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: 4
- Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass. - 13
- Needing answers in Weare: The first step to accountability - 0
- Where terrorists win: The world's one 'kill Americans' zone - 6
- Expanding NH economy: Of energy costs, trains and clowns - 3
- Obama acts illegally: Shaheen parrots his talking points - 64
- Regulations must adapt: Cities cannot squash the new economy - 3
- Offend someone? To jail with you! - 22
- King Obama: Creating a constitutional crisis - 42
- VA wait times: They are still bad - 6
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Pats put selves in strong position - 0
- Manchester Turkey Bowl will go as scheduled - 0
- Red Sox think they got free agent signings right this time - 0
- Turkey Bowls: Passion always on the menu - 0
- Manchester Turkey Bowl: Crusaders aim to rewrite history - 0
- Dave Solomon's Power Plays: Who knew what and when in PSNH scrubber case? - 0
- Story of Marine Memorial at Hampton Beach begins with Bill Downs - 0
- Immigrants include ethnic dishes at their Thanksgiving table - 0
- Puritans in America: Daniel Webster on religion's role - 0
Person found dead in Manchester alley
On being American: A point for reflection
Your Turn, NH -- Mike Moffett: Republicans can win in 2016 with Kasich at the top of the ticket