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

Email: lildog@comcast.net

Entries in Democrats (107)

Thursday
Nov102011

Cigarette Tax

I have to hand it to our friends over at Blue Hampshire, they sure know how to pick and choose facts for a story.

Take for instance the article found HERE, "What a surprise! Cigarette Tax revenues down!"

In their article they post this single quote from an article on WMUR:

"Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Wednesday that revenues are $4 million below estimates. She said the biggest disappointment was the tobacco tax, which was $2.6 million behind projections for the month and now is $3.5 million behind for the year. The Legislature cut the tax 10 cents hoping to spur sales, but Hodgdon said sales are behind last year's numbers."
(From WMUR story below.)

The WMUR story can be read HERE.

Read the title Blue Hampshire gave to this article and read the quote posted very carefully before going on.

Let's start with the simple fact that less revenue equals less smokers.  Since smoking leads to health problems and more need for health care which puts a drain on the system for the rest of us I fail to see how anyone could see this as a bad thing.

But I go on...

If you go to the WMUR story you'll find this part conveniently left out of the Blue Hampshire version:

Despite the poor month, the state is still almost $11 million ahead of projections. Through October, the state has collected $498 million for the fiscal year that started July 1.

It turns out what our liberals friends are claiming is not true.  Cigarette revenue is down for a single month, over all it's up $11 over projections.  It's revenue as a whole (from all sources) that's down for the year.

One other factor to consider is that while Blue Hampshire is implying that somehow the cut in taxes is directly responsible for the loss in revenue if you look at other facts you'll see it isn't the case.  Any reasonable thinking person should question any claim that decreasing the price resulted in fewer sales (as pointed out in the article). Reality can be found in the version of the story posted by the Nashua Telegraph which shared this additional bit of information:

The state issued 55.7 million tax stamps for cigarette packs from this past June through October.

Over the same period last year, 57 million tax stamps were bought.

Tobacco sales have been going down steadily in New Hampshire and other states as fewer people smoke.

The state sold 71.5 million tax stamps during the five-month window five years ago.

So over all fewer people are smoking as evident by the salves over the past 5 years. If we want to look at true cause and effect then perhaps the smoking ban passed by Democrats in 2007 (4 years ago) should be considered as well for its impact on cigarette revenue.

Friday
Sep162011

Kneejerk Reactions to the Passing of SB 88

Never before have I seen so much kneejerking and factless emotion in political debate then with the veto override on the caste doctrine bill.

With the passage of SB 88 if someone pulls a weapon on you and puts you or your families lives in danger you can respond by shooting the criminal dead and no longer have to fear you'll be charged for defending yourself and your family as a result.

Leading up to the vote there were letters such as the one found HERE that claimed if citizens had the right to defend themselves the letter writer would be worried about going to the movies "that some lunatic might pull out a gun and start shooting because someone has cut in front of him in the ticket line and maybe spoken to him rudely" and that passing this law would turn NH into the "Wild West".  Of course if you read the bill you'd know that any lunatic pulling a gun out in a theater because someone spoke rude to them would be considered a criminal just as they are today, nothing changes in that aspect so if the writer is in fear of something like that this bill/ now law wont make them any safer.

Another article criticises Republicans (justly I might ad) for not making it publicly known they would be voting on the veto override that day, however the first letter above is evident that the public was aware such a vote was coming and the bill in question was public for anyone to read... even though it's clear that first letter writer never took the time to do so.  While I do believe Republicans should have been more open in the fact they were voting that day I will take that behavior over this:

'We have to pass the bill so you can see what's in it'- Pelosi March 10th, 2010

As I stated, everyone knew what was in SB 88 prior to its vote.  Can't say the same for Obama and Pelosi's health care plan. 

The kneejerk comments I found the most offensive however came in the article found HERE.

Comments made like the one about the theater and the wild west are somewhat excusable because they are members of the public but when elected officials and even the governor himself make equally uninformed or misleading comments there's no excuse.

“This bill is going to empower the wrong people,” said state Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua. “What if we have a gang member from Lowell (Mass.) who comes to Nashua and decides that this park bench is what he’s going to defend?”

Rep. David Campbell either never read the bill or he's clearly making things up to make it sound worse.  I would recommend people actually read the bill found HERE before continuing.

In the bill it states:

If a person is convicted of a felony, an element of which is the possession, use or attempted use of a deadly weapon, and the deadly weapon is a firearm, such person may be sentenced to a maximum term of 20 years' imprisonment in lieu of any other sentence prescribed for the crime.

So that "gang member" would most likely not be legally allowed to have a gun in the first place, much less use it to defend a park bench.

The bill also states that you cannot use deadly force if:

with complete safety... Retreat from the encounter, except that he or she is not required to retreat if he or she is within his or her dwelling [or], its curtilage, or anywhere he or she has a right to be, and was not the initial aggressor

So again Rep. Campbell's example falls apart because in his example the gang member would be the initial aggressor.

And to continue...

nor is the use of deadly force justifiable when, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily harm, the [actor] person has provoked the use of force against himself or herself in the same encounter

One more hole in Rep. Campbell's example, if the gang member draws first the law doesn't protect them nor does it justify their behavior.

And then there's Lynch's comment.

Lynch pointed to Florida, which has seen justifiable homicides triple in that state since it adopted a similar law in 2005.

Bolding added by me.

This statement is intentionally misleading and quite honestly if you cannot justify your position using the whole truth then it shows how weak it is.

The fact is that yes, justifiable homicides in FL went up as a result of passing a similar bill however homicides overall dropped by double digit percents and the states over all crime rate dropped to a 30 year low.  The fact that Lynch leaves those details out shows how weak his argument really is and how far he's willing to go to lie by omission to get his way politically instead of debating on honesty and the whole truth.

I guess that's just the way with Democrats, they rule by emotion and how they feel and have little care in the truth and facts.

 

Friday
Sep162011

Liberals Are Failing

Over at Blue Hampshire there is an article titled "A Look in the Mirror: We're Failing".  In it they point to a NY Times article discussing how this country over all has gotten worse over the past few years.

Blue Hampshire writes:

We are getting poorer. The American Dream is   - we hope - comatose, with family incomes falling for the first time since the Great Depression.

Mirrors and censuses "close the loop" of feedback for our political system. They bring us back to cold hard facts.

We're getting poorer. We've failed our children, who are moving back in with their parents - they would fall below the poverty line too, if they didn't.

These statements are based off the following facts as quoted in the NY Times:

Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year

...

the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.

And in new signs of distress among the middle class, median household incomes fell last year to levels last seen in 1996.

...

It was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period, said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard.

...

It is also fresh evidence that the disappointing economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.

...

The report said the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993.

...

Overall, median household income adjusted for inflation declined by 2.3 percent in 2010 from the previous year, to $49,445.

...

Minorities were hit hardest. Blacks experienced the highest poverty rate, at 27 percent, up from 25 percent in 2009, and Hispanics rose to 26 percent from 25 percent. For whites, 9.9 percent lived in poverty, up from 9.4 percent in 2009.

The article also supplies two charts, the first showing the median household income by year, the 2nd showing the percent of people living below poverty level.  Both charts show dates of recessions as well.

 

 Important dates to consider when looking at either of the above charts are

2000 - the dot com bubble popped leaving a number of tech workers out of jobs.

2001 - we were hit on 9-11 with the worst terror attack in this countries history

Given those two facts alone one can understand the downturn starting around 2000 but with Bush and full Republican control that crisis was short lived and you can see both charts starting back in the right directions around 2004-2005.

2006 - Democrats won big in the elections taking control of both Congress and Senate

2008 - Obama wins the White House

Starting around 2006-2007 you can see things grew worse and have nose dived ever since with no sign of stopping.

Its hard for anyone to look at that evidence and blame anyone but the Democratic party.

That said however, it no longer matters who started it because we're now in it.  Our country is failing and Washington is short on answers.  The real question now is what should be done to fix it.

Obama last week got up in front of the country repeating the same tired rhetoric he's been saying from day one which clearly isn't working.  Our friends at Blue Hampshire state in their feedback "We know what to do to turn this around, we have the resources to turn this around, yet we refuse to choose to turn this around" but don't offer any details to those of who who don't know what they are claiming we refuse to do.  Is it raising taxes on those with money?  Is it doubling or tripling the size of government?

A Republican version of the jobs bill submitted this week offered a very simple but eloquent solution, eliminate corporate taxes on corporations actually manufacturing their products in this country.  Hard to argue that companies paying thousands, if not millions, wouldn't look to lessen costs by simply opening their factories over here.  It would save them shipping costs and with the tax cut it would save them in taxes.  The benefit to our country in turn would be two fold, one unemployment would go down since more people would be working... two with more people working more people would be able to pay income tax making up the lost revenue our federal government gave up to draw the jobs back in the first place.

Democrats solutions so far?  Tax and spend.

Maybe Obama was right in 2008, it is time for change!  Only this time let's try a change that works.

Wednesday
Aug102011

District 3 Special Elections Message

Sometimes voters send clear messages to one political group or another as in the cast of the 2006 and 2008 elections being clear messages to Republicans that people were sick of the wars and the 2010 election to Democrats that people were sick of Obama's liberal agenda.

There are other times when a political party is so desperate to believe people support their views that they read too far into things as is the case we're seeing with the results of the special election in District 3.

Most people already saying, "there was an election?" should be the sign but our leftist friends don't always see things that clearly.

Ray Buckley declared the Democratic party candidate's victory "a complete and total rejection of Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien's reckless job killing agenda."

Of course in typical Blue Hampshire fashion they got their facts wrong in their story as they bragged of their victory.

They posted the following results:

Town    Free Stater   Perry
Barrington    40% 60%
Farmington 45% 55%
Middleton     52% 48%
Milton        45% 55%
New Durham    45% 55%
Strafford     35% 65%

Right off the bat those results are wrong.  Perry lost New Durham yet Blue Hampshire reports it as a win, to their credit though they do state that these numbers are "unofficial".

The second thing worth noting here is that they show the results as percentages instead of actual numbers.  Politically this is a smart move on their part because claiming their side won 60% to 40% sounds a lot better then saying they won by 727 to 485 in a town of 8,576 (Barrington population from the 2010 census).

Looking at the actual voter turn out would mean they couldn't make a claim like the one Ray Buckley made:

"Bob Perry's victory tonight is a complete and total rejection of Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien's reckless job killing agenda.  In a historically Republican district, New Hampshire voters turned out in the middle of summer to send a loud and clear message to the out of control Republican majority. Its relentless attempts to make cigarettes cheaper but college more expensive, slash women's health care, and kill jobs by taxing hospitals must stop immediately.  

"New Hampshire voters have seen enough of the radical Free State agenda this year with bills that would allow guns in schools and courts, would remove support for our United States' Constitution out of the oath of office, and would eliminate public kindergarten.

Winning over 727 voters in a town of 8,576 is hardly a "complete and total rejection" of anything.

Here are the counts as reported by Fosters.com:

Perry gained a total of 2,102 votes to Puterbaugh's 1,507, giving him a margin of victory of 595 votes, or 58.2 percent of the total votes cast. Puterbaugh actually won two of the six towns — New Durham (171 to 139) and Middleton (95 to 86) — but Perry won the more populous communities of Barrington (727 to 485), Farmington (359 to 299), Strafford (493 to 267) and Milton (266 to 222).

Look at the total votes cast compared to the last regular election.

New Durham had 310 votes, in the 2010 election they had 1,055 votes cast.

Middleton had 181 compared to 556 in the 2010 election.

Barrington 1212 compared to 3221 in 2010

Farmington 658 compared to 1778 in 2010

Strafford 760 compared to 1638 in 2010

Milton 488 compared to 1394 in 2010

In the case of the largest group, Barrington, they had a turn out of 4764 in the 2008 election of a population of 8576 based on the 2010 census.  Having roughly 1 out of 8 people actually show up and take the time to vote is hardly a sign that people are rejecting anything, if anything that's a sign of voter compliance.  People vote in larger numbers when they are upset or see a vote as important.  If they don't they don't show up.

When numbers are small those who favor big government and who benefit from larger government and thus have more reason to vote tend to show where as regular folks don't.

Given all of this as much as Ray and his fellow liberals would like to believe this to be a "loud and clear message" it is actually nothing more then a faint whisper of those who bothered to show up.

Tuesday
Aug092011

Republicans are the most powerful party ever

I'm convinced that the Republican Party is by far the most powerful party ever.  Clearly one Republican can accomplish more then 100 Democrats and even in the minority they have full control over everything that happens within the government.

What makes me say such a thing?  Easy, the Democrats are making this very argument themselves.

Look at the facts...

In the 2006 the Democratic party won control of both Congress and Senate.

In 2008 while keeping control of the house and senate the Democratic party also gained control of the White House with the election of Barack Obama.

Even after the 2010 election Republicans remain the minority party having only won back control of Congress but Senate and the White House remain under Democratic party lead.

Given that the Democrats have been the majority party in control of government since the 2006 election they continue to blame Bush and Republicans for problems.  So Bush's impact overrides Democratic party control even today.

On top of that, with the tea party Republicans gaining control of congress, democrats now blame them for the loss of the AAA credit rating.  Let me get this straight, even after several years in power the Democrats cannot make any changes to what Bush did prior but yet in less then 1 year in power the tea party Conservatives are already making major impacts on this country?  How can anyone listen to this leap in Liberal logic and buy into anything they say?

Even John Kerry has jumped onto the blame the tea party band wagon.  He's saying it's all their fault because they refused to raise taxes.  In other words its not the fault of those who spent out of control for all these years it's the fault of those who ran and won saying they would stop spending and fight to lower taxes for actually doing what they ran on and won.  Hmmmm.

Is this a bit like blaming a dealer for someone going through withdraw symptoms because they refuse to give them more free drugs after getting them hooked?

This country has a problem that needs to be dealt with.  Both partys have acknowledged it and at different points in history both parties have even called for balanced budget amendments to deal with it when the other is in power and controlling the purse strings but until the tea party group took control no one has been actively dealing with it.  And clearly since Republicans have had such an influence on everything even when they've held a minority for years, just think of what will be accomplished if they come back into full control with help of the tea party.