers should roundly reject Senate Bills 1 and 2.

In October, after four years of research, testimony and deliberation, the legislatively created New Hampshire Commission to Study Business Taxes issued a report that repeatedly stated that the state’s 8.5 percent business profits tax and 0.725 percent business enterprise tax did not materially affect the state’s ability to compete for businesses. The 12-member commission also found “no basis for concluding that any effect of attracting new businesses or business expansion as a result of a rate reduction would generate additional tax revenue sufficient to compensate for the revenue loss. . . .” Curiously, Sen. Jeb Bradley, one of the sponsors of both tax cut bills, was a member of the commission and now argues in favor of the cuts for the very reasons the commission deemed flawed.

Assuming, as we do, that the tax cuts will shrink state revenue, they could backfire. Businesses need good roads and bridges and other infrastructure. To attract employees, they need communities with good schools, parks and other amenities. To the extent lower tax revenue leads to a reduction in public services and state investments in infrastructure and education it will harm the business climate. 

Business taxes are well down the list of a company’s concerns when locating and in New Hampshire, despite the nominally high rate of the BPT, the overall business tax rate isn’t all that bad. The Tax Foundation ranked New Hampshire seventh in attractiveness to business. What does hurt business is the state’s high property taxes. That’s the single largest tax most businesses pay – equal to 45 cents on the tax dollar, according to one study, and 52 cents on the tax dollar in another. If communities have to offset state spending cuts with property tax increases, businesses lose.

In testimony opposing SB1 and SB2, Jeffrey McLynch, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, pointed out that a loss to the state treasury of $78 million amounts to more than the combined budget of the Department of Resources and Economic Development and Environmental Services and nearly equals the state’s support for its community college system. It’s not a sum that can be offset with a little belt-tightening here and there. [...]

Click here for the full Concord Monitor editorial. 

Tuesday
Oct142014

NHDP - ICYMI - Concord Monitor: "My Turn: Election noise obscures truth about bipartisan budget" 

Senators Larsen and D'Allesandro Highlight Governor Hassan's Careful Management of Agency Budgets, Call Out Senate GOP for Massively Overspending on Their Own Budget


Key Point: “It is worth noting that as Gov. Hassan was working with state agencies to effectively manage their budgets and beat their savings targets, our Republican colleagues in the Senate actually overspent and missed their own budget targets. [...]

“So the irony is that Republicans were the ones who didn’t respond to their own call to reduce spending: as they were launching attacks against Gov. Hassan’s fiscal leadership and inventing wild – and inaccurate – claims about overspending by government agencies, they were the ones loosening the purse strings. [...]

“But it’s pretty clear that Senate Republicans can’t be taken seriously on the budget right now.”

See here or below for the full Concord Monitor op-ed by Senators Sylvia Larsen and Lou D'Allesandro

Granite Staters know that balancing a budget – whether it’s our family’s budget or the state’s budget – requires making tough choices to protect our priorities while living within our means. That’s what we’ve worked to do at the State House.

Under Gov. Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan leadership, we balanced the budget responsibly, with no income or sales tax. The budget passed unanimously in the Republican-majority Senate and nearly unanimously in the Democratic-majority House.

That’s not something you see too often out of Washington, D.C. – but it happened here under this governor.

It’s a fiscally responsible budget that invests in shared priorities like freezing college tuition, putting more state troopers on the road and revitalizing our state’s economic development efforts.

And it’s a budget that supports the priorities that help innovative businesses create jobs, expand middle-class opportunity and keep our economy moving in the right direction.

While passing a balanced budget every two years is crucial, it is only the first step in ensuring that our state’s finances remain on solid ground. Maintaining that balance requires constant work and attention.

Since we passed the budget, Gov. Hassan has carefully managed state agency expenditures, and she took preemptive action to rein in spending, leading us to end Fiscal Year 2014 with a $20 million surplus. In fact, agencies actually beat their targets for returning funds back to the treasury by $8.5 million.

It is worth noting that as Gov. Hassan was working with state agencies to effectively manage their budgets and beat their savings targets, our Republican colleagues in the Senate actually overspent and missed their own budget targets.

An NH1 investigation found that Senate Republicans “seemed to spend like there was no tomorrow.” They even spent $15,000 on furniture.

So the irony is that Republicans were the ones who didn’t respond to their own call to reduce spending: as they were launching attacks against Gov. Hassan’s fiscal leadership and inventing wild – and inaccurate – claims about overspending by government agencies, they were the ones loosening the purse strings.

We are not surprised to hear partisan attacks as the election approaches. That’s what happens at this time of year. But it’s pretty clear that Senate Republicans can’t be taken seriously on the budget right now.

Going forward, we need to continue to be prudent. As the economy continues to improve, key revenues that indicate economic progress, such as the meals and rooms and real estate transfer taxes, remain strong. However, the last Legislature passed changes to tax laws that went into effect in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2014.

Since those changes went into effect, we have seen business tax and interest-and-dividends tax revenues regularly fall below plan. Even though overall revenues are running slightly ahead of plan for the year, the trend in business and interest-and-dividends revenue could be a sign of challenges ahead.

That’s why we supported Gov. Hassan taking preemptive action last week by sending all state agencies directions to reduce expenditures in their plans for the year ahead. That was the right thing to do.

At the same time, the Legislature will also need to continue to work together across party lines to exercise discretion while focusing on important priorities. Remember, the state is only spending on the bipartisan priorities that have been supported by legislators from both parties, either through our budget, through the Legislative Fiscal Committee or through other laws passed with bipartisan support.

We hope that after the election hoopla is over, the Legislature will go back to doing what we did last year, and work closely with agencies and under the leadership of our governor in a bipartisan way to develop a final plan that ensures a balanced budget for next year. That’s what has helped keep our state on track.

(Sylvia Larsen is a state senator from Concord. Lou D’Allesandro is a state senator from Manchester.)

 

Monday
Sep292014

Brown For US Senate - ICYMI: FOSTER'S DAILY DEMOCRAT: EDITORIAL: THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR THE GRANITE STATE 

Jeanne Shaheen's Hometown Newspaper: "Our hope is that voters will look past the bull and balderdash of Team Shaheen et al. And that on election day they will make the right choice — Scott Brown for United States Senate to represent the great state of New Hampshire.” 
 

Foster's Daily Democrat
September 12, 2014


Click Here To Read


Truth be told, Brown is as much a Granite Stater as a majority of those now living here.
 

 
Among those who “ain’t from here,” as it was phrased in a recent letter to the editor, is Shaheenalong with many other of our current and past elected officials.
 

 
So what does this mean come Election Day on Nov. 4?
 
It means identifying those values that brought all you transplants to this great state, then voting for someone who today represents those values.
 
We would argue that Shaheen has a voting history that today runs counter to the New Hampshire ethos of smaller government, less interference and more independence (read: less meddling from Washington).
 
Brown, on the other hand, more respects the stubborn independence to which the Globe alludes and the want of a more thrifty/less invasive federal government.
 
Our hope is that voters will look past the bull and balderdash of Team Shaheen et al. And that on election day they will make the right choice — Scott Brown for United States Senate to represent the great state of New Hampshire.
Saturday
Sep272014

Brown For US Senate - ICYMI: NH UNION LEADER: SCOTT BROWN: AMERICA'S INTERESTS COME BEFORE PARTY OR PRESIDENT 

In Case You Missed It:
NH Union Leader: Brown: America's Interests Come Before Party Or President
Scott Brown, New Hampshire Union Leader
September 26, 2014

Whatever else happens in Washington, when it comes to national security the stakes are so high, and there is so little room for error. We’re at a dangerous moment for our country and our friends. It’s starting to feel like the world is on fire, with so many crises getting worse, so many adversaries gaining ground.

 

It’s as if the Obama administration is maxed out, worn down, devoid of ideas, and now all the bills are coming due. This is what foreign policy looks like without clarity and conviction. This is what the world looks like without American leadership.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. She has been in that privileged position for nearly six years. And she has a record that is readily summed up in a single number: 99 percent. That is how often Sen. Shaheen votes in support of any policy of the Obama administration, whatever it is.

 

So far as I can tell, she never even mentioned ISIS in public until last month. This is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee we’re talking about, and it’s been nothing but silence on the most urgent national-security threats that we are facing. In fact, when the Committee was hearing testimony on the emerging threat of ISIS a year and a half ago, guess what? She missed the meeting.

 

It’s bad enough when any senator from New Hampshire has the reputation of a partisan follower. But when our senator, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, just goes along like another naïve follower of Barack Obama, missing obvious realities and opportunities to lead in the current security environment, that’s when you’ve really got to worry.

I view the job of a senator very differently, and party politics has got nothing to do with it. When any President is clear and resolute in defense of America’s interests, it won’t matter to me if we’re of the same party or not; I’ll be there, with my support and my vote. One hundred percent of the time, I’m going to do my own thinking, and speak for the independent spirit of our state.
 

Click here to read the full article

Wednesday
Sep242014

NHDP - ICYMI: Nashua Telegraph Editorial: “‘Blah, blah, blah’ from the speaker” 

Key point: “It was just a year ago that tea-party extremists within Boehner’s own House Republican Caucus hijacked the ship when they refused to raise the debt ceiling, leading to the highly unpopular government shutdown that Boehner was powerless to stop.

“Funny, then, that he should come to New Hampshire and ask voters to send him still more tea-party representatives in the persons of Garcia and Guinta.”

See here or below for the Telegraph editorial:

‘Blah, blah, blah’ from the speaker

John Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is scheduled to be in the Granite State on Wednesday to stump for Marilinda Garcia in her attempt to unseat Rep. Ann Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District, and Frank Guinta’s bid to take back the seat in the 1st Congressional District.

The speaker’s office was nice enough to send us an email in advance, stating that “Boehner believes there are five key things we must do as a nation: fix our tax code, solve our spending problem, reform our legal system, rein in our regulatory system, and strengthen education.”

We agree that all of those things warrant attention.

We have harped repeatedly on the tax code issue, but Boehner has been speaker since 2011 and has had ample opportunity to fix the problem during that time. In fact, when the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year put forth a sweeping proposal to rewrite the tax code, Boehner’s response was, “Blah, blah, blah.” Seriously. The man literally said, “Blah, blah, blah.” Hardly sounds like a lawmaker eager to take on the challenges of the day; doesn’t say much about his leadership, either.

Perhaps one of the problems with Rep. Dave Camp’s plan was that it proposed a tax on too-big-to-fail investment banks and the wealthiest Americans in exchange for a top marginal rate of 25 percent for everybody else. Seemed like a reasonable tradeoff, though it apparently fell short of Mr. Boehner’s definition of tax reform, which may be when taxes are lowered for corporations and the super wealthy, while the burden on the rapidly shrinking middle class either becomes heavier or changes not at all.

We suspect it would be a lot easier to take the speaker at his word on the issue of spending, but he’s been in Congress since 1991, when the national debt was about $3 trillion; it’s more than $17 trillion now, and at least some of that increase happened when Boehner was in a position of leadership within his party. Buying his answers about the best way to get the country out of our fiscal quagmire requires first recognizing the fact that he helped lead us here, too. The precise extent to which he has been part of the problem may be debatable, but it seems clear that he hasn’t exactly been part of the national solution, because there haven’t been many of those coming from Congress lately. That’s true not only of fiscal issues, but also on topics like immigration, financial inequality and the legalized bribery that is our campaign finance system, among other things.

You could argue, in fact, that Boehner – along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – is one of the poster children for gridlock in this country. It was just a year ago that tea-party extremists within Boehner’s own House Republican Caucus hijacked the ship when they refused to raise the debt ceiling, leading to the highly unpopular government shutdown that Boehner was powerless to stop.

Funny, then, that he should come to New Hampshire and ask voters to send him still more tea-party representatives in the persons of Garcia and Guinta.