While testing out the waters for a presidential run, Chris Sununu was a featured speaker at the recent national convention for the National Rifle Association – held two days after mass shootings in Nashville and Louisville. As part of his pitch, he boasted about his achievements in New Hampshire:
veto of “red flag” bill passed by the legislature; signing legislation for removal of permit to carry a loaded concealed weapon; passing the law from the last legislative session which forbids state law enforcement from enforcing any federal action regarding firearms restrictions.
His quote to remember “ We’re the States. We go first. Federal government, shove it.”
Aside from considering what exactly is it that binds states together to form a strong nation – the concept of telling the Federal government to “Shove it” would create a financial disaster for New Hampshire and your property taxes.
In an article by Gary Rayno (InDepthnh.org), he lays out the tremendous amount of additional federal dollars coming into New Hampshire (in addition to all the routine federal dollars spent on Food Stamps, medical assistance, Medicare, Social Security, Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Environmental Services.
New Hampshire has received billions of federal pandemic dollars and Sununu got to be the focus of attention by distributing the money through the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery. The influx of federal money is the main reason for the state revenue surplus. The American Rescue plan of 2021 sent 1.45 billion dollars into New Hampshire. Funds were used for small business assistance, public and mental health, child care, housing, substance abuse, food programs, heating and ventilation systems, broadband expansion, and mental health care facilities.
The Infrastructure and Jobs Act brought 1.2 billion dollars into New Hampshire for road and bridge repair, expanded broadband, clean drinking water, protection from wildfire and cyberattacks, and help addressing climate change.
Federal dollars will also be used to offset the tax cuts given to the corporations and wealthiest New Hampshire residents; pay for a new legislative parking garage so legislators don’t have to walk from Storrs Street, and the new youth center being proposed.
In April – the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery is proposing to use 2.3 million of federal dollars to the Judicial Branch to revamp how it handles health care emergency admissions; 3.6 million is going to enhance the child care system; and an additional 12 million federal dollars will be distributed to the Low Income Energy assistance program.
The draft New Hampshire budget for fiscal year 2004 uses 2.49 billion in federal funds and 1.94 billion in state funds. For fiscal year 2025, the plan shows 2.53 in federal funds and 2.02 billion in state funds indicating a total of 100 million dollars more in federal funds than state funds.
So “shove it”? And do what? – Replace federal funds with property tax dollars? As Gary Rayno said so well “It is never good to bite the hand that feeds you. If you keep biting that hand it just might stop feeding you.”