2020 Op-Eds

 The full text of the Op-Ed pieces I wrote in 2020. They were posted to Manchester Ink Link.

About Taxes

I want to make it incredibly clear that Democrats do not want to increase taxes for the average person. I have been a lifelong Democrat and I have yet to meet another person from my party who disagrees.

The first thing we need to establish is that living in a society does, in fact, cost money. We need to provide sanitation, police and fire, roads, schools, and other such services to the people who live there. The money that pays for these is provided through taxation. Different cities and states find different ways to establish taxes to generate the income needed. Most, but not all, have income and sales taxes. Most have taxes on specific items, such as cigarettes and gasoline. All states have property taxes. New Hampshire chooses to not have income or sales tax, and that’s fine.

The city services always need to be provided. If you cut one source of tax revenue, another will have to make up the difference. Republicans love to talk about tax cuts without acknowledging that the funds will somehow need to be made up somewhere else. A friend directed me to the website www.taxshifter.org, which gives a visual representation of how that works.

When your Republican candidate wants to cut taxes, if they are an incumbent, look at their voting record. When they vote to cut business taxes in order to maximize profits (which, the average worker will never see the fruit of those higher profits, as they usually just line the pockets of the elites), what they are doing, in effect, is shifting the taxes to the average person’s property taxes (that is: YOU).

When Democrats vote for fair taxation of businesses, those policies will LOWER the tax burden of the average person. This isn’t rocket science, it’s basic math.

None of the Democrats want to see a person’s personal property taxes go up. We are well aware that many people are on fixed incomes that can’t handle higher bills. The COVID pandemic has only made this worse. We’re on the verge of an eviction crisis due to poor economic policy, and we don’t need to hasten that along.

What we want to see is the state getting more net income and decreasing unnecessary spending, which has the end result of further decreasing people’s property taxes. We could do this by:

  • Having businesses pay their fair share of taxes (we don’t want them taxed too much, either. If a business closes because they can’t pay their bills, that would result in job loss and even more financial strain on families, which is something no Democrat wants to see happen).

  • We want small businesses in New Hampshire to continue to benefit from the very small tax rate they currently see: less than 1%. It’s the larger businesses that can, and should, pay more money to the state through higher tax rates.

  • Legalizing and taxing marijuana much the same way as cigarettes currently are taxed. You would only pay this if you choose to use it.

  • Because of the second point, if marijuana becomes legal, it would follow that people imprisoned on drug charges could be released. Decreasing the prison population would save the state a lot of money. I would like to have a discussion with lawyers and judges as to possible sentences aside from imprisonment for certain types of charges. I don’t have a specific answer in mind, currently, but it is an avenue worth exploring.

Please do not listen to Republican talking points that are not backed with actual math. Democratic principles result in advocacy for the working class, the disabled, the elderly, retirees, and other groups of people who are simply trying to make ends meet and provide for themselves and their loved ones. We will fight tooth and nail for their economic security.

Please vote for the people who understand economics. Thank you.

Link to Op-Ed in Manchester Ink Link

Black Lives Matter

This week’s headlines have been disastrous.

In one week, Jacob Blake was shot 7 times for resisting arrest; while Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people, and officers stood by. Kyle wasn’t arrested until he fled the state after three nights of protests in his city.

Do you see the disparity here?

If those headlines weren’t enough to spark rage, consider these:

‘I’m Not Racist’ Says Arkansas Sheriff Who Used N-Word 9 Times Because Girlfriend Spoke to a Black Guy (1)

Three in Masks Sought in Denver House Fire That Killed Five (2)

I will not tolerate this. I will not stand idly by while black families are being burned alive, being shot because they “might have had a gun/knife,” being insulted by racial slurs, and being otherwise targeted just for existing.

Look: I am well aware that all lives matter. They do. But “all lives” can’t matter until black lives matter. The reason why we say “black lives matter” is because society is treating black lives as though they DON’T matter, and that is not ok with me.

Why have a rebuttal to “black lives matter”? Why does it spark some people to clap back? Why not just agree that black lives matter?

We need to recognize patterns. We need to recognize that black people are being targeted every single day. That they are being hurt in this society every single day. That they are not treated the same as their white counterparts for the same action every single day.

Consider this:

When a white person resists arrest, and the officer aims his gun at the suspect, no shots are fired (3)

But when a black person complies with police, he is kicked from behind (4)

These are just a few of the numerous examples in this country.

Clearly, not EVERY police officer is bad. In fact, our Manchester police department does excellent work, I have heard nothing but good things about them, and I am grateful that we have them to protect our city. The problem, however, is that even if black people being treated poorly in this country isn’t happening in our backyard, it is still happening in starkly disproportionate numbers throughout the country. We cannot ignore this, and we need to find a solution.

There has been talk of “defunding” the police, but we need to be clear about what this means. First of all, we know that the defunding model works, because one of the most murderous cities in the country did it with complete success (5). Second, it’s not exactly “defunding,” which I believe is a misnomer. It’s more a restructuring model, where proactivity in reducing crime (as opposed to playing whack-a-mole and responding to calls as they come in) ultimately saved the city money (6). Third, no one is suggesting to simply retract funding and leaving the police department out on a limb. Rather, they suggest increasing mental health services, social workers, and case workers, so the police can respond to actual crimes, and the other professions can handle situations where the police don’t need to be involved. Again, this ultimately saves the city money through proactivity. I am on board with putting this plan into action, knowing it only illicits positive outcomes.

We can’t begin to address antiracism, though, without talking about implicit bias. There is a test you can take online to see where you stand (7). Our country’s history is saturated with racism and stereotypes. We need to check ourselves any time we might be acting with bias, so that we hold ourselves to the highest standard. Change starts with us.

Lastly, and most importantly, white people need to notice how our actions affect black people: specifically in the form of “microaggressions (8).” Microaggressions are based on implicit biases, and are often unintentional. Sometimes, though, they aren’t exactly “micro.” To assume that Jacob Blake was reaching for a gun (even though it’s been shown that he did not have one in his car) is classified as a “microaggression,” which cost Blake his ability to walk.

If you are white, try to put yourself in the following shoes: that you are shopping for clothing and store employees start following you, because they assume you will steal. That you walk down the street, and women clutch their purses tighter. That you don’t know as much as your fellow colleague at work. That you were not offered a promotion, even though you’re a hard worker and have perfect attendance; and said promotion was given to a new employee with lower credentials than you. These instances would hurt you, would they not? Now imagine a lifetime of not being able to escape them.

We must say “black lives matter” because society is treating black lives as though they don’t. We must say black lives matter, because black lives do indeed matter.

I will not tolerate anything less than justice for my fellow human beings. We must navigate this world together, and advocate for the best for each other. Change starts with us.

Link to Op-Ed in Manchester Ink Link


1: https://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/2020/08/im-not-racist-says-arkansas-sheriff-who-used-n-word-9-times-because-girlfriend-spoke-to-a-black-guy/?fbclid=IwAR1mJ8XfKIrvwDiyaaGDAECm4PHMA4feUHxPWwpVGkep2AFCev4v3LmYP1U

2: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/us/denver-fire-arson.html?fbclid=IwAR35np47vfHOd4jgV6-My-Gkmck4zEoYuQqqvYcQJ_WXrU1A0jkjGdCeZlY

3: https://twitter.com/ShannonSharpe/status/1299783390573465600?s=20

4: https://twitter.com/800Hertz/status/1299796811486556160?s=20

5: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/us/disband-police-camden-new-jersey-trnd/index.html

6: https://www.inquirer.com/news/camden-police-defund-minneapolis-george-floyd-protest-20200609.html

7: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

8: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/08/872371063/microaggressions-are-a-big-deal-how-to-talk-them-out-and-when-to-walk-away

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