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Hassan's budgeting: Totally irresponsible

Maggie Hassan claims that she balanced the state budget when she was Senate majority leader and that she would balance it again, and in the same way, should she be elected governor. If that happens, the State of New Hampshire would be in real financial trouble - again.

The two state budgets Hassan was instrumental in shaping were fiscal disasters. Combined, they raised state spending by about 24 percent in just four years. As Josiah Bartlett Center President Charlie Arlinghaus pointed out on these pages on Wednesday, they also added $285 million in state debt - a shocking 43 percent increase in just four years.

Rather than cut spending to match revenues, Hassan opted to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the gravy train flowing. She voted to borrow money to pay for operating expenses and even voted to borrow money to pay for previous borrowing.

And still, with $285 million in borrowing and $167 million in federal stimulus money, Hassan and her liberal cohorts could not make ends meet, so they passed numerous tax increases, including the infamous LLC tax, to fill the void. She even supported a scheme to take $110 million from the Joint Underwriting Association, a private insurance fund, to balance the budget.

Hassan has consistently supported raising revenues in whatever way imaginable - including tax hikes, increased borrowing, budget tricks and legally questionable schemes - rather than cut spending. If she is governor, expect a return to exactly this kind of irresponsible and financially dangerous budgeting.

Eric Church
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