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Author Topic: More NH, ID, WY debate  (Read 26523 times)

Condon

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More NH, ID, WY debate
« on: March 16, 2003, 10:55:23 am »

Well stated, Robert. I agree with just about everything you've said except for Alaska being number 2 (it has the highest number of Porcupines opting-out of any of the candidate states). As most people know, I wrote an article, "Our Most Important Decison" (found at http://www.freestateproject.org/important.htm), that argues in favor of choosing North Dakota. However, since that article was published, and with the discovery and publication of further data, I have rescinded that choice in an article that should be posted soon (tentatively titled "Our Most Important Decision, Part Deux" :--)). Instead, using the same analytical framework and value-strengths as in the first article, I conclude that Wyoming should be our first choice as the Free State. Get ready to vote! We're closing in on 3,000 as this is written, and 5,000 isn't going to be far behind.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2003, 04:57:27 pm by JasonPSorens »
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craft_6

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2003, 10:11:48 am »

I find the 'poor job market' arguments against WY to be noncompelling.  It will not dissuade prospective members from joining.  

The first 5,000 members will be the most hardcore activists, ready to move anywhere for liberty.  Once the state is selected, the next 15,000 people will join or not join based on how the proposed move will affect them and their families personally.  Job availability will probably become the single biggest factor in how quickly the FSP reaches 20,000.

From what I understand, enrollment is doing great even though WY seems to be the front runner.  Are all of these new people signing up because they are sure some other state will overtake WY between now and November?

Wyoming is the front runner among those who are active on these discussion boards and doing the most research.  They are not a representative sample of the FSP membership (unfortunately), so it is not clear which state is the true front-runner.  Most people who sign up are not reading these boards at all (unfortunately.)


Do we really want to attract members who say, "great, they picked NH.  I can make 60K there, I'll sign up." only to have them say, "I'd love to help with that, but I'll be in the Hamptons all summer."  I'd rather cast my vote with the folks who say, "I'll have to take a pay cut, but the cost of living is cheaper so I won't starve--besides, FREEDOM is what is really important to me."

It's not an either-or choice, though.  The hardcore liberty activists will move to whichever state is selected, so the FSP will have them either way.  The semi-committed folks will move only if they can do so without enduring undue financial hardship.  So the question really becomes, do you want only the hardcore activists, or do you want the hardcore activists plus several thousand more somewhat committed friends of liberty?
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Robert H.

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2003, 03:09:33 am »

Well stated, Robert. I agree with just about everything you've said except for Alaska being number 2 (it has the highest number of Porcupines opting-out of any of the candidate states).

Thanks, Tim.  I guess I'd sum Alaska up as being 'the most worthy state being given the least chance.'  It would be more of a hardship to make the move, and we'd likely lose more participants after awhile due to the long winters, but I think Alaska may be one of those states where we wouldn't need as many in the long run due to its native sentiment and the AIP.

It has so many advantages but so many logistical problems...sigh.   :(

Aaron

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2003, 05:40:29 am »

I find the 'poor job market' arguments against WY to be noncompelling.  It will not dissuade prospective members from joining.  

The first 5,000 members will be the most hardcore activists, ready to move anywhere for liberty.  Once the state is selected, the next 15,000 people will join or not join based on how the proposed move will affect them and their families personally.  Job availability will probably become the single biggest factor in how quickly the FSP reaches 20,000.

All the more reason to choose Wyoming so that those 15,000 will be committed enough to freedom to move even there instead of 15,000 fair weathered friends who decide to sign up since we didn't pick an icky state.  I am not as interested in quick as I am in quality.

Do we really want to attract members who say, "great, they picked NH.  I can make 60K there, I'll sign up." only to have them say, "I'd love to help with that, but I'll be in the Hamptons all summer."  I'd rather cast my vote with the folks who say, "I'll have to take a pay cut, but the cost of living is cheaper so I won't starve--besides, FREEDOM is what is really important to me."

It's not an either-or choice, though.  The hardcore liberty activists will move to whichever state is selected, so the FSP will have them either way.  The semi-committed folks will move only if they can do so without enduring undue financial hardship.  So the question really becomes, do you want only the hardcore activists, or do you want the hardcore activists plus several thousand more somewhat committed friends of liberty?
I would rather be with the hardcores by themselves in Wyoming (especially since the attempts to quanitify viability factors seems to point to WY as the best choice) than be with the hardcores plus extras in a huge state.
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exitus

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2003, 11:19:20 am »

I can imagine two key questions people ask themselves when ranking states:

What is the best state for me?
What is the best state for the FSP, i.e. everybody else but me?

In response, I ask this question: why are we treating these as seperate questions?  If we believe one state is best for us, why do we assume that another state is best for everybody else?  Is it not reasonable to expect that what is best for you may also be best for many others?

Good point, Karl
But I do take issue with it for one reason, my vote is something I take very seriously.  If I vote, I am taking upon myself the making of a decision for others; it is incumbent upon me to think in terms of principled and reasoned decision, what I think is the best for the whole group, not just myself.

If I thought only for myself when I voted, I would only regard Idaho:  Best weather over-all, when you consider January lows, summertime highs,combined with most sunny days, most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities (all factors you cannot change!!!), Best job opportunities, low cost of living, low real- estate prices, family-friendly environment, best home-school laws, . . . I could go on

But If I am only going to think of myself first, why stop there?  I could be better-off voting for welfare-happy Democrats or Green Party candidates, or Socialists at least in the short-run , but knowing the danger of those types in the long-run I vote my conscience, what I think are the best out there. . .

Just the same, I regard Wyoming as best, not because it is best for me, but it seems to be the best choice for the fastest attainment of success for the FSP, which, in the long - run is best for me.

Not to put you down, Karl.  I realize that choosing the best state involves lots of other human factors.  We probably will never get into Wyoming, despite it being the best state, unless this group of 5,000 voters is as sturdy and brave as some of the most ardent Wyoming supporters are.

How I would vote if it were not a vote for the FSP, but merely a decision of which state if I only had ten choices, i.e., "What is the best state for me?"
ID>DE>NH>SD>WY . . . (doesn't make much difference after that).
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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2003, 08:08:10 pm »

exitus, I agree, even with your choice. If there were no FSP, but I knew what I do now, I'd move to Idaho.

But there is a Project, and it is important to succeed, more important than my personal desires (or to put it another way, my personal desire is that the Project succeed). So, WY is my top choice.
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George Reich

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2003, 09:39:27 pm »

exitus, I agree, even with your choice. If there were no FSP, but I knew what I do now, I'd move to Idaho.

But there is a Project, and it is important to succeed, more important than my personal desires (or to put it another way, my personal desire is that the Project succeed). So, WY is my top choice.

My personal top choice (for a move) is also Idaho.
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DadELK68

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2003, 09:11:07 am »

YOU IGNORED THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION.
WHICH STATE IS THE BEST FOR FREE STATE SUCCESS?
Note that FSP "success" is only getting 20,000 to move.
Thereafter the FSP dissolves -- mission accomplished.

Oh, oh.
Here come the New Hampshire boosters.

Joe - realistically (given the many points which have been made in various threads), you do have to consider whether it will be better to have the FSP 'succeed' in ID or NH, or to 'fail' in WY. The odds of getting 20,000+ participants (of whatever degree of activism) to move are MUCH better with NH or ID, and the underlying cultures in NH and ID (again, as evidenced in the spreadsheet analyses and the many postings in various threads) are promising for long-term success.

Perhaps this 'success' may not reach the most extreme definition of the 'dreamers', but then again it is dreaming to think that WY will succeed in drawing 20,000 participants - and short of that goal, it's highly unlikely that anything between, say, 5,000 and 15,000 FSP immigrants will be any more (or less) successful in WY within a generation than 20,000+ in ID or NH.

Snide put-downs of others, particularly using poor/unrealistic logic, are unbecoming. The reason NH and ID have so many supporters is because they are viable options, just as the reason WY has so many supporters is because it is a viable option.
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Karl

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2003, 02:37:56 pm »

Quote
You ask us to rely on "faith" and "intuition"

NH and ID supporters are asking us to rely more on factors not easily quantifiable:  How will quality of life factors such as job availability affect the effectiveness of activists?  How many more people would be willing to join the FSP and fight for liberty if the free state were among the more "desirable" places to live?  Most importantly, how do these factors compare to those most frequently cited by WY supporters, namely the huge differences in population and population growth?

NH and ID supporters must do better at trying to meaningfully and honestly quantify these factors, as difficult as it may seem.  Otherwise, we'll continue to endure the unjustified accusations of not working in the FSP's (or the "free state's") best interest and having some other agenda, or of being spaceheads.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2003, 02:39:33 pm by Karl »
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DadELK68

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2003, 04:16:03 pm »

Our logic is as realistic and reasonable as we can make it -- given what we have been given to work with. We have invited those criticized as "biased" the criteria in our spreadsheets, tables, and analyses to present their unbiased criteria for inclusion in our analyses.
Quote
The reason NH and ID have so many supporters is because they are viable options,
So the proponents believe because they want to live there and are grasping at any straw to justify their decision and to berate the other more viable choices... The latter concern is documented by others and me on several threads throughout this forum.

I'm not knocking the spreadsheets, and I'm not knocking WY - it's interesting that NH and ID do so well with so many variables in so many different permutations of the spreadsheets, so you can't hide behind the spreadsheets - yet you dismiss any challenge to WY as 'grasping at straws', and not 'making a substantial case'. I've never promoted 'faith and intuition', and note that at most a couple of people have suggested such bases for their decisions. In the face of such blatant denial of the obvious on your part, how can we take your claims to objectivity seriously?

Responses to your questions/charges, as well as viable counter-questions, have also been posted and have either been ignored or brushed off by you and a few others in the 'WY-or-bust' contingent. Instead, you keep repeating the same numbers and allegations, and have progressed to sarcasm and belittling those who may disagree with your conclusions.

The proponents of the huge populations states have not yet made a substantial case equivalent to what has been made for Wyoming and even South Dakota. You ask us to rely on "faith" and "intuition".

In other words, you are choosing once again to ignore the very serious concern that WY is unlikely to succeed because of the high probability that it will fail to draw 20,000 people, at any level of activism. This is more than just speculation - various posts from different people have indicated this is likely. What if WY wins and only 5,000 people make the move?

You can play with the numbers at 5k, 10k or even 15k, but can't simply dismiss the fact that 'failure' in the first stage is more likely in WY by insisting that population/voting population is the ultimate variable of concern. That's just as short-sighted as someone supporting a state only because it's where they currently live, or where they would like to live. My criticism isn't with your opinions and conclusions, it's with your implying that others are either hypocritical or blinded by bias while denying your own blind spots.

The logical conclusion is that any one of those three - NH, ID, or WY - as well as maybe MT, are the most viable options for the project. Please try to be a little less disrespectful of the intelligent, sincere people who look at the same data and reach different conclusions. Maybe they see something that you're missing.

Or would you suggest that such is an impossibility, that you are the ultimate repository of truth?
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Robert H.

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2003, 04:05:32 am »

Quote
In other words, you are choosing once again to ignore the very serious concern that WY is unlikely to succeed because of the high probability that it will fail to draw 20,000 people, at any level of activism. This is more than just speculation - various posts from different people have indicated this is likely. What if WY wins and only 5,000 people make the move?

  • The FSP's success or failure in drawing 20,000 does not necessarily equate to success or failure in creating a free state, which is the ultimate goal.  I would much rather see the FSP fail and the free state succeed.  The two are not the same.[/color]

    Attracting less than 20,000 participants does not necessarily mean that the free state will fail, and attracting 20,000 or more does not necessarily mean that it will succeed.  There are other factors at play here, and Joe is correct in saying that those who belay the comments of spreadsheet users are otherwise preoccupied with their own sacred numbers: job data, available amenities, and the number 20,000.

    So let's just admit up front here that both sides of this odd coin consider population first and foremost among their criteria even though they arrive at it by different means.  The small state advocates arrive at it because a smaller population allows for greater saturation of FSP activists to residents, and the large state advocates arrive at it because a larger population allows for greater job availability and amenities, and requires (or invites) the maximum number of potential FSP participants.

    Thus, when we talk about our number one criteria here, we're really talking about the same thing, we just approach it differently.

    Now, let's look at the rest of this...

    Quote
    ...WY is unlikely to succeed because of the high probability that it will fail to draw 20,000 people...

    The figure 20,000 means nothing aside from the criteria that generated it in the first place, which is the idea of having 1 FSP activist for every 62 state residents.  At that ratio, based on the Census Bureau's 2005 population projections, we get the following number of activists per state:

    State Total Pop. # of Activists required for 1 to 62 ratio

    Wyoming - 568,000 (9,161)
    Vermont - 638,000 (10,290)
    North Dakota - 677,000 (10,919)
    Alaska - 700,000 (11,290)
    Delaware - 800,000 (12,903)
    South Dakota - 810,000 (13,065)
    Montana - 1,006,000 (16,226)
    New Hampshire - 1,281,000 (20,661)
    Maine - 1,285,000 (20,726)
    Idaho - 1,480,000 (23,871)

    These numbers satisfy the 1 to 62 ratio, and, if you equate the number 20,000 with success, then you need only get 20,000 for an equivalent degree of saturation in three out of ten states.

    Compare Wyoming with Idaho, Maine, and New Hampshire as they are all projected to be by 2005:

    Wyoming - 568,000
    New Hampshire - 1,281,000
    Maine - 1,285,000
    Idaho - 1,480,000

    20,000 in each of these states works out as follows:

    Wyoming - 1 FSP'er to every 28.4 residents
    New Hampshire - 1 to 64.05
    Maine - 1 to 64.25
    Idaho - 1 to 74

    To saturate Idaho, Maine, and New Hampshire to the same level as 20,000 would saturate Wyoming would take this many activists:

    New Hampshire - 45,106
    Maine - 45,247
    Idaho - 52,113

    In other words, it would take more than two FSP's to saturate Idaho, Maine, and New Hampshire to the same level as Wyoming.  There is no use in our doing one of these higher population states when we could do a two state project with two of the lower population states, achieve the same degree of saturation in both as 20,000 would in one of the three largest, and allow the spreadsheet and "quality of life" crowds to part company and try it their own way.

    We could do Wyoming/Delaware or Wyoming/Vermont, saturate each of them as heavily as 20,000 could in NH, ID, or ME, and end up with a much more thoroughly dedicated and ideologically compatible group of activists in each state.  This idea has been rejected, and I don't bring this up now to attempt to resurrect it, but only to illustrate that the 20,000 (1 to 62) matter could be resolved several ways.

    None of which either guarantee or prohibit free state success.

    Quote
    ...WY is unlikely to succeed because of the high probability that it will fail to draw 20,000 people, at any level of activism...

    So, not only will Wyoming not draw enough people, but it may not even be capable of attracting any decent activists as well?  Any number of them?  Pardon me for saying so, but this is patently ridiculous.

    If going to Wyoming is really so much the hardship that some here seem to think it is, then it would only make sense that those who go there would tend to be a bit more dedicated, wouldn't it?

    Quote
    This is more than just speculation - various posts from different people have indicated this is likely.

    Yes, various posts from those who have no intention of going to Wyoming anyway, for the most part.  

    Quote
    What if WY wins and only 5,000 people make the move?

    In Wyoming, it may be enough to accomplish much, depending on what sort of people they are.  But let's give you 10,000 more and ask a comparable question:  what if only 15,000 move to ID, NH, or ME?  Or what if 20,000 move and it still isn't enough?

    And here is a question I consider even more important: in which of these states does a short fall in the number of activists or the degree of their activism hurt us the most?  If we want to play "what if?" scenarios, then this is the most significant question we can ask with regard to our attempt to create a free state.

    Those who support Wyoming here generally do so because their research has led them to it.  There is no real "WY-or-bust!" crowd.  The only state I know of that has that sort of following is New Hampshire.  They're actually upset that any other state is even under consideration.

DadELK68

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2003, 05:54:16 pm »

Joe, are you by any chance manic-depressive?

Robert, a great deal of your last post indicates that you agree with at least some of my points, but arrive at different conclusions. I can respect that. The bottom line, as you said, is that there are two definitions of 'success' - which is the basis of my question to Joe, and which I hope he will understand.

Thank you for clarifying that you prefer 'failing' in the sense of not reaching 20k in WY to the possibility of 'succeeding' in the sense of achieving or exceeding 20k in ID or NH, and clarifying that essentially 'failing' with 10k in WY is statistically about the same as 'succeeding' with 20k in NH or ID, when it comes to the ultimate goal of having the desired political impact.

Now if Joe and a few others could just learn to respectfully disagree with those who conclude that success, by both definitions, is possible in ID or NH, but that with WY the most likely result would be 'failure' in drawing 20k even though it might still be possible to 'succeed' in moving toward the Free State - we'll be getting somewhere. Don't throw stones unless you're willing to get hit on the rebound.

Now, let me clarify a few misrepresentations:
1) Robert, you misunderstood my statement about activism - it was meant to include the concern that only a small portion of any group will be extremely active, and that others will be active to different degrees. This isn't 'patently ridiculous' My point, was that if 10k go to WY, this same spread will apply when it comes to political activism. Perhaps this core group would be more motivated and more activist, perhaps not. In any case, I do agree with your concern that less than 20k will go anywhere - and thus we need to consider the likelihood that 'x' number will go to any of the states in question, and how many may be likely to go to each. In other threads it has been discussed extensively, but seems to be dismissed by people like Joe because it's too complex to simply plug into a spreadsheet.

2) Joe, I have never expressed anything but appreciation and admiration for the extensive research which has been done, and continues to be done. My concern is that you and a few others seem to rely on spreadsheet data to the exclusion of other forms of analysis, and that you ignore the fact that, for such large-population states, NH and ID do so well even by so many of those measures you hold so dear. From there, you jump to ridiculing those who disagree with your conclusions. In spite of how well NH and ID do in the extensive analyses, you did in fact charge those who favor them with 'grasping at straws', which indicates that YOU ignore the data which supports them. Try to be consistent, okay? The data are there to support these two larger states in pretty much all variables except population, and that's where other discussions are appropriate to determine the relative impact of that single variable. Robert comes close to indicating agreement with this in his suggestion.

3) Karl, you mention NH govt spending and property taxes - which is interesting given that NH is in better state fiscally this year than most states (particularly in New England) which has been attributed to an underlying philosophy of restraint in spending, and that NH doesn't have income or sales tax, leaving only the property tax (and a few others such as hospitality taxes) as a means to collect from residents.

I'll slip back into lurkerdom for a while, so I'll drop this thread without accepting Joe's invitation to 'take it outside', in effect - I agree that this is off-topic, but because Joe started the mudslinging in his response to Karl's observation, this is where it fits in context. I have too much to do in my daily life to indulge in debate further right now. Hopefully I'll have more time in a few weeks. It's been fun, thanks everyone!
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Robert H.

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2003, 08:34:42 am »

Quote
Robert, you misunderstood my statement about activism - it was meant to include the concern that only a small portion of any group will be extremely active, and that others will be active to different degrees. This isn't 'patently ridiculous' My point, was that if 10k go to WY, this same spread will apply when it comes to political activism. Perhaps this core group would be more motivated and more activist, perhaps not.

Thanks for clarifying.  If that's the case, then I do understand your point, which would seem to address the old 80/20 issue: 80% doing little while 20% do almost everything.  I agree that this will probably apply just about anywhere we go, although I believe that certain people are likely to be more effective in certain places than in others.

By this I'm referring to what you might call the "fish-out-of-water" syndrome.  A person accustomed to big city life may seem apathetic or ineffective in Wyoming due to the cultural differences, and vice versa.  People are generally more interested and effective in familiar (or at least user-friendly) surroundings.  That was one reason why I supported the two-state effort so much: it would have divided people along the lines most conducive to their potential interest, involvement and success.

Quote
In any case, I do agree with your concern that less than 20k will go anywhere - and thus we need to consider the likelihood that 'x' number will go to any of the states in question, and how many may be likely to go to each. In other threads it has been discussed extensively, but seems to be dismissed by people like Joe because it's too complex to simply plug into a spreadsheet.

I agree that it is a complicated issue to try addressing via spreadsheet because so much of it is personal and subjective.  It would also require us to know more about our membership: where they're from, their individual preferences, etc.  Heck, husbands and wives who live their whole lives together fight over the thermostat.   :)

That's one reason why I prefer more objective criteria, among others with which you are already familiar.   ;)  To my way of thinking, the creation of a free state is paramount, and subjective factors make us rely too heavily on unknowns that could endanger that goal.

And I have to wonder if those who make their decision based on convenience and congeniality will go the distance when political activism proves inconvenient and bothersome.  If we have a large group of such persons then we may be looking at something more like a 90/10 factor, and in the higher population states this could jeopardize everything.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2003, 08:37:44 am by RobertH »
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jgmaynard

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2003, 11:48:50 am »

"NH doesn't have income or sales tax, leaving only the property tax (and a few others such as hospitality taxes) as a means to collect from residents."

And our new Governor Craig Benson (http://www.state.nh.us/governor/) is pushing through a 20% cut in our state property tax over the next two years.... He's already reduced the cost of state Government 10% in the first year.

Craig! Craig! Craig! Craig!

The more I hear about the guy, the more I like him. I am SERIOUSLY considering writing this guy in for the 2004 R pres primary...

From his web site:

"All across the nation, states are united in their fiscal woes. Maine, for example, is facing a $1 billion deficit; Massachusetts, $3 billion. States are facing deep program cuts, higher taxes, and massive lay-offs.

Unfortunately, tough times have also come to New Hampshire. We are facing record breaking deficits and a weakening economy. But tough times can bring people closer together. My management team put in long hours and made a lot of tough choices, but they put together a budget of which we can be proud. Just like families have to sit around their kitchen tables and make tough decisions about spending, New Hampshire's state government has to sit around its collective kitchen table to figure out how to live within its means. That's why I am calling this budget the Kitchen Table Budget. For the first time in a long time, the state budget will grow less than the rate of inflation.

My Kitchen Table Budget is the first step towards controlled spending, greater efficiency, and, of course, lower taxes. The voters came out in record numbers and their message was loud and clear: No income tax. No sales tax. No higher taxes. No way. I couldn't agree more. "

JM
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freedomroad

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Re:How would you vote if we voted today?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2003, 09:23:56 pm »

"NH doesn't have income or sales tax, leaving only the property tax (and a few others such as hospitality taxes) as a means to collect from residents."

And our new Governor Craig Benson (http://www.state.nh.us/governor/) is pushing through a 20% cut in our state property tax over the next two years.... He's already reduced the cost of state Government 10% in the first year.

I do not know how accuate any of this is.  Almost all governments lie about most 'money issues.'  Governments tend to make up their own math system which only they understand.  However, my state is claiming similar things.  The Democratic, Pro-tax increase TN governor has rejected his salary and claims he wants to let the citizens of TN keep their hard earned money.  He also claims to be cutting the size of almost all government progams and to be cutting state spending.  Well, it seems both Pro-tax Democrates from TN and low-tax Repubs from NH do very similar things when the states start falling apart because of many past years of way to much spending.  Maybe there is a little bit of libertarian common sense in everyone.  Thank God for that.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2003, 10:35:50 am by FreedomRoad »
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