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'The cost of dollars': Sununu should pay attention

April 15. 2018 1:45AM


Gov. Chris Sununu seems to be of two minds when it comes to levying costs on New Hampshire taxpayers.

Questioned as to costs associated with adopting the so-called Marsy's Law, the governor said cost should not be a consideration, only the "value" of changing our state constitution to include "victim rights."

We thought state Rep. Paul Berch had good questions as to whether the costs of this wholesale change have been calculated and from where the money would come to pay them. But Sununu dismissed them out of hand.

"If all you want to look at is the cost of dollars," the governor lectured, "that's the old way of doing things. Government has to take a bigger stand than that."

That sounds a lot like the "if it saves one life, it's worth it" argument that is trotted out to justify all manner of spending and lawmaking. It's also a bit ironic in that the effort to get this amendment approved has its expensive lobbying team very much doing things in the "old way," as in throwing money around.

On another issue, Gov. Sununu seemed more considerate of costs and consequences.

An attempt to levy a fee on fuel-efficient cars because they pay less in gas taxes, Sununu said, was a new tax.

"Any time you are looking at a potential new tax, without truly understanding what the impacts would be on the citizenry, that's a big step to take."

A very good point, governor.

Economy State Government Editorial

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