A legislative committee says the state should refuse all federal funding for education, nutritional programs and fuel assistance. Committee chair Gregory Sorg defends the recommendation saying, “Such funding schemes amount to all intents and purposes of bribing the state of New Hampshire to surrender its sovereignty.”
The members of the committee say it is unconstitutional for the state to accept those grants because the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment by funding programs for health, safety and welfare.
To determine the constitutionality of future federal grants, the committee specifically excluded court rulings on issues of constitutionality and made the bizarre recommendation that lawmakers should cite the essay number of the Federalist Papers that would authorize funding.
Sorg admits that all of the committee members share his extreme ideology. “We’re just trying to persuade the rest of the House, or the working majority of the House and the working majority of the Senate, to adopt this view.”
Colin Van Ostern, Democratic candidate for the Executive Council, points to the Executive Council action this summer rejecting federal aid for Planned Parenthood health centers and says this is no idle threat.
Let’s be clear: refusing to accept these federal funds in New Hampshire will not lower anyone’s taxes, or repay even a dime of the national debt. The federal tax dollars that you and I work hard and pay every year are simply being rejected for ideological reasons, and sent to other states.
What this will do, however, is strike a tremendous blow against the quality of life we live here in our state.
How many new businesses will invest in growing jobs here, while every other state has far more resources to educate its workforce?
How many young people will chose to stay in NH, knowing that so many of their federal tax dollars will never return to them?
How many will choose to raise their family here, if we shred our most basic social safety net and let thousands of children go hungry to make a symbolic political point?
In fiscal year 2010, over a third of New Hampshire’s $5.12 billion budget ($1.76 billion) was from federal funding.