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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (136)

Thursday
Nov132014

Josiah Bartlett Center - 2015 Policy Preview and Winter Social with the Josiah Bartlett Center 

Friends,

We’ve made it through election season, but the next legislative session is around the corner. What better time for the Josiah Bartlett Center to invite you to our 2015 Policy Preview and Winter Social! 

That’s right, we’re holding an event on December 2, at the Currier Museum of Art. We hope you can join us for the networking event of the season, at which you will be treated to an evening of facts, fun, and fellowship – not necessarily in that order.  Mingle with the movers and shakers of government, hear what’s going on before it makes the news, all while taking in the elegant surroundings of the Currier Museum of Art.

 
I hope to see you there!

                                                                                                    -Rich Ashooh
 
                  



 
Saturday
Nov012014

Josiah Bartlett Center - How the Cult of Celebrity Destroys Our Political Culture 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire
 

Our political culture is being destroyed by a cult of celebrity. Slowly but surely any meaningful discussion of ideas is being crowded out by personalities and the occasional meaningless poll number. Campaigns will never really become a battle of philosophies and spreadsheet but our state’s obsession with famous figures ensures that politics and policy resembles Entertainment Tonight more than the Nightly Business Report.

New Hampshire has the misfortune to be home to the first Presidential Primary. It has unfortunately turned us into political creatures who worship political celebrity, preferring the allure and supposed glamour of nationally famous politicians (at least famous to cable news groupies) to any real attempt to get to know local politicians and understand what new ideas they would each inflict on us. Click here to keep reading


To help create jobs, politicians regular have to decide whether to do something or get out of the way. New Hampshire can do more by doing less and try to stay out of the way of people who know what they’re doing. We can’t compete with big states in an expensive and unfair bidding war to lure jobs to the state. Our best strategy is to create a climate in which job creators can flourish and avoid the managers looking for handouts and subsidies.

Regularly we read about some large auto company or other concern who gets states to bid millions of dollars in handouts of money and soon-to-be “forgiven” loans – money those politicians take from other taxpayers in their state in the hope of landing some high profile press release factory.

New Hampshire’s history is to avoid such politically driven games. We don’t enter bidding wars with money taken from other taxpayers to transfer to a chosen few. Click here to keep reading

Saturday
Oct182014

Josiah Bartlett Center - Two Billion Dollar Spending Increase is Fantasy Theater that Should End 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

 
 

The executive branch just proposed a $2 billion increase in state spending and no one wants to talk about it. The budget process starts in October and the executive branch proposed spending $12.5 billion. Everyone involved admits this is an unrealistic and ridiculous place to start but no one wants to disown it just yet. Everyone involved in state budgeting should publicly repudiate the requests as unrealistic fantasies and commit to repealing the law that supposedly requires this bit of theater.

The state adopts a two-year budget in June each odd-numbered year but the process begins eight months earlier in the October preceding each general election. The governor’s final proposal must be presented in February but four months earlier her department heads are required by law to present their initial budgets. That initial budget this year asks for $12.5 billion over two years compared to the $10.5 authorized for the current budget....Click here to keep reading

 
Tuesday
Oct142014

Josiah Bartlett Centger - The State Budget is a Mess and Getting Worse 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

 
 

The state budget is a mess and it keeps getting worse. What’s worse is that this budget mess isn’t caused by a recession but by poor management and political gamesmanship. The first year of the budget significantly overspent. The second year, which we are in the middle of, is significantly out of balance. All of this will make the next budget a significant problem.

This budget was supposed to be a transition budget. The earlier 2011 budget was a crisis budget. An $800 million imbalance forced significant budget cuts to bring spending roughly in line with regular revenues.

The 2013 budget relied on a significant surplus generated by its predecessor to include budget growth that was almost but not quite supported by revenue. The budget counted on spending $29.5 million of the surplus in the first year and $26.7 million in the second.

With the release of an unaudited budget summary last week we discovered that the budget situation is in fact quite bad. We also know now that there is no revenue problem at all but a significant spending problem....Click here to keep reading

 
Wednesday
Sep242014

Josiah Bartlett Center - The State's Job Problem Can't be Fixed by Changing One Thing 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

 
 

The biggest problem with the anemic job growth New Hampshire has been saddled with for the last decade is not the lack of jobs but the forlorn hope of policymakers that there is one silver bullet that will fix everything.

It used to be true (and is no longer) that New Hampshire grew faster than most states when the economy was strong and came back from recessions before other states and more aggressively than other states. The explosive growth of jobs in the 1970s, the 1980s, and at least to some extent the 1990s was something we took for granted and defined what we perceived as the dynamic economic character of the state.

In the 1980s, New Hampshire’s economy went through an explosive boom cycle. At our job creation peak there were more jobs than available workers – we were the North Dakota of our time. For example, from 1983 to 1989 the number of jobs in New Hampshire increased by 28% in just six years....Click here to keep reading