So, we’ve got this half a billion dollar budget shortfall we’re facing in New Mexico, and you’re probably scratching your head, and wondering, “Where did all the money go?” After all, oil and gas had reached tremendously high levels over the last few years, and state government was awash in cash – our cash I might add.
Well, to answer the question, “Where did all the money go?” All you need to do is take a look at this inflation adjusted chart (for my critics) that our friends at the Rio Grande Foundation (RGF) kindly put together:
Whoa! Talk about your out of control spending. You’ll notice it really started to climb in FY 2002. Guess whose administration we have to thank for our current economic predicament? The chart above was published in RGF’s publication New Mexico’s Taxpayer Protection Act: One Small Step for Taxpayers? In the paragraph immediately following the chart, they made the following statement:
On one hand, you don’t want government to spend every nickel that comes during good times or else you will have a vicious boom and bust cycle.
Hmm, seems like a simple concept to grasp. Of course, neither our state nor our national leaders seem to grasp this very simple concept. Yes, I lay the blame on Republican’s nationally as much as I do on Democrats in New Mexico.
If you want the actual details of where our hard earned money went (remember: we earn it; they spend it), I suggest you download and read RGF’s recently released Piglet book. Pull out a calculator and add up all of those little giveaways, and you’ll see what we need to cut in order to make up the budget shortfall.