There is a great scene in the movie Stripes where Bill Muray is attempting to keep his girlfriend from leaving him. He begins ranting and raving and ends off yelling out "You can't leave, all the plants are going to die!" as a worst case scenario of what would happen if she left.
That scene came to mind as a read a letter in the Telegraph written by ousted state rep Melanie Levesque of Brookline. You can read the letter in full HERE. In it she rants about all the horrible things we will see now that Republicans have taken back control of New Hampshire.
Some of the bills we will see next year will attempt to:
n Reverse minimum wage.
n Reverse civil rights.
n Create voucher systems for education.
n Tax residents living on lakes for milfoil treatments.
n Create a state defense force.
n Repeal the authorization for energy efficiency and clean energy districts.
Now let's take a look at each of these things one by one and really examine what she's fearing Republicans will do.
Reverse the minimum wage laws. Ok, is that really that bad?
When you force a company to pay higher they don't just wish more money to cover that increase in wages in their budgets, they increase the costs of their products resulting in inflation. Not to mention that higher minimum wage has been shown to equate in higher unemployment rates and most importantly less opportunities for unskilled or lesser skilled employees seeking to better themselves in the market.
Here are two articles I would recommend detailing some of the down sides of minimum wage laws, read them over and then come back and see if you think it would be a bad idea in today's market to repeal that law. I don't know about you but in my opinion low paying jobs are better then no paying jobs as is the case now.
The next fear is that Republicans will "Reverse civil rights". Really? And just which civil rights will they reverse? Strip blacks of their right to vote or perhaps strip women of their right to vote? Civil rights are a very broad area.
Next she fears Republicans will create a voucher system for education. Gasp!!! You mean give parents more control over their children's education and allow them the ability to pull their child from failing schools in order to better meet their needs? Can't have that now can we.
Now this next "fear" is an interesting one. "Tax residents living on lakes for milfoil treatments". The reason I say it's interesting is because this very issue was discussed not long ago in Merrimack as part of our own budget proceedings. We received money from the state to cover the milfoil treatments of some of our lakes. Of course the funding from the state wasn't nearly enough and a single treatment we discovered would be nothing more then a waste of money. So this was a multi thousand dollar process that needed to happen repeatedly over multiple years. Is taxing an elderly couple living inland really a good idea when they don't use the lakes? If such a proposal does come up in Concord I'm not so sure it would be a bad idea but regardless of how you feel about it it is one that should be discussed dispite the outcry of our ousted rep.
"Create a state defense force" Not even sure what she's talking about here. We already have a state defense force, they are called the state police.
"Repeal the authorization for energy efficiency and clean energy districts" Again, I'd like to know the details of what she's discussing here.
Moving on to the rest of her letter she goes on to site the "accomplishments" Democrats have brought to NH over the four years they had total control here...
Although the pendulum has swung from the Democratic majority, remember that among our many accomplishments we brought you:
n The 5.5 percent unemployment rate – 40 percent below the national level.
n A rating of the best state to raise a family.
n The safest state in the nation.
n The seventh-most, business-friendly state.
n The best state to retire in.
The incoming party cannot claim credit for these accomplishments.
Let's start with the 5.5% unemployment rate. While yes, that is good compared to the national level we had a 3.5% unemployment rate in 2006 when Republicans were last in control. So in the four years of Democratic control of all of NH and at least two thirds of the federal level we've gone up 64% under their watch.
Rated the best place to raise a family? Interesting, I also considered it the best place when I moved here back in the late 1990s. What exactly did Democrats do in the past four years that wasn't here before?
Ditto regarding the safest state in the nation. When I shopped for my house I used reality comparison tools that allowed me to compare zip codes and even ten years ago NH was safe, so again I ask what did Democrat do here that we didn't have before?
Skipping the business friendly comment for a moment, the same can be said for retirement.
Are Democrats going to take credit for the beautiful trees and amazing sunsets next?
Back to the last point she claims as a Democratic party accomplishment, "The seventh-most, business-friendly state". Interesting point. So I looked up where we were as far as business friendly before Democrats took power. I assume the ranting she's referring to is the Tax foundations ranking list that comes out every year and sure enough, they currently listed us as 7th best state just as Mel claims. However in their history (found HERE) we were ranked 6th back in 2006 prior to Democrats taking over the state's government. The score awarded by the foundation have dropped from 6.45 to 6.18 so it isn't even that other states have just cut more taxes and gotten better, we've actually increased taxes on businesses and gotten worse.
Is that an accomplishment? To drop in the ratings and received a lower score?
Is it that Democrats like Mel think voters are so stupid as not to actually think about what they hear or do they really think they've accomplished something?