My Turn: Don’t let New Hampshire be the next Kansas

Last modified: 1/26/2015 10:04:08 PM
We are entering the budget process in Concord, and now with the Republican Party controlling both the House and the Senate, there has been much talk about cutting taxes, limiting spending, allowing the Medicaid expansion law to sunset in 2016 and in general downsizing the role of state government.

We need to be careful of what we wish for.

Trickle-down economics, or commonly referred to as supply-side economics, a favorite theory of President Ronald Reagan (the benefit of lowering taxes, especially on the rich would trickle down to the middle class and create a robust economy), looks great on paper, but it didn’t work in the 1980s, and it’s not going to work now.

In 2012, Kansas right-wing Gov. Sam Brownback led his state into the thick of supply-side economics by drastically cutting taxes. He went on record as stating that the resulting economic boom would more than make up for the initial loss in revenues. It has been a total failure. Kansas is in fiscal crisis, and its economy is lagging behind the economies of its neighboring states.

Brownback is now in the process of raising taxes in an attempt to pull Kansas out of the hole he dug for it. I, for one, am very wary when I hear anyone say that government overreach and taxation is hurting the state. While I never believed that throwing money at a problem necessarily solves it, there is nothing wrong with a state (or federal) government administering its revenues and disbursements prudently and efficiently. Services cost money. They are not free. One only has to look to Kansas to see the alternative.

If I wanted to lose weight, I wouldn’t cut off my legs. Sure, I would certainly lose pounds, but the quality of my life would be drastically affected and not necessarily for the better. The Democratic Party will be fighting to preserve the strides it made in the last biennium. We’re not in Kansas anymore.



(Rep. Len DiSesa, a Democrat, represents Strafford District 16/Ward 4 in Dover.)




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