Once upon a time, New Mexico had a Democratic Governor who loudly proclaimed in the most visible of places that cutting taxes was the key to economic growth. His name was Bill Richardson. Governor Bill was placed on a pedestal by the mainstream media (even The Fair and Balanced kind) as a shining example for others to follow.
But alas, all fairy tales must come to an end. Once a tax and spend politician, always a tax and spend politician. The self-appointed General of New Mexico’s business friendly foot soldiers is no more. In his stead is a taxmonger eager to pillage an industry suffering falling prices.
Is it due to an impending budget crisis? No, the state is expecting a $300 million dollar surplus. Has the prevailing wage for Gubernatorial Chefs increased? No, that’s not it either.
Maybe it would be best if you read the rationale in the Governor’s own words from today’s Albuquerque Journal (subscription required):
“I think the oil and gas industry, because they’re doing so well … need to do a little more than they’re doing,” the governor said in a recent interview. “Their revenues to the state, I think, need to increase modestly.”
Ouch! So much for a business friendly state. I can envision the new tagline in the Economic Development brochure: “Come to New Mexico and Do More for State Government.”
But, don’t worry about the Governor. In his own mind he is still a tax cutter since this increase of “revenues to the state” is “just an equalization… so it’s not a tax increase.”