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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Live Blogging the Tax Summit- Brad Cook

Brad Cook- Columnist, NH Business Review

Cook says that the first thing to do is examine how we are spending the people's money. He says there are a number of budgeting fallacies, such as "zero based budgeting", as if we could eliminate all programs and go back to the base. He suggests that using "sunset laws" is better, since it would force government to periodically review every program to see if some have outlasted their usefullness.

He next suggests examining whether there are government functions that could be better fulfilled by the private economy. If so, he says they should be privatized, and says that Cannon Mountain should be producing instead of sapping revenue.

After government has determined the minimum spending required, only then should it give attention to revenue. He poses four tests for any tax:

1. What revenue sources are fair and do not disproportionately disadvantage those unable to pay?

2. What is the nature of the New Hampshire economy, and which taxes fit that economy best?

3. Businesses create jobs which support us all. New Hampshire has become less business friendly, and if this continues, our economy and tax base will suffer.

4. Like the Hypocratic Oath to "do no harm", avoid gambling, which will negatively affect our most vulnerable people and be an unrealiable means of raising revenue. Do not put faith in "sin taxes" that question our morality while they defy economics.

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