November 12, 2010
School Board compounds our tax problems

To the Editor:

In science, a compound is a mixture of chemicals. In politics, a compound is a place where a government may confine people that are considered a possible threat. In mathematics, compounding is a very important concept that has profound implications for all people.

In Goffstown, the total budget (town and schools) has been growing exponentially for decades. Growing exponentially means that a number is compounding at some percentage (%) over a fixed period of time. This fact has consequences for all Goffstown residents and their property taxes.

Any number that grows at any percentage over time will not grow at the same amount. That is the key thing to memorize about the power of a compounding number: Even though a number is growing at the same percentage every year, the amount of growth becomes increasingly larger yearly. In fact, most of the action occurs in the last few years. And for Goffstown that moment is coming.

The graphics below illustrate the compounding concept for the Goffstown schools from 1957 with a projection into the future based on the same rate of growth. Notice the trend.

GOFFSTOWN SCHOOL BUDGET 1957-2057 (Projected)

The trend is a perfect “hockey stick” formation that shows the final impact of any compound number.

The numbers in black were obtained from Goffstown Town Reports, which includes the number of students and the $/student. The numbers in red are simply continuing a very conservative percentage increase of 7.2% into the future. Near the end (really!) the amount of yearly cost growth becomes staggering. This is only the inevitable consequence of a compounding number…any number!

There is an excellent website that explains the impact of a compounding number. Chapter 4 of Dr. Chris Martenson’s “Crash Course” gives a 3-minute understandable explanation of the problem. 

The preceding Chapter 3 (10 minutes) gives a more detailed explanation. Watching either of the chapters will clarify once and for all the dilemma confronting Goffstown taxpayers. 

In fact, it might not be a bad idea over time (about 3 hours) to watch all the chapters to get a grasp of the financial freight train that is barreling down the tracks (and what to do)…at all of us!

What we may be witnessing is the possible financial destruction of the middle class and the future of our children. Why would responsible adults knowingly allow this to happen? Why?

The fact that a lot of this is caused by the actions/inactions of people residing in D.C. is a problem.

None of this is meant to frighten or confuse people. It is just a call to get beyond being depressed and in denial concerning a daunting task. Goffstown residents need to get angry (at the right people) and get into action to change things - together. Things need to change…and there is a big problem.

“The problem with problem solving is defining the problem.” “The problem: There will never be social justice with economic injustice! Economic justice requires sound money! Using photocopier money is unsound!” What we are talking about a massive amount of debt left for future generations!

The first thing to do is educate people and do some community outreach. Let us begin the mission.

I just thought that you had a “Right to Know” (R2K.)

Ivan Beliveau





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