One of the most remarkable things about the American political culture is that it tends to be self-correcting. We make mistakes, but we tend to fix them.
One of those corrections seems to be starting here in New Hampshire.
In 2006, it was a Blue day for the state. Democrats not only held the governorship, but took both US House seats and majorities in the state House, state Senate, and Executive Council. And once they got into office, they pushed hard on their agenda.
Not the agenda they ran on, though; that one kind of got set aside in place of passing “civil unions” and working over the state budget. Apparently the state had been sadly neglectful over the last decade or so, because they jacked it up 17.5% in a single year.
The folks of New Hampshire noticed. We haven’t done much, as we can’t vote out the current legislators until November, but in the mean time, we can do what the Democratic majority didn’t do — we’re giving them fair warning of what’s coming:
The Boston Globe does a good account on the “what” of the story, but they are sadly missing the “why.” And the answer is simple. We know what’s coming at the state level — new and higher taxes. So we’re bracing ourselves by doing all we can to control the money local government takes.
(A brief aside: The Globe betrays their Massachusetts-centric bias when they describe Atkinson as “a town near Haverhill.” Atkinson is about 100 miles from Haverhill, NH, but just five miles from Haverhill, MA. The overshadowing of the New Hampshire town by the Massachusetts city has been a long-time annoyance for those of us who have, at some point in our lives, lived in Haverhill, NH.)
Here in New Hampshire, we practice some of the purest democracy in the country. We have a relatively huge legislature, with one representative for about every 3,000 people. Most of our towns have town meetings, when the public meets to debate and vote on matters like taxes and budgets and ordinances.
The “big-D” Democrats won a big victory in 2006, but I think that the “small-d” democrats (like me) will be taking some of that back this November.