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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (175)

Tuesday
Nov032015

Josiah Bartlett Center - The State Government Disagrees With Itself On Education 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

The State Government Disagrees with itself on Education

The state is refusing to defend itself and the governor is attacking herself for having bad ideas. Welcome to the world of education funding where lawsuits make everyone weird and no one seems to be able to figure out which way is up.

The City of Dover is suing the state because an education funding law in place for years limits the amount their state education aid increases. To make matters more confused, Dover’s lawsuit stipulates that they do not and will not agree that the underlying system is constitutional only that there is an unconstitutional cap on a system that they don’t have an opinion on. Click here to keep reading.

Friday
Oct232015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Margaret Thatcher and the New Canadian Prime Minister 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Margaret Thatcher and the New Canadian Prime Minister

Newly elected Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and the late, great Margaret Thatcher can teach timid modern politicians that polling, especially the way it’s reported, doesn’t matter and in fact only drives the skittish toward inaction. Polls are snapshots that can fall to a winning argument. Making and winning an argument matters and the good salesman triumphs over the illusory truth of an ephemeral poll.

Monday night, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada destroyed the election narrative written by pollsters months before and rode from third place into a supposedly-impossible majority government. His victory owes much to the admonitions of Margaret Thatcher and stands in stark contrast to the pathetic pseudo-wisdom peddled by American politicians and their media analysts. Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Oct102015

Josiah Bartlett Center - The State Surplus That Isn't 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

The State Surplus That Isn't

Pay no attention to the surplus behind the curtain. It’s not real. Despite advertised claims, the state did not run a $73 million surplus. It ran a barely $1 million surplus. The difference between press releases and reality comes entirely from the state’s reckless refusal to adhere to its rainy day fund law.

This week the governor announced a supposed $73.2 million surplus. Leaders in both parties took to the public square to praise their own fiscal responsibility in helping create such an enormous “surplus.” In reality however, the two-year state budget did not create a massive surplus. It just barely broke even. Click here to keep reading.


Populism and the Hatred of Hedge Funds

Politicians are tempted by the siren song of populism which sacrifices sensible policy for applause lines. They should be careful of the unintended consequences of their eagerness to attack evil hedge fund managers.

For about a decade some politicians have been attacking managers of private equity firms for making too much money. The term hedge fund is thrown around less as a description of a particular investment vehicle and more in disdain for people we are supposed to detest — those “hedge fund people” who don’t do anything except play with money. Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Sep262015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Averting Grave Danger By Doing Nothing 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Averting Grave Danger By Doing Nothing

You’ll forgive me if I don’t care that much about what happened with the budget or the budget deal. The government spent almost three months setting up this giant pitched battle between light and darkness and in the end nothing changed. The governor signed a budget that is more or less what the legislature passed and she vetoed. What was the point exactly?

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 ignoring 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.” Click here to keep reading.

Friday
Sep112015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Fictitious Budget Rhetoric and the Clean Power Plan 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Governor Should Leave Aside Fictitious Rhetoric in Budget Debate

The state doesn’t have a budget and no one seems to care much. Most of the issues supposedly dividing the sides will be resolved easily or delayed until next year.  The real dispute is over the Republican plan to cut business taxes and the governor’s fictitious criticism of it. Misleading rhetoric is used to cover a philosophical disagreement.

In the absence of a budget both sides will make claims that the other party is delaying critical services or causing uncertainty but in reality there are no crises and no threats to any agency’s funding. In the event of a cash flow issue caused by the general language of the temporary budget resolution, the fiscal committee can meet and make an accommodation as it did a few weeks ago for state parks
Click here to keep reading.


New Hampshire and the Clean Power Plan

In July the EPA released the final rules for its Clean Power Plan. This plan, drawn up under the authority of the Clean Air Act and championed by President Obama, aims to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32% by 2030. To achieve that goal, the EPA has assigned targets for each state to meet as part of that overall effort, and has given states two options how to reach them. The first imposes emissions standards on fossil fuel fired plant, called the Rate Based Goal, and the second is a complex formula based on current plants, improved efficiencies, and increasing renewable production called the Mass Based Goal. New Hampshire’s assigned target based on emissions standards would cut emissions by 23%, while the formula based reductions call for a 14% cut in emissions.  While either are a tall order, it is an improvement over the first draft of the rule, which expected the state to cut emissions by 46%Click here to keep reading.