Archive for the Weekly Column 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.

 

When it comes to public integrity, New Hampshire is lackluster among states. According to the state rankings of the Center for Public Integrity, “New Hampshire is firmly in the lower tier,” ranked in a tie for 34th with the nominal grade of D-minus. The Center’s State Integrity Investigation found that, as in so many other areas, we aren’t who we think we are.

 

The Attorney General’s refusal to defend state law, if allowed to stand, would rewrite state law and create an untenable secondary veto power in an appointed office. The “duty to defend” should itself be defended. The issues involved have little to do with one additional education funding lawsuit and everything to do with the balance of powers in state government.

 

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.

 

Newly elected Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and the late, great Margaret Thatcher can teach timid modern politicians that polling, especially the way it’s reported, doesn’t matter and in fact only drives the skittish toward inaction.

 

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.

 

Charlie Arlinghaus September 30, 2015 As originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader Politicians are tempted by the siren song of populism which sacrifices sensible policy for applause lines. They should be careful of the unintended consequences of their eagerness to attack evil hedge fund managers. For about a decade some politicians have been attacking […]

 

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?