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.

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Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.