Most observers regarded Mitt Romney’s promise to cut jobs for firefighters, police, and teachers a major (though honest) gaffe.
“[President Obama] says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
State House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli points out the obvious. These’s no lack of talk from the GOP House leadership on the topic of jobs — just a lack of action.
For the third time in the last month, House Republicans called a press conference to announce “jobs” as their top priority for the upcoming legislative session. If this prioritization sounds like news to you, it’s because the only time House Republicans actually talk about jobs is at press conferences.
House Republicans have issued 18 press releases promoting specific bills since January, covering such important topics as Transportation Security Administration searches, Arizona’s immigration law, and abortion policy. Jobs have been mentioned only twice: in press releases promoting payday loans and the repeal of insurance mandates.
“House Republicans would be wise to shift their attention away from guns, gay marriage and press conferences,” chides the former House Speaker, “and onto legislation that provides the educated work force that businesses need to create jobs.”
The House is expected to begin with a bill to repeal the state’s gay marriage law; a constitutional amendment to prohibit an income tax; a bill to expand the capital murder sentencing option to include any murder, not just those in which the victim was a judicial or law enforcement official; and a bill to expand gambling with video slot machines.
Earlier this month, Congressman Frank Guinta took to the editorial pages to lambaste President Obama’s jobs bill as an attack on the work of charitable organizations.
You may be surprised to learn just how big [nonprofit organizations] role is, and even more surprised to hear what some people in Washington are trying to do that would hinder their efforts to provide much-needed services. …
[T]he jobs bill that President Obama submitted to Congress last month contained harmful consequences to nonprofit groups.
I agree our tax code needs substantial, powerful reforms. But we must ensure we don’t penalize the very groups that are doing so much to help our communities.
In a letter to the editor, Joan Jacobs sets the record straight on the jobs bill provisions — and takes Guinta to task for choosing to protect the tax privileges of the top 1% over putting people back to work.
Mr. Guinta should know better. President Obama’s proposed limitations would apply only to families with taxable incomes over $250,000. And for that top 1 percent, the change would be modest. Their tax deductions for charitable giving would be reduced from the high 35 percent they get now to the 28 percent most of the rest of us get.
Among the many good things that would result from the Jobs Act: preventing layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters; modernizing more than 35,000 schools; expanding access to high-speed wireless Internet service; and helping veterans get hired. An estimated 18,000 long-term unemployed in New Hampshire could benefits from this legislation.
Frank Guinta and his tea party Republican allies in Congress are doing everything they can to kill the American Jobs Act. Their overriding goal is to protect the tax privileges given to the top 1 percent, even if it means turning their backs on the rest of us.
Following President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress outlining his jobs plan, comments by the GOP Congressional leadership struck a tone of conciliation and compromise. Not so for local Republicans, who disparaged the proposal as a “second stimulus plan” by likening it to the 2009 Recovery Act.
“The stimulus didn’t work to rejuvenate our economy the first time. Another version under a different title will have the same failing effects, while piling up even more debt for our grandchildren to repay,” said NH State Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald.
Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-01) released the following statement after President Obama’s address to a Joint Session of Congress this evening: … “We can’t afford to waste hundreds of billions of additional dollars on a second stimulus plan.”
Of course, all of this criticism is based on the incorrect assumption that the 2009 Recovery Act didn’t work. But as the Congressional Budget Office has continually found, the Recovery Act created or supported millions of jobs, keeping the unemployment rate up to two points below where it otherwise would have been. At its height in the third quarter of 2010, Recovery Act funds were supporting up to 3.6 million jobs.
Working families, faith leaders, and small business owners held a community vigil yesterday in front of the State House to describe the toll taken by underemployment in the Granite State. They called on the Legislature to devote the next session to creating good, living-wage jobs.
“Underemployment undermines our moral commitment to maintaining a strong society. We must ensure that residents have access to opportunities for economic mobility and growth. Simply creating jobs is not enough — we must focus on creating opportunities for the people in this state.” —The Reverend John Gregory-Davis, Meriden Congregational Church. (AFL-CIO release)
Kristin Fredrickson, who has been unemployed for two years, rings a bell to mourn the loss of good jobs in the state. Kristin Locke, a mother of three who lost her job as a a tax auditor due to state budget cuts, will lose her health insurance at the end of the month. (John Tully/Monitor Staff)
Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, reminds legislators that “working families are our real advantage.”
Granite Staters went to the polls last November with a mandate to create jobs and keep our economy strong. But instead of delivering on their promises, many of our legislators launched a relentless series of attacks on working people.
Instead of creating jobs, legislators disenfranchised students and seniors, cut Medicaid for seniors and the disabled, and passed a budget that eliminated nine thousand jobs. …
That’s why the working people of New Hampshire are asking their representatives to commemorate Labor Day by setting a new course for the upcoming legislative session. We ask our lawmakers to create jobs, instead of slandering the people looking for one. We ask for concrete proposals to spend our state dollars smarter. And we ask our lawmakers to work to protect good middle class jobs, to ensure a better future for our children.
Yesterday, St. Joseph Hospital laid off an additional 44 staff members as a direct result of state budget cuts.
The move will mean an end to the hospital’s Adult Day Health Center on Amherst Street that provided care for 45-55 Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as well as the Resource Development department, which was charged with fundraising and philanthropic endeavors, [hospital spokesperson Melissa Sears] said.
The job losses come on the heels of an earlier announcement by the hospital that it is closing Rockingham Ambulance and Granite State Mediquip and laying off the 174 employees who worked for the two organizations.
Over 1400 jobs, most in the private sector, have now been lost in New Hampshire since July 1 as a direct result of state budget cuts.
If he’s going to take credit for a lower unemployment rate — as he has pretty much since Day One — then he’s got to take the flak for when it goes up. And the argument that the new state budget has prompted the rise in the rate can be very, very easily made — at least for July.
Jeff Feingold, New Hampshire Business Review, on state House Speaker Bill O’Brien and the rise in the state’s unemployment rate.
32 years ago, facing gas lines and a dispirited nation, President Jimmy Carter gave an important speech that became known as the Malaise Speech. In it, he described the energy crisis as a symptom of a larger “fundamental threat to American democracy.”
The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.
In an opinion piece for Patch, Rep. Frank Guinta describes his constituents’ state of mind in terms that are eerily reminiscent of that speech.
People tell me they remain worried about the slow pace of job creation. … People tell me they’re concerned by the recent volatility and wild swings in the financial markets. … Others tell me they’re frustrated by the partisan sniping that has paralyzed Washington and is delaying meaningful change and reform.
Carter then presented a six-point plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil and challenged Americans to reject a “mistaken idea of freedom” involving “constant conflict between narrow interests.” He asked us to embrace a solution embodying “common purpose and the restoration of American values.”
In contrast, Guinta sidesteps any serious proposal to jump-start the sputtering economy or to revive our spirits. Instead, he offers the same tired exhortation to “put our fiscal house in order” by adopting a Balanced Budget Amendment, reducing regulation and reforming taxes. “This is not a time for despair,” he says unconvincingly.
This week’s “No Jobs Fair” rally in Concord highlighted the job losses accompanying the new state budget enacted by the GOP-dominated legislature.
The protest elicited a strong response from the GOP with some of the most unvarnished responses appearing in news site comments. The comments didn’t go unanswered.
GOP/Free State House Rep. Andrew Manuse took to the Union Leader to attack the demonstrators and defend Republicans and the Free State Project. A reader identified as Tom Sheffield provided a pointed rebuttal. I’ve juxtaposed their comments:
MANUSE: The people behind this protest … are radical operatives hired with George Soros’s money to turn New Hampshire into another socialist haven like Massachusetts…. These radical activists should be taken about as seriously as if Karl Marx himself was handing petitions to the House Speaker.
SHEFFIELD: What kind of representative starts off his post with name calling like ‘socialist’, ‘radicals’, ‘Karl Marx’?
MANUSE: We need stability before people will want to invest in New Hampshire. … The people of this great state should not stand for such disruptive, dysfunctional politics. They should send a message to the Democratic Party to be quiet.
SHEFFIELD: Then he moves on to villifying those who disagree with his ‘agenda’ as disruptive and then tells them to be ‘quiet’.
MANUSE: As a sitting state representative who proudly signed the Free State Project pledge, I’m sometimes shocked by the lengths some folks will go to discredit an organization that has the same goals and dreams as the founders of our nation. … Free Staters are American Patriots; people who wanted to live somewhere they could make a difference while also fitting in.
SHEFFIELD: Next we have him occupying the mantle of ‘patriot’. Is this guy for real? He doesn’t display one iota of patriotism, exactly the opposite. The first job of a ‘faux’ patriot is to demonize the opponent and make them unworthy of occupying the same space as the pretend patriot. This is what the freakstaters are all about. They don’t want the freedoms that our founding fathers gave us, they want to have the freedoms for themselves that they imagine will be good for their little fascist group and screw everyone else. God bless America? God help America.