The article below was written for the Union Leader and was published there on August 19 2022.
RECENTLY, STATE Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester) co-authored a fairytale in which he and Sen. Suzanne Prentiss (D-Lebanon) attributed the state’s $430 million surplus to “(t)he federal dollars secured for us by our Democratic federal delegation …”
They then list programs that were funded with federal dollars. Unfortunately, by identifying spending programs, several of which weren’t in the state budget to begin with, they pulled a budget bait and switch.
The $430 million surplus the state racked up this past year was a revenue surplus, meaning that’s how much more money the state received in tax revenues than it projected. It had nothing to do with off-budget federal funds given ostensibly to help the state recover from COVID.
Somehow, the pair asserts that without the millions spent on non-budgeted programs, the “surplus would not be possible.” Really? I’ll admit, I haven’t spent innumerable years on the Senate’s Ways and Means, Finance and Capital Budget committees like D’Allesandro has, but I fail to see how revenues that exceed projections would not be possible without federal spending passthroughs.
The deceptively worded article goes beyond this attempt to take taxpayers’ eyes off the fact that there was a real revenue surplus generated by Republican-enacted tax breaks and economic policies. It alleges that those policies will somehow leave taxpayers in the lurch when the federal funds that supported these off-budget programs disappear, complaining that, despite the surplus they say doesn’t really exist, the GOP failed to fund a garden variety of social programs, ones designed to make you think that the world will come to a cataclysmic end so that out-of-state corporations can dodge paying their fair share.
Funny thing is, $165 million of that revenue surplus actually came from the business taxes that were cut. How one predicts fiscal doom from tax cuts that increased revenue is something I don’t understand.
Prentiss is in her first term and doesn’t sit on any committee that has anything to do with the budget. Perhaps she can be excused for participating in this sleight of hand that seeks to credit our federal delegation’s disastrous performance in Washington with the actual successes of Gov. Chris Sununu and the Republican-led General Court. But, Lou?
D’Allesandro’s been in the senate for more than two decades, 24 years, and has served multiple terms as either the chair or vice chair of both the Finance and Ways and Means committees, the very committees that the budget and changes to tax law must go through! What’s his excuse? Is it unbridled partisanship? Propping up fellow Democrats who aren’t polling so well? Deceiving the public into thinking the Republicans are the ones lying? Or, could it be that he’s just been there so long that he either doesn’t care or even know what he’s talking about — like Joe Biden, whom D’Allesandro said was “off to a good start” in a piece published back in May where he urged the president to take even more “executive action” to get around a Congress that wasn’t giving him what he wanted.
D’Allesandro also co-authored op-eds on this page with Sen. Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) in June demanding more gun control and with Sen. Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) in April, accusing the GOP of not providing the $500 million in property tax relief for which it rightly claims credit. Both articles are strewn with questionable assertions designed to mislead readers.
Seems that D’Allesandro is the Democrat’s go-to-guy for their propaganda war against the truth on issue after issue after issue. My guess is that he and the Democrats think the District 20 seat he occupies is “safe.” Maybe it is. Maybe D’Allesandro really believes what he’s saying, the clearly evident facts notwithstanding. It’s hard to know when the deceit is so obvious.
With record-high food and fuel prices, surging crime from “catch and release” bail, floundering and politicized schools, rampant drug trafficking due to an open border, and the bite of a recession we’ll all soon feel, I’m counting on people to look at where D’Allesandro and all candidates stand on these issues, and, more importantly, their records on them.
As state senator, I will seek and share the facts because the only people who get represented without them are those who don’t want them known. On this, my record is crystal clear.
Richard H. Girard is publisher of girardatlarge.com and lives in Manchester. Girard is a former alderman and school board member and was a 2021 mayoral candidate.