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Same Song, Different Year, Same Results

If nothing else, I guess you can say that Governor Bill Richardson is consistent. It seems like every year the Governor in his State of the State (.pdf) talks about all of the great accomplishments that have happened in New Mexico under his watch, and then sets an agenda to accomplish all of the things he has already taken credit for accomplishing.

I know it’s confusing, but seriously, that’s what happens every year. Don’t believe me? Well, look how he started out his speech:

Over the last four years, I’ve laid out ambitious goals for New Mexico: Better schools, better jobs with higher wages, protection of our water and natural resources, more accessible health care, safer streets and communities, and a more fiscally responsible approach to government.

The legislature joined me, we acted—and acted boldly. We put progress above politics. We found common ground. Democrats and Republicans, community groups and churches, business and government—we came together–regardless of party, faith, or affiliation—and got things done.

Gee, what an image. Everyone gathered around the Roundhouse in one big circle, holding hands, smiling and singing “kumbaya” and they “got things done.” Yes, siree Bob it’s a beautiful thing. Brings a tear to my eye. In fact, it’s such a lovely fantasy, that I kind of feel guilty about providing the links above.

Or for that matter pointing out the obvious….

If we accomplished all of those things, why are they back on the agenda this year? I know, it’s a silly question, but I’d like to know. See, on page one of his ten page speech the Governor says, “[We] got things done.” Then on page two, he says:

I believe we must expand the bounds of opportunity for every New Mexican.

Expanding opportunity means extending health care coverage, so the lives of our citizens are not are limited by poor health and no health care. [Oops, so much for that “more accessible health care” accomplishment.]

Expanded opportunity means protecting the needs of future generations for a clean environment and sustainable water supply. [Uh-oh, it looks like that “protection of our water and natural resources” didn’t actually happen yet.]

It means widening our economic base—so our oil and gas economy, expands to renewable energy, film, tourism and high-tech—from our urban areas to our rural main streets. [Hmm, it seems that claim to “better jobs with higher wages” success was a bit premature.]

Most of all it means—an education system dedicated to learning, achievement, and success. So that every child gets a world-class education and enters the world of work prepared to succeed. [Darn it! Looks like “Better schools” hasn’t happened yet either.]

So, let’s see. I guess that leaves just “safer streets and communities” and “a more fiscally responsible approach to government” on that once grand and beautiful list of accomplishments.

Houston, we have a problem.

It seems that the streets actually aren’t safer. Oh, and I’m having a hard time finding anyone who thinks that increasing a $3.9 billion budget to $5.7 billion in one term of office could be construed as a “fiscally responsible approach to government.”

So, are you inspired? Yeah, me neither.