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IPFS News Link • New Hampshire

NH vs Vermont: How Does New Hampshire Spend Half the Money for Better Results?

• By Rob Roper

This question was posed to me the other day by a friend (I will paraphrase and omit the profanities): "How is it that New Hampshire, a state roughly the same geographic size of Vermont with about twice the population spends half the amount of taxpayer money that we do?"

Here are the actual numbers. New Hampshire's population is about 1.4 million, and Vermont's is about 640,000, so we're slightly less than half. Vermont's current budget is $8.5 billion while New Hampshire's is $3.1 billion, so we spend well over two and a half times – nearly triple — more. Naturally, this means that, compared to Vermont, New Hampshire is in a state of total neglect. Children wandering the streets uneducated. The sick left to suffer and die. The poor abandoned hungry and unsheltered. Criminals terrorizing the citizenry…. Umm… no.

In fact, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, New Hampshire has 11.6 homeless people per 10,000 population, while Vermont has 43 — nearly four times as many! There are a few possible explanations for this. One is our economic and social welfare policymakers are such inept doofuses that they're driving more citizens into systemic poverty. Another is our policies are so out of whack "generous" that homeless people are flocking to Vermont to free ride on the backs of Vermont taxpayers. But since homeless advocates are adamant that the latter is not happening (yeah, sure), we'll have to go with the doofus hypothesis for now. (It actually applies to both scenarios).

When it comes to educating children, Vermont, according to US News & World Report, ranks 11th for student outcomes. Pretty good! But New Hampshire ranks 4th. Do they spend more to get better outcomes than we do. Nope. New Hampshire spends twenty percent LESS at $19,633 per pupil compared to Vermont's $24,666 – and these numbers are before the coming 14% property tax increase, new internet service tax and short-term rental tax fueling a $200 million plus K-12 spending increase for next year.