Home » Opinion » Editorials
Budget raiders: Why do we keep trusting politicians?
OK, stop laughing and consider this story in the context of the above questions.
In the state budget, a "dedicated fund" is a reserve account financed directly by a special tax or fee. The best-known example is the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), which since 2008 has been financed be a $25 "fee" on real estate transactions. When this fee was approved in 2007, legislators swore that it would be used exclusively to fund LCHIP.
Naturally, the LCHIP fund has been raided regularly ever since. The state began collecting the fee on Jan. 1, 2008. That November, Gov. John Lynch ordered LCHIP to give $3 million to the general fund. Over the years, legislators of both parties have confiscated LCHIP funds repeatedly.
Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposed budget builds on that precedent. She claims the authority to confiscate all not-yet spent dedicated funds. This week the Democratic majority on the House Finance Committee assented to this grab of both money and legislative power.
The politicians undertaking this grand switcheroo are the very same ones who assured the people of New Hampshire just last week that politicians should be trusted to keep their promises. The House voted last week to expand Medicaid eligibility, which will cost New Hampshire taxpayers millions and will cost tens of millions more if Washington does not keep its promise to fund almost all of the costs.
The House went with the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee's assurance that the promised federal money will come because "Medicaid expansion and its federal financing/matching rate are enshrined in federal law."
Yes, "enshrined" in law. Exactly like the dedicated funds these same politicians are currently in the process of raiding.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again - 2
- Good Joe: Kenney for Executive Council - 1
- Insurance exchange: NH Dems, GOP switch sides - 2
- Bottle store blues: The useless grocery mandate - 2
- Finding city revenue: Seek more private partners - 0
- Putin's freedom: Obama's weakness - 42
- Safe seats, frequent flyers - 0
- Sports volunteers: Eric Mommsen embodies the spirit - 0
- Issa drops in: Doesn't match media slant - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Little Green has quartet of contenders for New England wrestling championships - 0
- Roger Brown's High School Basketball: Madness has arrived - 0
- Monarchs: Let's play three - 0
- Another View -- Diana Lacey: Union Leader editorial got gas tax hearing all wrong - 0
- Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief - 0
- Cannon Mountain skiers head to Paralympics - 0
- John Stossel: Budget baloney - 0
- Another View - Betsy McCaughey: The Obamacare horror stories are not lies - 0
- College Hockey: Dartmouth, PSU hit road for tourneys - 0
Fremont's Miss 1964 to pass on her crown
John Stossel: Budget baloney
Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again
House says no to bill to reduce NH meals tax
Good Joe: Kenney for Executive Council