Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson



45% pay increase

Let me ask you all this, if you ran a company similar to the state which found it's education department is underfunded and it's highway department is underfunded and the over all budget going up by 17.5% would you feel that is the appropriate time for a pay hike for employees (in some cases raises of 45%)?  That's what state democrats have just done.

Nearly 1 million in raises over the next two years for 100 employees and these don't even include the step raises (4.2%) that are already in the budget and go into effect Jan 1st. This was done in an 8 to 4 vote by the Legislative Facilities Committee with all four Republican members voting against it.

Where do Democrats think all this money is coming from?


Castro Says Clinton Obama is The Way to go

Reuters reported today that Castro is picking Clinton with Obama as her VP choice would be the way to go.  His statement was "The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate."  If that isn't a sharp slap in the face to people who still see Democrats as freedom loving party then I don't know what is.  There is a reason why Castro sees Hillary as the top choice and Obama as a close second.

If you are a Democrat and you're reading this, you really need to wake up and wake others up if you want to save your party.  When Socialist dictators name your parties front runners as good choices that's NOT a good thing. 


Toll Protest The Day After

Unless you've been living under a rock I'm sure by now you are aware of the toll protest that took place in Merrimack yesterday in which protesters paid their tolls using pennies.  As expected this did cause some back ups later in the afternoon and what is believed to be political retaliation from the state government by targeting and ticketing some of those who were key in establishing the protest.

The question now is what if anything will come of it.  Clearly it has raised the question of whether tolls are fair or not to discussion as nearly every major paper in the state is discussing it as is nearly every major forum and blog site.  And most lean toward agreeing that tolls are unfair.

First let me address why tolls are unfair for those who do not understand the reason behind this protest.  The goal isn't to push off the costs of maintaining the highways onto everyone else in the state as some think... the goal was to get the cost to be distributed EQUALLY to the entire state for everyone who uses the highway.  Currently tolls are not evenly distributed so some areas such as Merrimack pay far greater amounts then areas like Nashua where you can get on and off the highway without tolls.  To get on and off the same highway in Merrimack requires a toll to be paid.  The other key issue with the tolls is they are not efficient means of collecting taxation.  Nearly 50% of the money collected by toll booths goes right back toward running the toll booth itself.  When the government seeks to collect money from the people for things such as roads, they should seek to do so in the most efficient way possible.  A method in which 50% of the money collected goes toward running the method used to collect should be abolished as it wastes money.

That said, clearly the toll protest had gotten attention it expected.  Even the Governor called Merrimack town hall seeking a meeting to avoid a lawsuit, as that is the town's next step in fighting this unfair taxation.  Based on this, yes I truly do feel the protest has accomplished what it sought to do.  It has forced the state's hand into looking at a problem it has continued to turn it's nose up at before as it only effected one region.  And I would hope the state would seek to correct a situation which taxes some higher then others simply because of their location.




Thoughts about School Spending

I read a letter to the editor a while back that really got me thinking about school spending.  The author "CamillusGrl" was arguing back about a comment that teachers are nothing more then over paid baby sitters.

Her (I'm assuming based on the name that it is a woman) comments got me thinking.

The idea is a baby sitter gets $5 an hour ($10 if they are really good).

And since teachers only actually have the kids in the room 6 hours they should only be paid for 6 hours.

And they don't work a full year so only 180 days worth of pay.

Average class is 20 to 25 kids so let's call it 22.

So do the math with me... $5 an hour X 6 hours a day X 180 days a year means each parent would be responsible to pay $5,400 a year.

Now multiply that $5,400 by 22 kids in a classroom and each teacher would be making $118,800 a year.  Benefits are roughly $20,000 per full time employee so take home would be $98,800.

Even if parents pay $1,000 more for books and transportation costs, heck how about $2,000 more for such things the cost per student still falls far below the nearly $10,000 per student we're paying today and teachers earn FAR less then $98,800 a year.  Most admisistrators don't even make that much.

Instead teacher earn on average around $45,000.  Add in the $20,000 in benefits and that's $65,000.  Break that out by 22 kids and it's just about $3000 per year per kid.  Yet as I brought up before, we're paying close to $10,000 per year per kid in this state.

That's $7,000 per year going for something other then the most important thing in the classroom besides your own kid (the teacher).

Something to think about! 


Follow the Money to Federal Coruption

I found an interesting article recently discussing a bill with $1 million earmarked by Democrat John Murtha going toward the "Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure".  Republican Jeff Flake questioned if the center actually exists as he was unable to find a web site for it or any information about such a group.  Democrat Peter J. Visclosky chairman of the spending subcommittee in charge of the project responded "At this time, I do not know.  But if it does not exist, the monies could not go to it."

If it doesn't exist the monies could not go to it?  That's an answer???

Flake's challenge of money going toward a group that may or may not even exist fell flat with a vote of 326 to 98.

The bill itself (HR 2641) passed 312 to 112.

 Now here's where it really gets interesting... investigating further into what exactly the "Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure" actually is, it turns out that it is part of a corporation called Current Technologies Corporation (CTC).  Now CTC is also listed by Washington Technology magazine in the list of top 100 government contractors.

So far fairly interesting right?  Here's the real kick in the pants... the CTC board and directors nearly have all contributed to Murtha's campaigns and their president, Daniel DeVos, is part of the PMA group heavy funders of Murtha's campaigns.

Now in all of this you may ask are our own state representatives questioning this as Rep. Flake is?  Are they watching out for where our money goes?  Surely Rep Shea Porter and Rep Hodes would do the right thing here and question this right?  NOPE!  They both voted in support of this bill and against Flake's trying to remove the earmarked money!