Column: Right-size government – another perspective
It seems our former state senator in his recent op-ed is trying to preempt another 2010 tax revolt in 2014 by convincing us that government is too small. The article documents nicely the alarming growth of the federal government of late, somehow making a case for Democrats in the 2014 elections. Why? Government is too small.
Express concern over the recent explosion of government from 18 percent to 24 percent of GDP and you’ll be painted as another mean-spirited Republican, trying to throw granny over the cliff and return us to an uncivilized era when we were dying in the streets. I am speaking of that dark, Darwinian age, back in the 1990s after Republicans took control of the U.S. House in 1994, moved 6 million people from welfare to work (cutting welfare roles in half) and balanced the federal budget. Some may remember Aug. 22, 1996, when President Clinton, after two vetoes, had finally signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. He gave speeches about “ending welfare as we know it” and “the end of big government” and has been taking credit ever since.
Ironically, to rescue us from the current economic malaise, Bill helped re-elect President Obama who, to feed his new “right-sized” government, has embarked on the most staggering borrowing binge in history with no plan to ever pay the money back. In retrospect, Bill would look pretty stingy in this age of the Welfare ObamaPhone. Our senator tells us Democrats plan to limit spending to 21 percent of GDP. I doubt it. As we follow Greece and Cyprus down the Yellow Brick Road of Keynesian Economics their plan is to grow government indefinitely, produce nothing, and somehow thrive as a service economy.
Things are just as rosy here at the state level where Obama coat tails brought back the Blue Hampshire House. Ruling Democrats have already passed a plethora of tax increases, for example: 67 percent higher gas tax, 25 percent higher tax on home heating fuel, 300 percent higher tax on camps, etc. Democrat David Campbell described his gas tax increase as the “gift that keeps on giving.” Next we were assured by House Ways and Means chairman Susan Almy that camp funds “might not be raided” because the fund is small, in contrast to gas tax monies “dedicated” to the highway fund which are regularly diverted for other purposes. Democrats continue to complain about roads and bridges to raise yet more money to later be pilfered for spending priorities too unpopular to be argued on their own merits. This is a time honored tradition of bait-and-switch to fleece taxpayers when they aren’t paying attention. The new budget bills, HB1&2, will enshrine this practice in law, allowing monies from 288 “dedicated” funds to be spent on whatever. Why bother calling these funds “dedicated”?
Democrats know a “right size” government that continues to chew up a larger and larger percent of GDP is a tough sell. The Mark Fernald article seems timed to inoculate readers against HB1&2, the impending 10 percent-plus increase in the size of NH government. Next will be the “grassroots” media blitz justification, exploiting the disabled, elderly, homeless, and of course, the children. The Democrats’ shell game requires a distraction to dupe their audience. So, they blame Republicans in the press for potholes, the wait list, crime and bad weather. Ordinary citizens, too busy to watch the ball, look back only to discover the money is gone and taxes are going up.
Republicans, who still believe in the American Way and Equal Opportunity, strive to grow our economy, the tide that raises all ships. They know the best way to help the truly needy is for the rest of us to be productive. Democrats, on the other hand, strive to enlarge the Nanny State, an unsustainable solution, depriving hard working people of their property, making us all equal. It’s a system that works OK until you run out of other people’s money.
Yes, 2014 could not come soon enough.
Rep. Jim Parison, a Republican, is serving his second term in the New Hampshire House representing Hillsborough District 25, which includes New Ipswich, Sharon, and Temple.