The moment I saw Maggie Hassan’s ad about how the first responsibility of a governor is balancing the budget I said to myself, “Well, that’s not really false, but it’s not quite true either. Maybe I should blog about this.”
Give Ovide LaMontagne’s campaign credit. Before I got a chance to point out the half truths in Maggie’s ad, I noticed that Ovide is up with an ad countering the contention in the Hassan ad.
Of course, the governor is responsible for submitting a balanced budget, and the House and Senate must pass a balanced budget back to the governor.
So that much goes without saying.
The real question is how one goes about “balancing” the budget.
As Team Ovide correctly notes in its counter ad, the Democrats, with Maggie the Majority Leader in the Senate, managed their balancing act only by adding dozens of new taxes and fees.
But, and this wasn’t noted in the commercial, it didn’t end there.
Even after Maggie's Democrats inflated revenue estimates by the whopping total of $300 million, they discovered a budget shortfall a year later.
So what did they do along with increasing more taxes and fees? Not everyone is likely to remember this, and it wasn't mentioned in the Ovide commercial, but at Maggie’s behest and out of thin air, Democrats grasped for $60 million in phantom revenues. They imagined sale of state assets and booked them at $60 million. Guess how many of those assets were actually sold. If you said ZERO, you’d be right.
Clearly, Maggie doesn’t have a clue when it comes to balancing the budget with real revenue projections and cutting expenses.
All responsible numbers crunchers here at the State House agree with my contention that revenues are not going to increase much over the next two years (we’re running almost even for this year—off a couple million—after hitting the mark right on the dot last year).
With Maggie pledged to no state or income tax, Team Ovide needs to pound away with the question, "Where will you get the money to balance your budget, Maggie?" Will it be with $300 million in bloated revenue estimates? Or perhaps with $60 million in the sale of phony assets? Or with a gambling scheme not likely to pass the House and Senate?
Don’t get me wrong.
Although I am a Republican, I am not touting Ovide LaMontagne’s candidacy. I find Neanderthal social views almost as harmful to our society—perhaps more so—than clueless fiscal impresarios.
That’s why I stated on my TV show this week that if it were possible, this would be a prime year for a None of The Above choice for governor.
Democrats argue—and I tend to agree—that Ovide LaMontagne would take us back to the days of coat hangar abortions; of the gay teen suicide rate skyrocketing as gay youth are thrown back in the closest; and of schools teaching transsubstantiation…cue Tom Lehrer for his “Vatican Rag” song, please.
“First you get down on your knees; fiddle with your rosaries; bow your head in great respect, and...genuflect, genuflect, genuflect. Make a cross on your adohmen; when in Rome do like a Roman; ave Maria; gee it's good to see ya; getting ecstatic and sorta dramatic and doing the Vatican Rag.” (I'll have to dig that song out for next week's show; I have both an audio and a video version).
Not that there’s anything wrong with espousing your Catholic faith or any other faith for that matter, but to teach it in schools? Creationism, no thanks, Ovide, no thanks!
Republicans argue—and I certainly agree—that Maggie is out to lunch when it comes to fiscal issues.
Then there’s Libertarian John Babiarz who, when asked by Josh McElveen (always EE please) on Channel 9, just pulled eight billion dollars out of thin air as a good number for state spending. I’m about as fiscally conservative as anyone you’ll find, but even I’d be hard pressed to come in at eight billion, certainly with a plan which could ever pass the House and Senate!
None of the above?
This could be the year.
No wonder the undecided option is so high in polls. It’s not because people don’t know these candidates; it’s because we know them all too well.