Representative Joe Pitre
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28 Oct 2014 There is a second post down the page for this date!
By Fred Rice
October 27. 2014 7:06PM
The Democrats are lying about the budget
Ronald Reagan once said, “It’s not that my Democrat friends are lying. It’s just that so much of what they say just isn’t so.” Sadly, nowadays we are way beyond just saying things that aren’t so. Today’s Democrats are lying. Deliberately, viciously and in a coordinated manner designed to ruin reputations, eliminate accounts of actual events and gain political advantage at any cost. There have been several recent specific instances of Democrats in Hampton lying and distorting facts. It’s easy to tell that they are coordinating their lies, since they all use the same targets, the same language and the same inaccurate figures and claims. And none of it is true.Five letters to the editor in the Hampton Union and statements by two Democrats in the recent candidate debates have all followed the same pattern: Claim that the Republicans destroyed the budget and viciously cut funding for the most critical programs, claim that it was all done at the direction of former Speaker Bill O’Brien, whom they always describe as a “bully,” and then claim that the Democrats saved the day by passing a bipartisan budget that restored funding.I hate to break the news, but there is not one word of truth in any of those claims, and I will now present the facts to set the record straight. First of all, not one of the letter writers or candidates who told these lies was in the Legislature when these events transpired, knows or had any direct dealings with Speaker O’Brien. They got all of their false information from Democrat talking papers. I was there for the past four years, had numerous direct dealings with Speaker O’Brien, and took part in many of the discussions and proceedings to which they refer.From 2007 to 2010, the Democrats overspent the state budget by $800 million, and tried to cover it up by bonding debt, using the rainy day fund, UNH reserves, federal stimulus money, and other one-time gimmicks, and by increasing or enacting nearly 100 taxes and fees. In 2011 and 2012 the Republicans regained the majority and pledged to balance the budget without raising taxes or fees, and without spending more than the anticipated revenues. We found that it would require an unheard of 12 percent reduction in spending to do this and bring the budget back into compliance under the law. This required difficult but necessary decisions to reduce spending in many areas. After the 20-member House Ways and Means committee estimated revenues for the coming biennium, the 25-member Finance Committee spent weeks determining where available funds would be spent. It is important to know that the committees developed and voted upon these decisions, not Speaker O’Brien.Yes, some “sacred cows” were slaughtered in making these decisions, but they were not vicious or mean spirited, as described by the Democrats. For example, the UNH budget was not “gutted,” or even “cut by 50 percent” as the Dems would like everyone to believe. UNH received 12 percent of its funding from the state, and that was reduced to 6 percent. Any organization that cannot withstand and adjust for a 6 percent reduction when it is absolutely necessary is not a well run organization.The Democrats claim to have restored that funding, but that is also a lie, or at best, a half-truth. That 6 percent reduction amounted to $100 million, but the current spending only restores $50 million, or half of what was cut, not all. It should also be noted that during the cut, UNH refused to save money by getting rid of the chancellor’s office, an expensive, extra and unnecessary level of administration, gave in-state tuition to many out-of-staters, and raised more money than in any previous year.The House passed that trimmed-down budget but the Senate agreed that some of the reductions should be reinstated, so they did. However, they kept the same bottom line on revenues, so reinstated funds were balanced by cuts in other areas. By comparison, the Democrats have had no regard for keeping spending within their means, as all of us have to do at home. They just spend whatever they want, and hope that there will be enough debt to create pressure for an income or sales tax, so they can generate unlimited revenue for even more spending.Any claim by Democrats that the current budget is a bipartisan effort is another deliberate lie. This budget is a Republican Senate budget, and nothing else. The Democrat majority in the House passed a huge budget without first confirming that sufficient revenues were available. It was rejected in the Senate and replaced by a smaller GOP version that governor Hassan and all the Democrats condemned as insufficient to fund all of the social programs they wanted. The Democrats refused to sign a Committee of Conference report and the deadline for signing passed, meaning that a two-thirds majority would be necessary to pass any budget. Since she knew that could not happen in the GOP Senate, she requested that all Democrats vote in favor, and then started to say that the budget they hated the day before was the greatest thing since sliced bread. A lie and a fabrication!Now, the Democrats are at it again. Governor Hassan has already overspent the current budget by $7.3 million, not including raiding $15 million from the surplus left over by the Republicans. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that it is on track to overspend by $40 million this year, and the governor has requested that all state departments reduce spending by $30 million. It looks like the Republicans will once again be tasked with doing what the Democrats are either reluctant or incapable of doing – balancing the budget. It is obvious that the governor doesn’t even know how to handle her own finances, let alone those of the state. In the midst of calling for campaign finance reform, she was forced to return $22,000 in illegal donations. She and other Democrats claim that they have “a revenue problem, not a spending problem,” but that’s not true, since revenue estimates are right on track while spending is once again out of control.When Democrats don’t have the issues on their side, which they obviously do not in this election, they always resort to their old, tried-and-true tactic of trashing their opponents, as they are trying to do with Bill O’Brien. They are trying to demonize him, then tie all other Republicans to him, but it just won’t pass the smell test.For example, the claims that he yelled at one representative who opposed him on a bill until she cried, is absolutely false, and there are eyewitnesses to attest to that. The claim that he kicked an Exeter representative off a committee because he opposed his position is also false. I confirmed that personally in a conversation with the Exeter representative, and through my own personal experience in opposing O’Brien. When I told the speaker that I was gong to lead the opposition to a bill that he strongly favored, his only comment was, “OK.” I almost won. An interesting statistic compiled by a former state representative reveals that the Democrats in the House all vote together 97 percent of the time, whereas the Republicans vote together only 84 percent of the time. To a Democrat, bipartisanship is when a Republican abandons all principle, platform and personal beliefs and votes with them. For Republicans, it is negotiation to reach a position somewhere in the middle, but that hasn’t been possible to achieve any time recently in Concord.When you go to the polls on Nov. 4, keep in mind who’s been telling the truth and who’s been lying, and then consider who you want to be in charge of the state’s money and who will do the best job of keeping us out of debt.Fred Rice is a Republican state representative from Hampton.
28 Oct 2014 Dismal Economic News: Tax Foundation
Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Non-Partisan Tax Foundation Identifying New Hampshire as Third Worse in the Country for Business Taxes
Contact: Rep. William O’Brien
Tel.: (603) 620-8710
Email: [email protected]
In 2010 when the Republicans took back the majority in New Hampshire’s Legislature, Democrat tax increases during the preceding two, Democrat-dominated legislative terms had driven New Hampshire down to the bottom of all states in the country for business tax according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. New Hampshire had the highest business taxes in the country. We were number 50.
Republican fiscal reforms in the 2010-2012 legislative session paid off. By 2013, New Hampshire jumped past four states and went from last in the nation – the state with the highest overall business taxes – to number 46. The signs looked good for more progress.
Unfortunately, New Hampshire has experienced another two years of Democrats controlling the New Hampshire House. According to the annual Tax Foundation survey released today, New Hampshire has now fallen back to number 48 and the signs are not good.* With another two years of a Democrat House majority together with the most liberal Democrat governor in New Hampshire’s history, we will be back at the bottom again.
To know how harmful this huge tax burden is on businesses and job growth, we need only compare New Hampshire to Wyoming. Wyoming’s business taxes are the lowest in the country and its economy grew 7.6% last year, over four times the national average. ** On the other hand, with about the highest business taxes, New Hampshire’s economy grew at 0.9% last year. This is not only half the national average, but less than Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have lower business tax burdens.***
As a high business tax state, New Hampshire is losing ground. If we shed that liability, we can have Wyoming’s additional 6.5% growth. In our $70 billion state economy that would be $4.5 billion more business and all the resulting jobs. All we need to do is reduce state government spending and reduce taxes.
Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Democrats say we can’t afford to reduce taxes. Actually, we can’t afford not to reduced taxes. We can’t afford to throw away $4.5 billion in growth and more each year because of a lack of fiscal discipline in Concord. We need to reduce state spending so we can get the New Hampshire corporate tax rate of 8.5% below Massachusetts’ 8% and even New York’s 7.1% rate. If we do that, businesses, jobs and our young people will be able to return and prosper to New Hampshire. And not just that. More tax revenue that will be more affordable will come in from a larger state economy.
**Wall St. Journal, Oct. 28, 2014, page A18.
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10 Oct 2013 “Affordable” Care Act a.k.a ObamacareInformation"
Now that open enrollment for plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace (a.k.a exchange) has begun, we thought we’d put together some basic information in the event your constituents have questions about the who/what/when/where of Obamacare.
*This is not an endorsement of the law. It is to help answer common questions. Most of the information was derived from official sources, however, this should not be construed to be official instructions. Individuals are encouraged to do their own research and seek further information from official sources.
Who needs to sign up for coverage under Obamacare?
You’re considered covered if you have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, any plan you bought yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage. (Healthcare.gov)
If none of the above situations apply, go to Healthcare.gov to go through the application process.
If you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won’t qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance is unaffordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements. You also may lose any contribution your employer makes to your premiums. (Healthcare.gov)
If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes. You can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental or dental plan. (Healthcare.gov)
Where do NH citizens go to sign up for coverage?
Call 1-800-318-2596 or go to HealthCare.Gov - Both are operated by the federal government. How long is the initial enrollment period?
Open enrollment began October 1 and will last through March 31, 2014.If you enroll by December 15, 2013, coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014. When is the next enrollment period?
Oct. 15, 2014—Open enrollment on the health exchanges for coverage in 2015 begins. In future years, Oct. 15 also will be the opening of enrollment for coverage.
Dec. 7, 2014—Open enrollment for 2015 coverage closes. In future years, Dec. 7 also will be the closing date for enrollment.
What is the penalty for not enrolling in coverage?
If you don’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of your income (whichever is higher). The fee increases every year. Some people may qualify for an exemption to this fee.
In you don’t have coverage by Jan 1, 2015, you must pay a penalty of $325 for individual adults or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. Where can I find information on rates and subsidies?
I own a business. What are my requirements under Obamacare? If you have over 50 employees:
Jan. 1, 2015—Employers with 50 or more full-time workers must offer affordable, comprehensive insurance by this date or face penalties of $2,000 per employee. (Healthcare.gov)
If you have under 50 employees:
Small businesses may get health coverage in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace.
Starting in 2014, businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees can use SHOP to offer coverage to their employees. This applies to non-profit organizations as well. You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward premium costs.
If you insure your employees now, you can keep the coverage you have. If you have 50 or fewer full-time employees, you may offer a plan via SHOP instead.
If you have other business related questions, it’s best to consult your current provider or healthcare.gov
I’ve heard that plans offered on the exchange/marketplace have a “narrow” network of providers. Is that true?
Yes. As of 2014, the only plans being offered on the exchange will be through Anthem and will utilize a smaller network of hospitals and physicians. Only 16 of the state’s 26 hospitals and about 85% of the state’s primary care physicians will be in the network. Anthem has stressed that for emergency and specialty care, there will be opportunities for out of network referrals. In 2015 it is likely that there will be competing plans offered on the exchange that may offer other provider network options.