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Old 01-31-2009, 11:40 AM
Status: "More snow please" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,403 posts, read 21,493,619 times
Reputation: 7806

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Don't worry, the private sector can take care of itself. It's the government thugs that are the problem.
I would say big bank CEO bonuses are more of a problem at the moment since they are pocketing TAXPAYER money related to the financial bailout.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:56 AM
 
1,771 posts, read 3,033,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seamusnh View Post
More details:

"New Hampshire passed a two-year state budget. The budgets as passed are maintained on the Legislature's own Web site under the Legislative Budget Assistant tab. The budget passed in June 2007 had general fund spending that was 17.54 percent higher than the budget passed in June 2005. This is a direct comparison of the exact same row of numbers from one budget to the next. When compared to biennium over biennium increases for each budget in the last 20 years, 17.54 percent is higher than any other budget and significantly higher than the average of around 10 percent.

The three previous increases of the state's total general and education funds averaged 5.5 percent. The 2008-2009 increase was budgeted to be 13.8 percent. So by this measure as well, the current state budget was the largest recent increase."

UnionLeader.com - New Hampshire news, business and sports - The state simply has to cut spending immediately - Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

The references to inflation are interesting. No employee at my company had raises of 3.5% in 2007 and 2008. We've been trying to keep as many employees as possible during this downturn. It is time for the state government to tighten its belt just like the private sector and the citizens...
Thanks for the reference, I'll check it out so I can do a comparison. It also looks like they looked at General Funds & Education- two out of many categories that are listed. I was looking a the entire budget.

Inflation is not "raises", it is the decrease in the purchasing power of a dollar from one year to the next due to changes in supply/demand relationships. While theoretically you could NOT adjust the budget for inflation...you'd also be essentially cutting services to the same degree.

There are also other drivers of increased budget outside the scope of the state: severe weather, loss of federal funding, and new requirements levied on the state by the federal government (many regarding infrastructure & homeland security), increased health care costs, fuel costs, materials costs- all present external cost increases.

In short, NH does need to reign in spending to balance its budget- we are in violent agreement over that. I'm just not sure that one part over another is responsible for jacking up the budget arbitrarily just to make the state government larger. My hope is that these cuts will be made INTELLIGENTLY as opposed to some pointless across the board reduction.

As much as I want to blame corporations and the government for the current financial situation...it really does boil (largely) down to consumers who were willing to pay too much when they didn't have the money to spend... The economy is largely downsizing to adjust to "what can be afforded" vs. "what cannot". Of course we can also throw in a dose of panic and mismanagement for good measure.

Last edited by BF66389; 01-31-2009 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:11 PM
 
706 posts, read 971,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I would say big bank CEO bonuses are more of a problem at the moment since they are pocketing TAXPAYER money related to the financial bailout.
How is this not a government problem?
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:31 PM
Status: "More snow please" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,403 posts, read 21,493,619 times
Reputation: 7806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
How is this not a government problem?
Agreed
The financial bailout that went terribly awry
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Southern NH
2,145 posts, read 2,967,376 times
Reputation: 1216
Quote:
Originally Posted by BF66389 View Post
My hope is that these cuts will be made INTELLIGENTLY as opposed to some pointless across the board reduction.
Let's hope that the cuts are done more intelligently than the budget increase was done in 2007...

My reference to people getting raises was meant to point out that the money has to come from somewhere. We, the taxpayers, will pay it. We are all consumers of the goverment. Our ability to pay more is limited due to the economic times that we live in. The government has to realize that their customers (us) don't have the money to keep up with their budget increases.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:20 PM
 
1,939 posts, read 2,031,381 times
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Let's hope this ENDS the FICTION that the NH budget did not go up 17.5%. It did !!! This governor, and the democratic party were warned over & over not to do this....they did it anyway.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:26 PM
 
1,771 posts, read 3,033,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seamusnh View Post
Let's hope that the cuts are done more intelligently than the budget increase was done in 2007...

My reference to people getting raises was meant to point out that the money has to come from somewhere. We, the taxpayers, will pay it. We are all consumers of the goverment. Our ability to pay more is limited due to the economic times that we live in. The government has to realize that their customers (us) don't have the money to keep up with their budget increases.
Heck, we don't even have the money to keep up without increases (hence the drop in the GDP). My point is NOT to argue against fiscal controls; I just get frustrated by budget increase numbers that are published without adjustment for inflation, which is a reality that the government of NH cannot control (now the Federal government can to some degree).

A story for why this type of thing frustrates me:

I was at a town committee meeting (when fuel prices were $4 something) and someone didn't understand why the police fuel costs were up by 50%, and I quote- "were officers out joy riding?". I couldn't help but jump in and state "No, fuel costs almost doubled- it looks like officers actually drove LESS because their fuel expenses increased less than the rate at which fuel costs increased".

The BEST thing the government can do now is go item by item to decide what should be the responsibility of the state and what should not and then start cutting back accordingly.

Unfortunately what will happen is probably more along the lines of a less specific cut...and it will probably hurt schools the most (usually does in most states anyway).
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Southern NH
2,145 posts, read 2,967,376 times
Reputation: 1216
The union has the power to reduce these layoffs, but they do not want to re-negotiate on their contract:

"Two years ago, the state irresponsibly approved 9 percent pay raises for state employees over two years, with the second year raise to be 5.5 percent. Late last year Lynch tried to talk state employees into deferring that second year's raise. They said no. Now it's layoff time. Unless the union agrees to reopen the pay discussion, some employees are going to end up paying for the union's stubbornness with their jobs. Layoffs might happen anyway, but fewer will be needed if that massive raise is reconsidered."

UnionLeader.com - New Hampshire news, business and sports - Lynch's layoffs: Tough talk for tough times - Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009

"Lynch said programs are being cut and expenses trimmed. As programs go away, so does the need for the workers who administer them. Just one month ago, Lynch said layoffs would be a "last resort" for budget savings. That was before the State Employees Association dug in its heels and refused to renegotiate the 5.5 percent raise members started collecting in January. "

Union Leader - Columns (http://www.unionleader.com/columns.aspx/Opinion?channel=7c9a9ec6-5e82-421b-bbe7-a01f2b796103 - broken link)

How many in the private sector have had a raise of 9% over the past two years? If the union won't re-negotiate, they deserve the layoffs. There is a recession and it affects everyone, even if you are employed by the state...
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:16 PM
 
1,771 posts, read 3,033,193 times
Reputation: 971
Is membership in the Union mandatory/common for state employees? Also- are they "different" unions? IE- teacher's union, police union, etc?The reason I ask is I know the Federal Government has its share of unions that always cause trouble...but only a small-ish percentage of federal employees actually belong to it.

I actually know A LOT of folks who have enjoyed raises in the 5-15% range...but I also work in a very specialized field and most of the folks (who I know what raises they received) are considered THE experts in what they do (as in worldwide); so its not a good example.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Southern NH
2,145 posts, read 2,967,376 times
Reputation: 1216
This page on the nh.gov site has the operating budget numbers:
LBA - Audit Division Home Page (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/lba/indexbudget.html - broken link)

If you download the summaries and look at the two year totals:

2008 - 2009 $13,347m (an increase of 10.8%)
2006 - 2007 $9,337m (an increase of 4.3%)
2004 - 2005 $8,944m

The overall budget was increased by 17.5% from 2006/2007 to 2008/2009. This shows the part of the budget which the legistlature has direct control over going up at a rate double the previous years...
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