Gov. Benson keeps his promise and vetoes budget loaded with spending increases, protecting New Hampshire from future tax increases.

WASHINGTON – Gov. Craig Benson (R) showed himself to be at the forefront of national politics and one of the nation\’s leading governors yesterday when he vetoed the legislature\’s spendthrift budget. The governor, fresh out of last November\’s elections with a mandate to return fiscal sanity to New Hampshire, promised to veto any budget that raised taxes or requires new taxes in the future to fund today\’s spending.

Every state in the Union faces a budget crunch this year, due to profligate spending during the 1990\’s combined with an economic slowdown. Some governors have been shining examples of leadership in these tough times – Bill Owens (R) of Colorado, Bill Richardson (D) of New Mexico, Rick Perry (R) of Texas, Mitt Romney (R) of Massachusetts – each of them have made tough choices to restrain spending and to avoid new taxes.

"Gov. Benson ranks right up there with the superstar governors," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "And he is fighting the good fight alone, taking on his own party in the legislature. The people of New Hampshire should be proud of the work he is doing for them."

Did you know:

· New Hampshire\’s spending grew 71% in the last 10 years
· The budget passed by the legislature raises spending by 8%, this when the economy is struggling to grow above 2%, and inflation is below 2%
· New Hampshire is receiving $83 million in federal aid as part of President Bush\’s tax plan – that\’s $83 million that should be used to offset other spending, or returned to the people as tax cuts!
· The new spending is funded by one-time money – in coming years, the money will not be available to fund commitments made now, making tax hikes unavoidable
· A new American Research Group poll, released today, finds that 72% of New Hampshire residents support the governor\’s decision to veto, and 62% approve of his job performance.

"It\’s a topsy-turvy world when Massachusetts is more fiscally conservative than New Hampshire, but that\’s what will happen if the legislature overrides Benson\’s veto!" Norquist concluded.