Thursday, April 12, 2012
New Hampshire Has a Revenue Problem
After fielding a team of abundantly mediocre primary candidates, the GOP finally has Mitt Romney as a presumptive nominee. Mitt seems to have been anointed because he’s the wealthiest of the mediocre, and the Republicans appear to be operating under the theory that if they can’t come up with a good candidate, they should at least be able to buy the office.
In 2011 the GOP took aim at women, and enacted 135 new laws governing female reproduction. Male reproduction, however, is still a bastion of liberty. The party of “less gubmint interference in the lives of individuals” showed us all that when they say “individuals” what they really mean is MEN. Wisconsin just repealed their equal pay enforcement act. GOP talking heads are telling us that women want to receive lower pay for equal work, because they go off and have babies. These are babies that the same party claims to worship and venerate so much that they would like to force women to involuntarily incubate them. In summary: the GOP would like to ensure that women have no affordable access to birth control, would force involuntary incubation, and will then punish women for having a baby by eliminating the safety net and eliminating equal pay laws. It’s guano squared.
This is proving to be a conundrum for Mediocre Mitt. He’s been in Wisconsin praising Governor Walker, who repealed the equal pay act. Mitt has made tepid claims of supporting equal pay, but has proven to be unable to answer questions about women and reproduction – preferring to leave those to his wife. Now that Mitt’s the probable nominee, he’s firing back, claiming that the REAL war on women is being waged by Obama, who has personally caused millions of women to lose their jobs, and not helped them get new ones.
The current recession/depression began during the Bush administration. The current crop of folks elected in 2010 was mostly Republicans. Republicans who slashed state budgets, and caused hundreds of thousands of public sector losses. The bulk of those jobs were held by women. Teachers, nurses, librarians – mostly women. The NH Freebaglican budget cost some 2,000 hospitals to lay off employees – mostly women. We have the GOP trying to legislate gynecological rape via transvaginal probe on the one hand, and claiming they’re not waging war on women on the other. It’s going to prove a hard sell. Women just aren’t dumb enough to buy the guano squared.
There is plenty of stupid to go around, however. This week, the NH House Criminal Justice and Safety Committee took up SB 274, a bill that would change some of the language in NH’s aggravated rape statute. This bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 5-0, but it’s run aground in the House. Some representatives argued against removing phrases like “mentally defective” from the language of the law. There are judges who feel that using that terminology to describe a rape victim is offensive. Representatives Jason Antosz and Ken Kreis disagree. Antosz referred to this as: “PC nonsense” and that words such as “defective” and “retarded” were “just words.” In looking at one particular case, Kreis commented that the woman in question was 29 years old and “had her entire life to get used to being called defective.” These two are right out of the Martin Harty School of Tact and Diplomacy. Martin Harty was the 90-year-old GOP freshman legislator who had to resign shortly after taking office, for telling a constituent that it was too bad we couldn’t send the mental defectives to Siberia.
It’s my experience that those who bang on the loudest about how they hate PC are people who bitterly resent the fact that racist and misogynist slurs are no longer considered acceptable in polite conversation. Rep. Antosz has attempted to defend himself by saying he’s “defective” because he has a bad knee. He is indeed defective, but his knee has nothing to do with it. As for Kreis, anyone who can say that the victim of an aggravated rape should be accustomed to being called defective is someone who is a disgrace to the People’s House and should resign immediately.
The arrogance visible in our current legislature is breathtaking. Not only are they arrogant, they take for granted that voters are not paying attention, and dumber than dirt. A recent story in the Conway Sun illustrates this phenomenon. Erik Eisele’s story about the condition of East Conway Road came with some quotes from our once and future Speaker of the NH House, Rep. Gene Chandler. East Conway Road is actually a state road, but it is designated as an unnumbered state highway, and is therefore at the bottom of the funding barrel. There is no money. Rep. Chandler said that not only is there no money to do the fixing, but, “there’s no place to get the money from.”
Chandler wrote editorials with Speaker O’Brien, defending the budget they passed last year. That budget cut state revenues. Of course there’s no money. They made sure that there wouldn’t be enough money. It was deliberate. We’ve been hearing for decades, “NH doesn’t have a revenue problem, NH has a spending problem.” As we can all see now, that is, and always has been a lie. Our roads and bridges are a disaster. Far from being ashamed, Chandler will tell you “this is what the taxpayers want.” That, dear readers, is a crock. It’s what the Free State/Tea Party/far right fringe of the Republican Party wants. These are people who are living in the 19th century, and prove every day that they lack any qualifications to move our state into the future.
NH is the seventh wealthiest state in the nation. We have 27,000 millionaires living here. Yet 15% of our bridges are structurally deficient. NH is in 11th place nationally for having the worst bridges.
This is the direct result of pledge politics. The Freebaglicans will continue to extol the virtues of what they call the NH Advantage. Strange as it may seem, businesses don’t seem to be falling all over themselves to move to a state where a broken infrastructure and lack of support for education are considered an advantage.
h/t to NH_GOP for the photo. Would you buy a used ear of corn from that man?
© sbruce 2012
this was published as an op-ed in the April 13, 2012 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper
Posted by susanthe at 2:56 PM