Archive for the Budget Category

March 23, 2016 Countering the Powerful Work Disincentive in Medicaid Expansion Charles M. Arlinghaus   The New Hampshire state senate is prepared to ignore economic research and abandon any real effort to include a work requirement in its expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, childless adults. A proposal that began as a supposed compromise would currently […]

 

The Pappas-Van Ostern Express is a good example of bad math driving debt and leaving taxpayers with an empty wallet. Last week’s news release was not a new train plan but simply the old unaffordable plan with all the estimates revised down to make it appear cheaper but grotesquely unrealistic. This sort of new math is how governments go bankrupt.

 

The state is refusing to defend itself and the governor is attacking herself for having bad ideas. Welcome to the world of education funding where lawsuits make everyone weird and no one seems to be able to figure out which way is up.

 

The State Surplus That Isn’t

Pay no attention to the surplus behind the curtain. It’s not real. Despite advertised claims, the state did not run a $73 million surplus. It ran a barely $1 million surplus. The difference between press releases and reality comes entirely from the state’s reckless refusal to adhere to its rainy day fund law.

 

You’ll forgive me if I don’t care that much about what happened with the budget or the budget deal. The government spent almost three months setting up this giant pitched battle between light and darkness and in the end nothing changed. The governor signed a budget that is more or less what the legislature passed and she vetoed. What was the point exactly?

 

The real dispute is over the Republican plan to cut business taxes and the governor’s fictitious criticism of it. Misleading rhetoric is used to cover a philosophical disagreement.

 

The ongoing state budget fight is about yesterday not tomorrow. Big government squabbles are never about what the press release claims. This one won’t and can’t be resolved quickly. The press conference phase of the budget that we are currently undergoing amounts to positioning before negotiations which can’t begin until official documents are released at the beginning of the Fall.

 

One of the greatest obstacles to our current crop of politicians getting along with each other is a lack of information or at least a lack of good information. Sharing information and sharing it correctly is important not just for the sake of government transparency but so political squabbles are more constructive.

 

Fanciful Fiction of Fiscal Fracture

Fissures over fiscal policy are fed by fanciful fictions that threaten the focus needed to fix the state’s financial budget. Political statements mislead you and indefensible charges are designed to distract you from a simple but philosophical disagreement.