Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Laser Beams Create a Job
The new legislators of the NH House have been busy. You remember that they campaigned on outrage about the state budget, and promised a laser-like focus to “cut taxes, cut spending, and create jobs, jobs, jobs”. Are they honoring those promises? How many jobs have the Laser Beams created?
There have been bills filed to repeal some taxes, a bill to repeal all taxes passed during the last legislative session, and Speaker O’Brien has been candid that he actually wants to eliminate revenue streams. He testified in support of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit an income tax, saying, “I want to make sure that we do not have available to us a new and large revenue source.” The Speaker and his cohorts were going to try to balance the budget by cutting spending and cutting revenue. Yes, when we sit around our kitchen tables, cutting out cable, cutting out health insurance, new clothes, and we’re thinking about cutting out feeding the kids – the conclusion we automatically come to is that we must eliminate our second or third job. Sigh.
They’re serious about cutting taxes, though. So serious that on Wednesday they voted for two fake tax cuts, and promptly tabled them. There isn’t enough money to pay for the cuts – but that didn’t deter the Laser Beams. Republican Tony Soltani was gaveled out of order for objecting to this symbolic fakery. Based on prior experience, when Tony Soltani is coming across as the voice of reason, things are very, very wrong in Concord.
Rep. Al Baldasaro is pushing an amendment to the NH constitution that would change the oath of office for NH elected officials to swear “true allegiance,” to NH and “support” the US Constitution. No word on how many jobs this creates.
There are 3 bills aimed at telling us who can get married. Despite polls showing that the majority of NH voters don’t support repealing our marriage equality law, Laser Beam Bates of Windham is intent on legislating his evangelism. He’s sponsored 2 bills that repeal marriage equality. The third bill would dissolve all NH marriages and turn them into “domestic unions.” It’s an attempt by a Baptist Minister and a Freebagger to “take the government out of marriage” which is code for “the gummint has to kill your marriage in order to stop interfering with it.” It’s a useless bill that purports to fix something – something that isn’t broken. We have civil marriage. We have religious marriage. No need for more tinkering. It seems unlikely that this bill will be popular with anyone’s grandparents. Yet another bill would prevent couples with children under the age of 18 from divorcing. This transcends nanny statism, and prances into the land of fascism. If the “Live Free or Die” state takes rights away from a minority group, after having conferred them, we have crossed a line, and we’ll never recover from it. NH will be the object of scorn and derision, and we will deserve it, for letting a bunch of bigoted, narrow minded individuals mix religion and legislation.
In other Laser Beam news, Rep. Brandon Guida wants $7 million tax dollars to divert the Suncook River. The river flooded and changed course a couple of years back. The state DES advises against diverting. Rep. Guida knows better. An outside firm reached the same conclusion as DES. Rep. Guida still knows better. Must be that GOP science affinity. Another of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Dan McGuire used to have riverfront property. He doesn’t any more. ‘Nuff said.
Representative Jeanine Notter of Merrimack, recently opined during a committee hearing that health care reform is not needed, because communities will rally around cancer patients, and help them cover their costs by having bake sales, and such. That’s a lot of brownies – but Rep. Notter assures us that this is the American Way. Notter was also overheard during a hearing on the possible legislative oversight of nuclear power plants asking a person giving testimony if NH has a nuclear power plant.
The House also voted to defund NH Public Television. Our own Rep. Karen Umberger was quoted as saying “this is not the proper way to spend taxpayer dollars.” Some legislators went as far as saying it wasn’t good programming, that it was redundant. These are people who have never watched Windows to the Wild, or Granite State Challenge. These are the same people who want to spend approx. $5 million to administer urine tests to food stamp recipients, divert rivers in their own back yards on the public teat, and broaden the death penalty, which will cost at least an additional $5 million a year. Elmo=bad. Drug tests for poor people=good.
There’s also a bill to prevent college kids from being able to vote. For years the NH GOP has tried desperately to invent voter fraud, despite all reports to the contrary from the Secretary of State. It’s simple, really. When Republicans win it’s because they have a mandate. When Democrats win, it’s because of voter fraud. Just ask a Republican. Speaker O’Brien was pretty clear in the Union Leader on why college kids should be prevented from voting: “He said students in college towns register to vote on Election Day "and are basically doing what I did when I was a kid and foolish, voting as a liberal.” It would all be so much easier if we only allowed Republicans to vote.
There is good news, though, from Concord. Speaker O’Brien, after numerous clownish debacles in the early weeks of the legislature, has hired a fellow named Greg Moore to be the “House Policy Director.” Moore was formerly the policy and communications director for John Stephen. Apparently the new Policy Czar will prevent the Speaker from trying to improperly toss Democratic legislators out of office. Perhaps he will ensure that no more embarrassing bills will go public, like the one Rep. Lars Christiansen filed to get rid of the judge who convicted a child rapist Christiansen seems to have taken under his wing. We taxpayers are paying the Speaker’s babysitter $75,000 a year.
NH Republicans: hold your heads up high! You may have voted to kill Elmo, but you’ve created a single job!
Posted by susanthe at 11:41 AM