Going into last year’s legislative session all anyone could talk about was the budget shortfall. The spending party that has been the cornerstone of the Richardson Administration was over – sort of. What do I mean?
Well, during the 2009 legislative session the people in charge (read: Democrats) didn’t really slice the budget the way it required in light of decrease oil and gas revenue and declining tax revenue. Instead, they just kind of froze spending – again, sort of.
Consider that the vast majority of New Mexicans are cutting our annual spending, and you’d think that state government would try and do the same. But no, they want to get creative:
State government spending has grown by about 40 percent during the past six years. Smith and other lawmakers might focus on alternatives to new revenues to pay for the state’s nearly $5.5 billion annual budget, such as shifting money from stalled infrastructure projects, shortening the government’s workweek or furloughing state employees, should a special legislative session be called this fall by Gov. Bill Richardson to address budget problems.
Here’s an idea. Instead of looking at sources of new revenue (read: taxing struggling families) or looking at creative ways to shuffle funds and pretend we’re not in a zero sum game, how about you just cut all the recently added programs and return them back to 2002 levels?
Think about it. We significantly increased our investment in education and have seen continued declines in student performance. We’ve increased our investment in economic development and seen increased job losses. We’ve funded pet projects like spaceports and trains to benefit a select few without any significant benefit for the majority of the population.
When are we going to finally acknowledge that the government is really good at making grand promises, but comes up awfully short on delivering on results? The spend, spend, spend experiment of the Richardson Administration and a rubber stamp legislature has been a horrible failure. But, here’s the absurdity of New Mexico politics:
If taxes were to be raised, Democrats, who control the executive branch and both houses of the Legislature, could face the lion’s share of the blame, Sanderoff said.
Really? The Democrats “could face the lion’s share of the blame.” You think? Only in New Mexico could those in charge of everything only potentially face the blame. How about we stop the spin here? The Democrats should face the lion’s share of the blame.
- They should be held accountable for out of control spending with nothing to show for it.
- They should be held accountable for every and any tax increase .
- They should be held accountable for an education system that costs more and more and delivers less and less.
- They should be held accountable for the institutionalization of corruption.
Unless we start holding them accountable, we will go from bad to worse.