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 (113)


If 8 is good and 10 is better why not go up to 100 or 1000

Interesting discussion over on Blue Hampshire this week regarding a bill currently pending in the state house.

HB 127 "AN ACT relative to the state minimum hourly rate."

Our friends over at Blue Hampshire had the following to say about this bill idea:

First I would like to say that I am happy to see that Rep Sullivan is already pushing for a higher minimum wage.  However, does this law go far enough?  Is $8.00 per hour really what we want to set the NH minimum wage at?

Right now, New Hampshire is the bottom of the barrel in minimum wage laws.  Massachusetts is already at $8.00 p/h. Vermont is at $8.60.  This is good, but I think we should push for more.

There is already a national push to move minimum wage to $10.00 an hour over the next two years.  The proposal was put in last session and failed to gain traction.

To sum it up, the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is bad.  $8 an hour is better but $10 is better yet.

When I read this I think then if $10 is better yet why stop there?  Wouldn't $20 an hour be even better.  Or $50?  Or why not $100 or $1,000 an hour?

Why not just make minimum wage an even $1 Million an hour and solve all the problems in our country all at once?

Think about it.  Students with tens of thousands in student loan debts would be able to pay them off with just a single hours worth of work.  Families struggling to pay off their mortages would be able to pay off their debts after a single day of work.  And with everyone earning $1 million an hour we'd have more then enough in tax revenue to pay off the national debt in no time.

Great idea right?

Sure, it's a great idea until you consider reality.

Let's assume you run a business.  You sell widgets for $5 each.  The company that makes them charges you $3 each for them so for every unit sold you earn $2 profit.

In an average day you can sell around 350 units.  350 X $2 profit means you earn $700 in profits during a normal 8 hour day.  Being a typical business you can't do everything alone so you have a couple employees.  Let's say you have two cashiers to cash people out, a stock boy to make sure the shelves are filled and a maintenance guy who fixes things around the shop.

It costs roughly $20,000 a year in benefits for an average full time employee.  This is a combination health care costs, taxes, insurance etc.  To be generous let's lower this down to just an even $10,000 a year because suddenly ObamaCare makes employing people cheaper.  So we have $10,000 divided by 52 weeks then again by 40 hours comes to $4.80 an hour for the cost of benefits per employee.

Doing the current math...

2 cashiers each earning $7.25 + $4.80 in benefits costs your business $24.10 every hour.

The stock boy has worked for you for a while so he's up to $8 an hour + $4.80 in benefits so he costs the business $12.80 an hour

The maintenance guy, being skilled, earned $20 an hour + $4.80 so he's $24.80 an hour

This brings the total up to $61.70 every hour not including your own salary.  This comes out to $493.60 a day in expenses leaving $206.40 for your own salary to live off.  Which breaks down to $21 an hour plus your own benefits of $4.80.

Increasing minimum wage to $10 an hour as our Blue Hampshire friends propose as a great idea would add to your expenses.

Your 2 cashiers are now $10 an hour + $4.80 so they come out to be $29.60

The stock boy bumps up to $10 an hour + $4.80 coming to $14.80

Assuming you keep your maintenance guy the same he'll still come out to $24.80 an hour

Now every hour you have to come up with $69.20 which all else the same leaves you with $7.50 an hour less in your own salary.

Here are a couple more things to consider...

If you were that stock boy who has slowly gotten increases over the years would you be happy now if you were essentially back at minimum wage earning exactly the same as the two cashiers who just started their jobs?

If you were the business owner would you attempt to get by on less?  Most would increase the price of their product.  Chances are since the company making the widget likewise has to pay out more in salaries they too will increase their price and the trucking company bringing the widget from the company that makes it to your stock room will also charge more.  350 units per day average just about 44 units per hour.  To make our math easier let's round it up to an even 50.  50 units an hour would mean every 2 cents in price equals $1 an hour in store income.  To raise minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour would be a 38% increase.  Saying not everyone earns minimum wage from the manufacturer to your business let's say it only results in a 20% increase.  That $3 now becomes $3.20 and just to make up the $7.50 loss you saw in your own salary you'd need to increase your own price an additional 15 cents on top of what you are being charged.  Now your widget is selling for $5.35

With an increase on the cost of living with the cost of products going up, now your maintenance guy's standard of living dropped as did yours own and this is just on a 5 employee shop.

Since you own the business you have the ability to increase the cost you sell your product for so your own standard of living wouldn't drop but there isn't a law requiring you to make it up to your maintenance guy since he's above minimum wage.

So what happens?  The business owner (let's call him Rich) can set his own salary so he keeps going up the ladder by passing off higher costs on those buying his product.  Those at the bottom see a small bump but they also see increased costs.  Those in the middle class get completely screwed because they see increased costs but don't see any increases in wages to make up for it.

In other words, the rich get richer and the poor and middle class get poorer, everything democrats claim they are against.

And if you want to really add a double dose of reality into the mix, let's say it's a bigger company who has 100 or even 1,000 employees.  In their case, rather then increase costs to consumers they can get around the added expenses by laying off 5 or 10 percent of their workforce.  This puts more people living off government, increases expenses and taxes on the rest of us.

No one wins.



Republicans Have No Plan

Republicans have no plan...

How many times in the media have you heard that or the claim that the Republican plan to close loopholes instead of increasing the tax rate on the rich is short on specifics?

They don't tell you of course that Republicans have actually given some of the details, pointing out how they want to eliminate the loopholes that allow money to be sheltered overseas or cap the maximum deductions allowed.

The left doesn't want you to know this even though it accomplishes everything they claim they want.  The "rich" would pay their "fair share" (pay more) and the government by some prediction would see higher revenue then if they just increased the tax rate.

So why are they opposing this?  Because the left knows that Buffet, Soros, Kerry, Moore etc would actually have to pay out under the Republican plan and if they simply increase the tax rates they could still shelter their money and wouldn't actually have to pay anything out.

Increasing the tax rate puts on a good show the the masses and allows the limousine liberals to make the appearance that they are sticking it to "the rich" while at the same time they aren't the ones actually paying anything out.  It isn't about paying off the debt or even getting the "fair share" out of the rich, it's about fooling enough people so Democrats can claim superiority at election times.


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.