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.

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