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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (164)

Saturday
Jul182015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Taxes Aren't What You Think They Are 

Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Taxes Are Not What You Think They Are

Today is the Ides of July — or Quintilis if you aren’t fond of Julius Caesar –and a good time to remind us all what we do and don’t know about taxes — that perennial political football. Tax myths abound and all too often color political debate. But a look at tax data tells us more about our economy and system than the insipid polemics that disease what passes for public discourse.

The individual income tax provides about half of all revenue for the federal government. In 2015, the individual income tax will provide $1.48 trillion, about 46% of all federal revenue. By contrast, corporate income taxes provide 10% of federal revenue, $341 billion in 2015. 
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Cracking Open New Hampshire's Books

How are New Hampshire’s finances? According to the Mercatus Center, a Virginia based think tank, slightly better than average. In their recently released rankings of state finances, New Hampshire comes in 20th in comparison to the other 50 states. The study gauges each state based on five solvency measures, (cash, budget, long run, service level and trust fund) creating a comprehensive snapshot of each state’s finances. However, it is important to keep in mind, that the rankings only indicate a state’s financial position in relation to the other states, not in absolute terms. A low ranking might not necessarily spell financial trouble, while a high ranking does not mean a state can rest on its laurels. Click here to keep reading.

 

 
 
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Saturday
Jul112015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Fanciful Fiction of Fiscal Fracture 

 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Fanciful Fiction of Fiscal Fracture

Fissures over fiscal policy are fed by fanciful fictions that threaten the focus needed to fix the state’s financial budget. Political statements mislead you and indefensible charges are designed to distract you from a simple but philosophical disagreement.

The governor of one party vetoed a budget passed by a legislature controlled by the other political party. Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan wanted to spend more money particularly on social programs and the university system. The Republican legislature would spend less money and phase in a reduction to our high state business taxes.
 
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Why Budget Debates of Today are Much Friendlier Than They Used to Be

Today’s politics are a model of civility and decorum compared to the budget debates of the recent past. The remarkably mild name calling associated with the current governor’s veto of the budget pales in comparison to the rancor and high drama of budget debates just a few decades ago.

People obsessed with today bereft of any memory of yesterday are fond of pretending that partisan rancor is worse today than it has ever been. We are routinely told that politicians today are angrier and less civil than just a few years ago. In fact, the opposite is true.” 
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Missed Charlie on Ken Cail's Show this week? Listen Here!

Charlie Arlinghaus and Ken Cail discuss the budget showdown at the State House, the consequences of the Governor's budget veto, and how next year's Senate race is looming over the debate. Click here to listen.

Saturday
Jun272015

Josiah Bartlett Center - All about the state budget 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Ignore the Rhetoric and Give the Government a Timeout

The juvenile rhetoric that dominates so much of politics today makes it hard to sort out the looming budget veto and the issues beneath it. The first step to understanding is to ignore everything every politician says. Vetoes are not radical, the budget differences in almost but not quite all areas are tiny, and there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that New Hampshire’s government will shut down.

With a governor of one party and a legislature of the other, disagreements over policy are inevitable. But on the budget they are not particularly stark. For example, the governor hoped to increase the two-year, all-inclusive budget by 6.4% to $11.49 billion. The legislature is proposing a 5.1% increase to $11.35 billion. On each side, the Health and Human Services half of the budget would increase more than twice as fast as everything else. For example, the legislature proposes increasing HHS 8.4% and everything else by 3.2%. 
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Who Wants to Spend Where? General Fund Comparison Charts

Who wants to spend where? These chart compares the actual and adjusted spending for the current budget, to the Governor’s proposed budget, the House budget, the Senate budget, and the Committee of Conference budget.  Click here to keep take a look.

Tuesday
Jun232015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Steve Forbes and What happens if NH doesn't have a Budget? 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Off Budget: What Happens if New Hampshire
Doesn't Have a Budget by June 30?

What happens if there is no state budget by June 30? With the Legislature and Governor at such odds on the matter, it is a distinct possibility. It would not be that unusual either. New Hampshire has resorted to temporary budget six times since the end of World War II: 1949, 1955, 1959, 1971, 1977, and 2003.

The state’s budget is not designed to be perpetual; rather it requires reauthorization every two years. As a result, the state’s legal authority to spend money expires at the end of the last day of the second fiscal year of the biennium: June 30.
 
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Why Steve Forbes is the Antidote to Modern Political Superficiality

As public policy, politics, and elections slowly degenerate into a circus aimed at playing a game, calling names, and merely attacking another person, let me offer you Steve Forbes as an example for today of what the political world ought to be about and too often isn’t. Though Forbes ran for office himself, he was and continues to be an antidote to the superficiality gradually infecting the body politic and instead works not to achieve power but to “encourage and full and reasoned discussion of the issues.” Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Jun132015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Latest on the State Budget 

Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

 

Don't Pay Attention to the Budget Debate, It Doesn't Matter

The state budget is a pitched battle fought tooth and nail where the warriors largely agree. Posturing and the art of a press statement are more important than information. In reality, verbally armed camps will give way to easy agreement over all but one or two differences. Vetoes, stalemates, and months of budget-less government are much less likely than annoying-but-meaningless press releases you can safely ignore. Click here to keep reading.


From the Archives: What Happens if New Hampshire
Doesn't Have a Budget by June 30?

{Author’s note: June 2015. This piece was originally written during the 2013 budget process when there was a possibility that June 30th would arrive without new budget being passed. With the possibility of a gubernatorial veto this budget cycle and all of the below still holding true (though the opponents have changed), we brought this piece from the archives}

What happens if there is no state budget by June 30? With the House and Senate at such odds on the matter, it is a distinct possibility. It would not be that unusual either. New Hampshire has resorted to temporary budget six times since the end of World War II: 1949, 1955, 1959, 1971, 1977, and 2003. Click here to keep reading.

 

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