Isn’t it time to scrap ‘the pledge’?

To the editor:

Our national and state populations are absorbing stunning events and information at warp speed, so let’s take a moment to assess. Given the cocktail of failure we have been served, we are exhausted, overwhelmed and frightened about our future. The conclusions we make now will show up in the ultimate test of our values: the 2020 elections.

What better time than now to question New Hampshire’s political shackle known as “the pledge”? The 50-year-old tax pledge, concocted by two reactionary conservatives, represents the “for me, not you” mentality that prohibits healthy and constructive growth.

Throughout the years, New Hampshire folks have witnessed the slow and steady destruction of community within our towns and institutions. The pledge consistently undermines our state’s ability to address educational inequity, forces an overreliance on unconscionably high property taxes, delays necessary infrastructure investment and reinforces the pattern and practice of rural disinvestment.

At this moment of calamity, we must give ourselves, and our next governor, all the tools available to create a society consistent with our new reality. The two men who demanded we genuflect to their political experiment are long dead; they never envisioned a time like this and either does their pledge.

Arnie Arnesen

Categories: Letters to the Editor