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


Entries in Democrats (111)


State Income Tax Arguments

I always find it telling when people argue or or against changes.  Listening to their arguments is a good way to understand their ideas over all, far beyond the single point they are pushing for or against.

For instance, I support legalization of most drugs even though I don't use drugs beyond Alcohol and a very rare cigar.  The argument I use to favor such a legalization is freedom.  It does me no harm if my neighbor grows a pot plant or smokes a little after work on weekends so why should I harm him by forcing men with guns into his home and arresting him if he's doing something that doesn't hurt anyone outside himself?

This brings up the question we will get to vote on on November 6th, whether or not to amend our state Constitution to permanently ban income tax.

The ballot question will read as follows:

 “Are you in favor of amending the second part of the constitution by inserting after article 5-b a new article to read as follows:

[Art.] 5-c. [Income Tax Prohibited.] Notwithstanding any general or special provision of this constitution, the general court shall not have the power or authority to impose and levy any assessment, rate, or tax upon income earned by any natural person; however, nothing in this Article shall be construed to prohibit any tax in effect on January 1, 2012, or adjustment to the rate of such a tax.

NHFPI has some interesting arguments posted HERE.  They include the following:

  • The current NH Constitution was ratified in 1784 and served us very well for more than two centuries. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Question 1 seeks to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Neither the governor nor the legislature has seriously considered an income tax in years, and prior efforts to adopt an income tax were stopped over the course of the normal legislative process.
  • Question 1 takes options off the table and leaves New Hampshire dependent on already high property and business taxes to raise revenue.
  • Passage of Question 1 would tie the hands of future lawmakers, taking power away from our children and grandchildren when we don’t know what issues they will face – or how they may want to solve them.

Before diving into their arguments against the amendment I always find it best to find out who the group is that raises any argument.

NHFPI stands for the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.  Their own website describes them as "an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals".

I find the emphasis on low and moderate incomes interesting. 

Their director is Jeff McLynch, who just happens to be a Democrat who's been involved in other Soros funded left wing groups that pushed for a state income tax.  Hmmmmmm can we expect this person to be far and balanced when evaluating whether income tax would be good for all NH residents?

In another article found HERE they describe the NHFPI as:

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute he runs is the New Hampshire chapter of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, which is a state by state project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).  CBPP is a left wing group that promotes the Democrat parties social and economic justice agenda through budget based think tanks and policy organizations with support from the cranky Progressives over at the Bookings Institute and deep pocketed left wing foundations like Ford, Rockefeller and George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Fair to say this is a left wing group.

This brings us back to their arguments.  The first one is the one that makes me laugh the most.

The current NH Constitution was ratified in 1784 and served us very well for more than two centuries. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

How many times have those of us right of center heard arguments against the 2nd Amendment saying that the Constitution is a "living breathing" document?  Or that times were different back then?  Or my favorite when they just attack the founders of our Country saying they were slave owners?

The left knows they would never get a majority to support changing the 2nd amendment so in that case they argue to ignore it but now since there is a strong chance that a two third majority will support banning income tax they want to use the argument that our state Constitution served us well these 200+ years.

Question 1 seeks to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Neither the governor nor the legislature has seriously considered an income tax in years, and prior efforts to adopt an income tax were stopped over the course of the normal legislative process.

Here their own explanation discredits the opening statement.  The claim the problem doesn't exist but then point out that there are past examples where legislators have pushed to create an income tax.

Of course since the director of this group has openly supported an income tax they wouldn't see it as a problem in the first place.

Question 1 takes options off the table and leaves New Hampshire dependent on already high property and business taxes to raise revenue.

Taking money out of your left pocket on top of your right pocket and maybe a few bucks more from your back pocket doesn't make high property taxes better, it just taxes you in more ways so you are less likely to realize how much is actually being taken from your pockets.

The problem isn't the taxation needed to raise revenue, it's the spending which requires the revenue in the first place.

Passage of Question 1 would tie the hands of future lawmakers, taking power away from our children and grandchildren when we don’t know what issues they will face – or how they may want to solve them.

Actually it doesn't take the power away from our children and grandchildren.  It does just the opposite.  It takes the power away from the government and gives it to our children and grandchildren.  If in the future they want to solve problems by taxing income they have the same power we do today to change the Constitution once again.

Lawmakers who force their will against the support of the people are the ones who take the power of the people away.

Over all it's going to be an interesting vote.  So far my favorite argument against it has to be the claim that Republicans know it will never pass but put it up as a way to incite conservatives to come out and vote against Obama.  I can't wait to hear what they'll claim if and when this passes.


Liberals Do As I Say Not As I Do

Sometimes it is just too much fun arguing with Liberals because sooner or later either facts destroy all they are attempting to claim or their own logic falls apart conflicting with itself.

In a recent online discussion on another website the argument went a little like this:

Liberal: Republicans wage war on women (fill in the blank with this week's talking points)

Right wing poster: Obama pays his female staff less then the men.

Liberal #1: No that's a lie.

Me: Here is the link to the 2011 White House Annual Report.  If you look at the median income for men and women it's an 18% difference.

Liberal #2: Well it's Republican's own fault, they blocked the fair pay act.

Now let me interject here for a moment, this 2nd poster's argument basically says that Democrats will not do what they themselves claim is the right thing to do unless forced to do so by the law.

Liberal #1: What Democrats are pushing for is equal pay for equal work, your "median income" value by sex does point to an under representation of women in the higher paying jobs at the White House, but women and men at the same tier of responsibility are paid EXACTLY THE SAME at the White House.

Interesting that this poster own explanation points out that Obama's staff has fewer women in the top level jobs.

Me: Look up the job "Assistant Staff Secretary" of which there are 3 in that position Theodore makes $65,000 where as Caitilin and Sarah earn $60,000.

Facts do not support Liberal #1's claim.

So this leads us with two eventual truths...

1) There is a legitimate reason for men to earn higher incomes on average

2) Obama and the left are just as guilty, if not more so, of underpaying women.

Either way, the logic doesn't hold for Liberals.


Push Polls 2012 Edition

Democrats once again are up to their old tricks.  Here's how this one took place...

I'm sitting home enjoying time with my kids when I receive a call from the number 303-647-1016 which shows up as "survey center" on caller ID.  I'm a sucker for surveys so I answered the phone.  A friendly young man on the other end asks basic questions asking on a scale of 1 to 100 how would I rate each of the following then rattled off the names of current politicians running in 2012 for all the state offices.

After going over each candidate and John Lynch for good measure they then began the pointed questions about Ovide Lamontagne and Maggie Hassan.  They start asking if I'd heard (insert charge here), filling in the blank with several of the charges Republicans have made against Maggie based on her prior record.  Then they asked if that was alarming and to what degree on a 1 to 4 scale.  Then they followed up with the Democratic Party counter claiming Maggie was the greatest thing since sliced bread and Ovide would bring an end to life as we know it here in NH.  You know the typical claims, he'd destroy business, crash the housing market, undo all the great things Lynch did for NH and then the real kicker he'd destroy the NH education system by giving parents the choice of where to send their kids instead of forcing them into one sized fits all cookie cutter schools.  And get this, he may even single handedly change the NH Constitution to allow parents to even pick... religious schools (gasp!).

I remained friendly the whole time while I could tell the caller was getting a little disapointed as I continued to say my opinion to vote for Ovide over Maggie was not changed but after almost 20 minutes of this he finally thanked me for my time and it was only then he rambled off the disclaimer that the call was baught and paid for by the Democratic party.

When I googled that phone number I found several sites discussing that it had been used in other misleading attempts to sway voters.  One caller was targeted because they had an hispanic sounding name and were hit with several survey "questions" aimed at making the Democratic candidate in their state look like the pro Hispanic candidate.  Another was told up front that they were representing the Foundation for American Veterans even asking for donation.  Others yet said that they received no answer on the line several times when the number called and only when their spouse answer did they get a response with targeted questions to the specific sex they were targeting.  Typically pushing the war on women claims.

Because I refused to change my stance and told them out right I would not support the Democratic party's candidate I wonder if that's the only reason they finally disclosed that they were representing that party.  My guess is if I expressed shock at the claims they made (which by the way ignore actual facts like say... voting records and the actual bills either candidate supported) and said I would switch my vote over to Maggie I highly suspect that they would just have thanked me for my time and hung up without disclosing who they were.

Should any of my readers get a call on their caller ID from that number please try this and post the results.


Republican or Democrat Quote Quiz

Let's play a game!  I'm going to give a series of quotes and you have to guess if the statements were made by Democrats or Republicans.

1) "We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy."

2) "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

3) "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,"

4) "The great task before our founders was putting into practice the ideal that government could simultaneously serve liberty and advance the common good. and Government, he believed, had an important role to play in advancing our common prosperity."

5) "Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."

6) "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it that happen.”

7) "Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

8) "This is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."

9) "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

10) "What I do is I'm going to try to reorganize the health () to be more willing to treat sick people, but it means above all you young people, especially you young people in good health … you have to pay more. And by the way, we will have, if you're too old, not going to give you everything that technology and all these drugs during the past two years of your life and maybe go to another couple months. It is very expensive … then we will let you die."

11) "I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned."

12) "The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrence to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system, and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes..."

13) "It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough jobs or enough profits."

14) "Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."

15) "A man does what he must.. in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures.. and that is the basis of all human morality."



Have you taken guesses yet?  If you want to go for the bonus write down who you think said each one before continuing.



Ready for the answers?  Sorry to say this but it's a trick quiz, all these quotes were stated by Democrats.

1 through 6 were all President Obama quotes

7 and 8 were both Elizebth Warren

9 was Michelle Obama

10 was Robert Reich Secretary of Labor for the Clinton Administration

11 through 15 by today's standards all sound like comments a Republican would have made but they were all made by J. F. Kennedy.  Kind of makes you wonder what his thoughts would be about Obama and the current Democratic party.



Obama Job Growth

By now I'm sure you've seen the chart popping all over the internet showing jobs decreasing under Bush and everything turning around bright and sunny under Obama.  If you haven't here it is:

First thing off the bat that caught my eye was how they start the chart at Jan 2008.  This is well after Democrats took control of both the House and Senate and had plenty of time for their policies to begin taking effect.

Then I noticed it stopped at March 2011, why?  The data is available well after that date, why stop showing how well Obama has been doing.  Oh wait, in April 2011 job growth fell another -190 and in June 2011 it feel another -445.

Here is the data in full as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec                  Annual
2002 -346 737 -261 -51 413 -124 -2 292 597 -294 -487 -95 379
2003 991 65 -48 199 -89 246 -316 75 60 375 440 -13 1985
2004 61 70 -89 227 172 322 382 17 -86 245 499 -106 1714
2005 120 140 269 600 355 105 312 408 -33 147 -49 253 2627
2006 398 307 284 20 328 264 -151 423 190 499 220 436 3218
2007 58 29 263 -734 317 160 -158 -223 562 -298 649 -322 303
2008 124 -240 -49 22 -201 -191 -208 -334 -137 -267 -714 -750 -2945
2009 -1141 -527 -906 -100 -360 -291 -112 -433 -683 -374 206 -639 -5360
2010 532 165 171 470 34 -203 2 199 6 -272 -135 283 1252
2011 110 221 213 -136 180 -423 65 304 353 190 317 176 1570
2012 847


(numbers in thousands)

We took a hit after 9-11 and you can see the economy was unstable going into 2002 but Bush with Republican control kept the country headed in the right direction.

It wasn't until well into 2006 after Democrats swept the house and senate that we saw any real down turn.

In 2010 the government dumped a ton of money into the economy with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Obama stimulus.  One of the criticisms of the stimulus however is that the money spent will be divided over several years, we're currently in those years.  What happens when the spending stops?

Of the 3,669,000 jobs created since 2010 how many are permanent that can sustain themselves without government having to take wealth from others to create the impression of job growth?

The other factor this chart doesn't account for is underemployment.  This would be someone working at a high paying job who became unemployed settling for half or even less of their current salary just to get back to work.

The other question to ask is at what cost are the jobs we're seeing coming at?  Obama's new budget has nearly 1 trillion in deficit spending, a debt that will be passed on to our children.  And even with this out of control spending we still have over 4.6 million jobs still to be created just to get us back to close to where we were before Democrats took control of the House and Senate.