Publisher's Note: Road to Concord
By Jody Reese
It wasn’t at all surprising that Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta called on Manchester School District spokesperson David Scannell to quit his district job for voting as a state representative to reduce the penalty for possessing marijuana. It was surprising, however, that it took the mayor a day to come to that opinion.
I can’t imagine he hired a polling company to find out how it would help if he decides to run for governor, but you never know. The mayor is looking over the horizon.
And you have to like him for that.
Who wants a mayor without ambition? A mayor without ambition might work to solve city problems over the long run. He or she might be concerned about the schools, roads and parks — and the tax rate in five years.
On the other hand, this mayor has proposed a 10-year plan for reducing homelessness in Manchester. Though not exactly like the homeless plan of fictional Baltimore Mayor Tommy Carcetti of HBO’s The Wire (who, in the recently concluded final season, was coincidentally also running for governor of Maryland), it’s oddly close.
Hey, I guess in politics, it’s whatever works to get the headlines. As one of Manchester mayor’s aides said about the call for Scannell’s resignation, the mayor made his point. I wonder if the aide meant the mayor scored his point?
The federal government recently bailed out Wall Street trader Bear Stearns to the tune of $29 billion, figuring that if it didn’t, more traders and even banks could collapse. The federal government’s hand was forced. A broad collapse of banking and trading firms would cripple our economy. But there’s something dirty about letting private companies risk it all and pay CEOs huge salaries and then rescuing them from their own ruin.
Many in Congress argue that homeowners who took the risk of using adjustable rate mortgages shouldn’t be rescued. The federal government launched a program to help homeowners facing foreclosure but only let goodie-two-shoes in on the deal.
I’m in the middle on this issue. Part of me thinks those who took the risk of an adjustable rate mortgage should live with the consequences, but another part thinks that if that were to happen all homeowners would be harmed. So perhaps in this case it’s reasonable to expect the federal government to lessen the crisis by bailing out some risky behavior.
And what’s good for the Wall Street firm should be good for the homeowner. The risky behavior of homeowners isn’t any less deserving of rescue than the behavior of Wall Street.
Federal government has backed itself into a corner by first not properly regulating Wall Street firms from borrowing too much money, letting anyone with a pulse — or not — get a mortgage. Now the feds have a huge mess and we taxpayers are left to clean it up.
I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. Only 60 percent of all Americans actually pay any federal income taxes — though in New Hampshire that figure jumps to 75 percent — maybe that’s why so many here oppose a state income tax.