The government shutdown has ended and the possible default has been averted. For now. We’ll be going through democracy-by-hostage-taking again in just a few months. The Republicans have ample time to figure out their next round of demands. (Make me a sammich or we’ll shut down the gummint!) The Tea Partiers were ready to play Russian roulette with the global economy just because they hate Obama. The next time the US tries to impose democracy on some other country, the rest of the world is going to laugh in our collective faces. And they should.
This shutdown was brought to us by the party of fiscal and personal responsibility. That’s $24 billion of our tax dollars wasted by a bunch of 3rd grade playground bullies stomping their expensively shod feet about a law they don’t like. These are not statesmen, doing the work of the people. These are petulant and vindictive men who were willing to make the whole world pay because they didn’t get their way. This is why any person running for any office (local, state, national) who says they hate gummint should be immediately and permanently disqualified.
Will the party of fiscal and personal responsibility be taking up a collection to reimburse the taxpayers for the $24 billion? Don’t hold your breath. The poor lambs planned the shutdown for months, and then got miffed when a shutdown meant actually shutting things down. One take away from all this? We should really stop waiting for Texas to secede and take preemptive action. If they want to elect dunderheads like Ted Cruz, Randy Neugebauer, and Louis Gohmert to state government that would be one thing, but sending them to DC where they can mess with all of us? Sorry, Texas. This just can’t be allowed to go on.
As for GOP fiscal responsibility, we’re seeing it right here at home. The 2014 legislative session will begin in January, where they will have 638 bills to contend with. So far. The Senate cut off for filing LSRs is October 30, so we can count on a last minute flurry of filings. The average cost of an LSR (legislative request/potential bill) is $1500. Representative JR Hoell, of Dunbarton, is this year’s winner in the most bills filed category, at 21. That’s 21 bills, at a cost of $1500 each – Representative Hoell is going to cost NH taxpayers $31,500. Given that he’s a remarkably ineffectual legislator, we can be sure that few if any of these 21 bills will be passed. In 2013 Hoell sponsored 12 bills. None of them passed.
Hoell is not a member of the Free State Project, but he’s the next best thing. He’s part of the extremist libertarian crowd. They worship at the altar of Koch, Rand, and Paul (pere et fils.) They hate gummint, so they work tirelessly to become part of it. To show their contempt, they file endless nuisance legislation, to waste the time of their colleagues, and taxpayer dollars. They claim to hate wasteful spending, but they do it themselves at every opportunity. They also claim to hate the nanny state, but they are desperate to play stern patriarch to the uterus bearing population of NH. A sardonic tweet the other day (from an observer of the nanny state uterus brigade) read: “It’s not uterYOU, it’s uterUS.” To summarize Hoell’s bills, he wants everyone, everywhere to have unrestricted access to guns, wants to eliminate the judiciary and the police, and he wants women to serve as involuntary incubators. He might want to rethink giving the involuntary incubators unrestricted access to guns.
Coming in at 19 LSRs is Rep. Dan Itse, from Freemont. That’s $28,500 worth of taxpayer waste. Itse is another extreme libertarian, not a Free Stater, but certainly an ally. Many of Itse’s bills are aimed at ensuring that food produced in NH is exempted from the Food Safety and Modernization Act. These folks hate gummint regulation, and feel that in the free market, you should be able to choose for yourself what you buy. If you want to buy contaminated food, that should be your decision. If you buy it unknowingly and get sick or die, well, next time you won’t buy from that guy!
Itse also wants to recodify education laws, laws relative to law enforcement personnel, and wants to eliminate proprietorships from the business enterprise tax. He also wants to prevent students from voting. The extreme libertea crowd hates law enforcement and hates the judiciary. They sympathize with the crowd of whiny wife beaters who feel hard done by that they have to pay child support, but they don’t get full custody. Still, this year Itse made an effort to reel himself in. Last year he sponsored 42 LSRs, at an estimated cost of $63,000. Not a single one of them passed. I’m sure we’re all happy to know that fiscal conservatives like Itse and Hoell are looking out for us.
There are at least a dozen gun bills proposed, because, after all, in a state with 500 bridges that are on a red list for structural impairment, the only possible solution is guns and more guns. The unemployment rate is at a firm 5%, and obviously the best way to deal with that is GUNS!
The northern Carroll County delegation has managed to comport itself with admirable restraint. No one has filed an epic number of bills, no gun bills, or anything that (so far) seems like nuisance legislation. A pity that can’t be said of the legislators from the southern part of the state. We sell the good people of Massachusetts cheap booze and cigarettes, mock them for being socialists, and they thank us by sending their misanthropes to populate southern NH where they run for the legislature. Massachusetts gets the last laugh.
“This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.” Charlie Pierce
© sbruce 2013
Published as a bi-weekly column in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.