Friday, December 31, 2010

So Long 2010 - So Long Gov. Bill

I haven't really spent a lot of time at this blog this year.  Not that the crazy things don't keep happening in good old NM.

But I couldn't let Gov. Richardson's last day in office go by without thanking him for not pardoning Billy The Kid, and for providing all that grist for many, many mills of controversy for the past eight years. 

Of course, not pardoning Billy is just another mistake, kind of like running for president.  Lew Wallace didn't keep the promise lo those many years ago, thereby starting the tradition of NM governors not keeping promises.  So I think Billy deserved a pardon back then, and probably should get one now, posthumously.  Then again, does that make Pat Garrett a murderer?

Oh, well.  In any case . . . Happy New Year to everyone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Slogan For New Mexico

I recently took a day off from my usual workday drudge to spend a few hours doing some of the things I enjoy doing – like writing these blogs.  The morning went well, but my wife and I shortly discovered that people around us seemed particularly disorganized.  Particularly drivers, who seemed to be generally lost or disoriented:  Cars making left turns from right lanes, stopped for no reason, going too slow, or – the one I like – driving with improperly secured loads.

My wife suggested that these people were “on the border of something wrong with them.”  And it hit me.

We need to change “New Mexico: Land of Enchantment” to “New Mexico: On the Border . . . of being a little bit off.”

In all fairness, I think some of the disorganized drivers were just looking for garage sales – or “Garage Sailing” – without paying attention to much else.  Hope Dad likes the used junk they buy for Fathers Day. 

Happy Fathers Day all!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Budget Better Left Undone

NM gov plans special legislative session next week – BusinessWeek

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, no legislation is good legislation, even when there is no budget. The fiction is that the state will grind to a halt. The fact is that our government will continue to spend money faster than a Vegas drunk (see Harry Reid) even without the budget.

In the mean time, the Albuquerque Journal points out that it might be better to just wait. In today’s editorial, they suggest that maybe reconvening in April when more revenue projections are in, would be the ticket.

That is juxtaposed with an editorial about the winter meeting of state governors in DC. A kernel of truth is there, and I hope our legislators see it. Fact is that New Mexico should be selling off assets to balance the budget.

Start with the Railrunner Express. This albatross is no good for New Mexico, but could be good for private enterprises. Warren Buffet just bought BNSF (see Passenger Rail), on whose former tracks runs the “runner.” Maybe he’d like to bid on Railrunner. Maybe even buy back those tracks for which I believe NM paid $50 million. (We won’t use more than a third of the mileage this century.)

The next to go should be the New Mexico Space Port. And then any real estate owned by a school district that isn’t being used – now!

Instead, I’m sure, the legislature will meet on Wednesday and raise taxes. Business as usual in NM.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Citizen Legislature

Our citizen legislature is back to work. The big task is plugging budget shortfalls without raising taxes, something that probably won't happen.

All these citizen guys and gals have trouble focusing. I've heard about legislation from legalizing same-sex marriage to changing the way we generate electricity in this state. (For the record, we have abundant coal, oil and gas in this state, as well as uranium deposits and ample potential for solar and wind power. Guess which ones the citizens proposing the legislation want.)

Oh, well. It may be for the best. With so much on the plate, they won't eat it all. No new laws are good new laws, and the citizen legislators who fail to legislate will blessedly leave the rest of us citizens alone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Budget Black Hole

Showing a stunning lack of ability to see the obvious, the legislature will meet starting next week for a one-month session. They will have to take up the matter of a budget deficit that won't go away without some major sacrifices. Whether those will be from state government or from taxpayers seems to be up in the air.

Governor (don't call me a lame duck because I am) Richardson is in favor of new taxes. Not across the board, just some. Like sin taxes and maybe going back to taxing food as long as it's unhealthy food. The legislature is in favor of cutting everything administrative and all state wages by a percentage large enought to cover the shortfall.

The obvious part is that New Mexican's can't stand new taxes. We are Taxed Enough Already as the TEA Party saying goes. How is the state going to raise revenue when the pool of employed workers is shrinking at an alarming rate? The rest of the obvious part is that government isn't entitled to go without cuts just because it exists. And stop already with the threatening that "services" will be cut. You don't give much in the way of service already.

The legislature should just go in there and cut. Ask the question: What percentage of cut in the budget of all state agencies and state employees across the board will cover the deficit? Then do it. Don't fire anyone, don't cancel programs or services. Just have everybody make do with less, just as the private sector has had to do.

I guarantee that it will work. But raising taxes won't.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.