Home » Opinion » Editorials
NH's revenue dip: No cause for alarm
That is the engine driving Gov. Maggie Hassan's push for gambling. She wants the $80 million in casino licensing revenue in the next budget and the hundreds of millions more to spend in the future. She wants this partly to restore state funding to its pre-recession level, erroneously considered a baseline for the minimum level of acceptable state spending, and partly to expand the state into new areas.
It is the same reason some legislators who otherwise are not gambling fans have supported it this year. A good example is Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, who explained that, despite her reservations about gambling, she voted for casinos because she wants the money to spend on state programs and services.
Providing traction for this drive is the economy. Gambling bills seldom got very far before the recession of 2007-08. But since then, state revenues have fallen from $2.35 billion to $2.26 billion, New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies economist Dennis Delay pointed out this week. Thanks to that 4 percent reduction, politicians have portrayed the state as in such dire financial shape that it has little choice but to authorize slot-machine casinos to rescue the government from collapse.
The reality is that the state can weather this temporary dip in revenue without resorting to a permanent new funding source that would create a permanent change in our culture. We simply have to be frugal and set priorities. That is possible if we understand that not every dime of government spending is sacred.
READER COMMENTS: 8
- Surprise, surprise: Obamacare funds abortions - 59
- Casino gambles: Hopes dashed all over - 8
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 2
- Every vote counts: Here is the proof - 5
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
- Hassan was right: 'Bullying' bill goes too far - 12
- Strategery: A war by any other name - 28
- Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.? - 6
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester family heartbroken after finding lost kitten was adopted from shelter, family refuses to return it - 0
- Body found under Manchester bridge identified as local woman - 0
- Chester deputy fire chief jailed for allegedly violating restraining order - 0
- Manchester police release photos of men they believe robbed mother, daughters at local Holiday Inn - 0
- Scots spurn independence, vote to stay in the United Kingdom - 1
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Answers forthcoming - 0
- NHMS chief Gappens is on board with the Chase changes - 0
- Another View -- Ben Rose: How NH's John Stark helped defeat the British at Saratoga - 1
- Celebrating Claremont: A 250th birthday party - 0
Manchester police release photos of men they believe robbed mother, daughters at local Holiday Inn
Supporters eager for Hillary's return to NH
Manchester family heartbroken after finding lost kitten was adopted from shelter, family refuses to return it