I’ve read the proposed amendment to the Concord, New Hampshire, city charter and read it again. It looks like a fine, responsible attempt to limit government growth.
But Paul Cavanaugh, Concord’s city solicitor, has quite a different view. While three state agencies have given the proposed amendment their go-ahead, he filed an appeal, arguing that the amendment’s spending cap would interfere with the city’s ability to pay for legally required welfare and public safety services.
On first blush, it seems he may have something. If you limit government growth with a charter amendment, and the state still requires you to pay out certain services, and there’s an influx of people who ask for such services . . . what do you do?
Well, you could develop a rainy day fund for just those services, to cover unexpected demands. Or, perhaps, prioritize spending just a tad. Stop spending so much on discretionary items so you have the funds to fulfill your constitutional duties.
Yet the first thing that came to mind for Cavanaugh and Concord’s politicians was to block the citizens from voting on the spending limit. Force it off the ballot.
Politicians! They will do anything, it seems, rather than spend wisely.
It’s sad, really. Politicians hate saving. They hate not spending. Most of all, they hate citizens control of their prodigal ways.
That’s why it is citizens who should decide, directly.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.