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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (160)

Saturday
May022015

Josiah Bartlett Center - In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data 

How are they spending your tax dollars?
Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data

Much of the work of state government is in a holding pattern until the state Senate finishes its work on a draft of the budget. This is probably a useful time to remind you that so much of what we think we know isn’t true. It would be helpful to check your data ask your correspondent (the fellow bending your ear and complaining incessantly) if he’s checked his data. If nothing else, it will make his complaints about whatever happens in the budget more compelling.

New Hampshire’s fiscal policy is often subject to competing claims about tax burdens. Usually pontificators on both the right and left are guilty of exaggerating some claims, relying too heavily on anecdotes and adjectives, and rarely checking their facts to see if what someone once told them is still true (well, not me, obviously I’m talking about everyone else).


Describing a proposal as draconian or profligate is often determined by our pre-existing mindset. Adjectives are determined by philosophy rather than facts. Click here to keep reading.

Wednesday
Apr292015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Save the Date: June 17, 4th Annual Libertas Dinner 

Save the Date!
Annual Libertas Dinner: June 17th

Honoring Steve Forbes


Please both circle and underline June 17 on your calendar. we are now locked in on that date for the annual extravaganza we call our Libertas Dinner. This annual event is a celebration of public policy, the Josiah Bartlett Center itself, and the virtues of markets.
 
This year, the timing of the event and the honoree come together perfectly. Steve Forbes is a man who underscores more than most public figures the notion that elections should be less about the superficial and more about ideas. Just as important, much of his public life mirrors that of our organization, but at a national level. He talks about ideas, insists that criticisms be based on policy not personality, and is one of the foremost defenders of the system we might call capitalism or free market economics.
 
This is a man who responded to the late fiscal crisis narcissistically called the Great Recession by issuing a spirited, articulate, and readable book called How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today’s Economy. That short phrase could well be a summary for our organization, its philosophy, and our mission.
 
As world leaders and professional pontificators on the right and left were busily equivocating and feeling ashamed of market support, Forbes issued a full-throated defense of the sort to make Adam Smith proud.
 
I think you can probably tell how excited I am about this year's dinner. We are excited to tell Steve's story partly because he is such a role model for the organization and the role we think we need to play.
 
I'll have much more to tell you about the event in the weeks ahead. For now, put June 17th on your calendar and start looking forward to a great event.

And keep an eye on your inbox, dinner tickets will be available online soon.

Friday
Apr242015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Agreeing on the problem isn't always enough 

How are they spending your money?
Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Agreeing on the Problem Isn't Always Enough

The political process often obscures truth and inhibits agreement. Too often each of us believes he or she knows what’s important but that the things you think are important are trivial and your insistence upon them is a sign of perfidy or cognitive dysfunction. On very rare occasions there is substantial agreement on a problem. This is good only because it allows us to attack someone else’s solution as near-sighted or disingenuous. It is inconceivable that an opponent might have a well intentioned idea that we simply think is a lower priority or might not work as well. Click here to keep reading.
 


The Josiah Bartlett Report:
Fixing NH's Economy

Charlie talks to Ken Cail about the difficulty in finding common ground on how to fix New Hampshire's stagnant Economy. Click here to listen.

 

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Saturday
Apr182015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Leadership Sacrificed to Lionaization of the Milquetoast  

Keep track of your
tax dollars!

Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

Leadership Sacrificed to the
Lionization of Milquetoast

If you’re serving in or hope to serve in high office, it would be best for you not to have opinions, show leadership, or otherwise do what might be considered your job. Leaders who lead are considered risky and bold. The political intelligentsia would advise you to be quiet, look ponderous, show grave concern, but avoid expressing too many actual opinions. Leave leadership to those in less responsible positions.

People who are old fashioned enough to believe in ideas are occasionally frustrated because nothing seems to happen. Similarly, politicians — who are rarely if ever confused with people who believe in anything — are sometimes befuddled by their inability to accomplish much. Surrounded by advisers constantly urging caution, too many putative leaders indulge themselves in regular hand-wringing about the dangers of having strong opinions.

We are used to the lionization of milquetoast on the local level and it promises to be on display regularly during the presidential campaign as well
. Click here to keep reading.

Saturday
Apr112015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Taking a Look at the House Budget 

See how they are spending your
tax dollars!

Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

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

State Budget Less Chaotic than it Appears

The state budget seems chaotic after a draft passed the House but the details of the budget and the few large items subject to debate are now relatively clear. The next two months will see significant compromise on revenues and on human service spending with little or no drama about a final House and Senate approved draft and the almost certain though reluctant approval of the governor. Click here to keep reading.
 


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the State Budget

The House of Representatives proposed budget in New Hampshire is good, bad, and ugly. It is not draconian by any measure but does represent a difficult struggle to patch together New Hampshire’s fiscal house within existing sources. Not everyone will agree with every decision but too often budget information is sacrificed to the woefully misleading caterwauling that passes for political discourse today. Click here to keep reading.

 

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