October 15, 2012
New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) conducted a gubernatorial debate on 19 September 2012. One of the questions had to do with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an effort to limit greenhouse gases by auctioning CO2 allowances (sounds like cap and to me). Republican Ovide Lamontagne favors repeal of RGGI, while Democrat Maggie Hassan favors keeping it. Watch and listen to their answers at about 32 minutes into the debate. They are in a lightning round, with a ten-second limit to answers.
Ms. Hassan's answer, from the previously linked video, follows:
I was proud to be a sponsor of that tax, eh, the program because it has saved millions and millions of dollars and created over 400 jobs.
Subsequently, NHPR has rebroadcast the debate, and Ms. Hassan's answer has been changed to:
I was proud to be a sponsor of the energy efficiency program because it has saved businesses millions and millions of dollars and created over 400 jobs.
The missing phrase is "that tax, eh[.]"
Those three words, seven letters, go right to the heart of the RGGI issue. Opponents look on RGGI as a tax; proponents look at it as manna from green heaven. Ms. Hassan's millions of dollars and 400 jobs have not materialized. Maggie is a tax, borrow, and spend lefty liberal of the worst kind. Her answer referring to RGGI as a tax is a true gaffe -- that is, inadvertently telling the truth.
RGGI is not living up to the promises of the eco-zealots -- big surprise there. New Hampshire paid the seventh-highest electric rate in the country in 2008, fifth in 2009, and fourth in 2010. And there's no place to go but up, as another rate hike is coming.
Oh, well. One gets inured to ever-rising prices, particularly in the Age of Obama.
What I cannot accept is a supposedly public service entity that draws on my hard-earned tax dollars to engage in partisan politics. Let Big Bird and Jim Lehrer and NHPR and PBS compete in the open market for their funds. More power to them.
Mike Johnson is a concerned citizen, a small-government conservative, and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.