Home » Opinion » Editorials
Hassan and 'innovation': A new path for the governor
Gov. Maggie Hassan began her term with an inaugural address that emphasized two themes: cooperation and innovation. The cooperation part is boilerplate. Every politician pays homage to bipartisanship and togetherness, most while holding behind their backs the knife they intend to use on the other side (metaphorically, of course). Perhaps Hassan really means it. Innovation, now there is a theme for the times.
Hassan said she wanted to encourage both economic and governmental innovation. The state would pursue policies that would help businesses succeed through entrepreneurial experimentation, and in the meantime the state would focus on becoming more efficient and productive itself. Were Hassan to actually do this, she could leave a positive and lasting legacy. Her political career thus far, however, suggests she will have to do a political 180 to go in that direction.
Hassan has too often come down against innovation and experimentation, preferring instead to expand the power of the state and to burden businesses and individuals with binding regulations that constrain their options and thereby hamper their ability to innovate.
On health care and the environment, her record suggests a doctrinaire statism in which bureaucrats are empowered to limit the choices of individuals and businesses, and the state imposes dictates upon the people.
On education, Hassan supports public charter schools but opposes broader school choice. She said on Thursday, "We must also recognize that not every student chooses the same path, and that our community college system has developed innovative, nimble and cutting edge programs to educate our citizens." Nice, but she refuses to recognize the same when it comes to K-12 education, opposing school choice for parents whose children do poorly in government schools.
On taxation, her single proposal for promoting innovation is to expand the research and development tax credit, which will help only a fraction of New Hampshire businesses, and then only in the one area that she personally prefers to see expanded. Otherwise, her record is one of promoting more taxation and less flexibility.
In all, Hassan's record reflects the belief that government should use its power to steer individuals and businesses toward behaviors preferred by politicians and bureaucrats.
If she really believes in unleashing the power of Granite Staters to rekindle the economy through innovative thinking, she must acknowledge that creativity is born of freedom. Economic innovation will not be best encouraged by government policies that channel people's behaviors toward government-desired outcomes, but by removing the regulatory and financial obstacles that obstruct the free exercise of the mind as expressed via economic activity.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- David Harsanyi: The senators who really threaten America - 1
- Your Turn, NH -- Ted Menswar Jr.: How Manchester pulled together to honor one of its greats - 1
- Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State really un-Islamic? - 1
- George Will: Scotland's epic vote - 1
- Charles Krauthammer: Obama's uncertain trumpet, again - 0
- Maureen McDonald: Ray Rice and the everyday problem of domestic violence - 1
- Another View -- Jason Bedrick: An important court victory for parents and taxpayers - 3
- Thomas Sowell: Mob rule economics is bad for everyone - 8
- George Will: Eviscerating the 1st Amendment is extremism - 5
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Bella, a chihuahua mix, is still missing in Auburn - 0
- Nashua man charged in domestic knife threat - 0
- Manchester man detained on Nashua rape charges involving child - 0
- Pair accused in Hampstead home invasion also face witness tampering charges - 0
- Suicide car bomber kills 3 foreign troops in Afghan capital; Taliban claims responsibility - 0
- City officials to review proposed 'spice' ban - 0
- Widow of chiropractor killed this summer says fatal shooting was no accident - 1
- Manchester's Delana Curtis is left out in the cold - 0
- Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable - 12
DWI license revocations
Mexican man pleads guilty in international conspiracy to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine
Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable
Seabrook mom pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder of her two children
Alleged accomplice in brutal Bedford home invasion, attack on doctor and wife, says his testimony was coerced
Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua