Dems' rhetoric on state deficit is pure fantasy

Patently false claims fly in the face of fiscal reality


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Recently, a Democratic talking point has been circulating around in which they attempt to rewrite fiscal and legislative history by saying their two terms in control of the New Hampshire Legislature did not cause a huge deficit.

Although fanciful Democratic rhetoric is nothing new -- and, out of necessity, fibs and lies are their rhetoric of choice, even by their standards -- this one is quite the whopper. If this story wasn’t being spread by New Hampshire Democrats, it would be surprising that anyone would attempt to propagate an alternate reality of such patently false claims.

In 2011, as the New Hampshire House began preparing the 2012-13 two-year budget, the non-partisan Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant indicated that the Democrats’ budgeting had created a structural deficit of $845 million and that there was a $50 million revenue shortfall from the 2010-2011 budget, for a total deficit of $895 million.

This means that they created a situation in which their spending requirements remained in place, New Hampshire state tax revenues would fall far short in covering their over-spending. This was not a number created out of thin air, but simply the financial reality of Democratic profligacy as calculated by a non-partisan state office dedicated to accurate, objective analysis of the state’s finances.

The reasons why New Hampshire arrived at this financial cliff are the two terms — four years — of Democratic control in which they created or raised over 100 new taxes and fees, and grew the state budget by nearly 25 percent.

This structural deficit also was caused by the Democrats’ use of budget gimmicks, such as selling a road from one state agency to another and “declaring” $125 million in new revenue; outrageously over-inflated revenue estimates; borrowing money to cover operating expenses; and their irresponsible use of millions in one-time federal money.

Repeatedly, the Democrats were warned that they were creating a future disaster by ratcheting up spending through the use of money that would not be available in the future. Still, the spending spree went on.

The Democrats’ structural deficit and their spending were so outrageous that if this current Legislature had kept up the spending at the same rate as the Democrats and raised taxes and fees as the Democrats had, each man, womAn and child would owe the state an additional $750 in taxes.

In other words, each family of four would have seen their taxes increase by an additional $3,000 to pay for the Democrats’ ongoing spending plans.

The Republican legislative majority knew, however, that New Hampshire taxpayers had paid enough, and we proceeded to create a balanced budget for 2012-2013 with no new taxes and fees.

So the truth is this: Eventually the Democrats ran out of the duct tape of inflated and unrealistic revenue estimates, budget gimmicks and ever-increasing taxes and fees and their house of cards budgets fell apart. Fortunately, the Republicans were there to pick up the pieces and begin to put our fiscal house back in order.

Fibs, lies and even whoppers will only take you so far, and the voters in 2010 knew the facts and they know them now.

State Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua is the majority leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

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