Guinta’s work pays off
by Jody Reese
here to read State Rep.
Steve Vaillancourt's letter to Mayor-Elect Guinta
There are some that want Mayor-Elect Frank Guinta to turn back the clock
to 1995, stop all investment in the city and focus on cutting spending.
If Guinta’s team can find places to save money, that would be great, but
it shouldn’t be at the expense of making Manchester a better place to
live. We need to find a balance between keeping taxes as low as possible
and spending enough money to keep the streets safe, keep our kids
educated and keep our city growing. Investments in big capital projects
that require borrowing, such as the Verizon Wireless Arena and Fisher
Cats Stadium, are necessary to encourage other private development.
Such investments create strong economy that will keep taxes in check
over the long term, not just in the next few years.
It’s easy to save money in the short run by skimping on police,
expanding class sizes, reducing maintenance on roads, parks and sewers.
The true cost of those cuts (more crime, less skilled students, and a
crummy city infrastructure) won’t be apparent for several years.
Cutting taxes is never easy. It may be that Guinta will find ways to
both reduce our property taxes and continue offering the same level of
services, but experience says different.
At the federal level, a Republican Congress and White House has been
unable to cut taxes. They have simply borrowed from future taxes to
reduce our tax load today. That is not a tax cut. At the state level
Republican Governor Craig Benson was unable to reduce taxes with a
Republican House and Senate. Even the creative Steve Vaillancourt
couldn’t come up with any good ideas in his top ten list (on our Web
site for those who want to read it www.hippopress.com).
Why is tax cutting so hard?
It’s because running the kind of government we citizens want (one that
fights terrorism, one that gives health care to the poor, clears snow
from streets and helps pay for college) costs huge amounts of money.
Politicians have been claiming for decades that they can cut taxes
without cutting services by finding inefficiencies in government
bureaucracy. None has been able to. The problem is not that these
politicians are corrupt or come under the spell of those wily
bureaucrats, but that great inefficiencies just aren’t there. It’s not
as if voters just woke up to the pain of taxes. Voters have been pushing
government to be as efficient as possible ever since there was
representational government, and government has responded by keeping
salaries below market average and paying as little for everything as it