Every child deserves access to the opportunities that will help them succeed. But in New Mexico--which ranks next-to-last in the nation for child well-being--too many families lack the resources we all depend upon to raise strong, healthy children. While our high rate of child poverty may seem like an insurmountable problem, it is one we can effectively address. It will take a coordinated effort and--yes--an investment of public resources, but the end result would benefit the state as a whole.
As the nation’s consumer habits shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online outlets, states like New Mexico will see more than job losses as those shops shutter. We’ll also lose the tax revenue generated by those sales. While the Internet is the problem, it can also be the solution—but only if policy-makers act.
Because poverty has multiple causes and tends to be generational, we must address it by meeting the needs of the family as a whole. This is called a two-generation approach, and it does more than ensure that children are fed and safe. It also gives parents the tools they need to better their own situations—whether that means access to job training and further education or health care to deal with substance abuse problems or chronic illness.
Low gas prices may make us happy at the pump, but the flip side--what it means to the state budget--will cost some of us dearly in lost services.
Students at UNM will see another increase of about $280 in their tuition and fees next year. That may not seem like a huge amount to some, but it’s enormous when you look at it this way.
There are only a couple of realistic choices when the state is short on cash: provide fewer services by cutting spending or raise more revenue by increasing taxes.
This revenue free-fall has hardly come out of the blue. We’ve been cutting taxes for well over a decade in the hopes that somehow jobs will materialize and we’ve created so many exceptions to our gross receipts tax that it’s got more holes than Swiss cheese. This one-sided approach to economic development has put us too much at the mercy of oil and gas revenues to pay the bills.
People who work full-time should not have to live in poverty. Refundable tax credits like the federal EITC and New Mexico’s WFTC incentivize hard work, help working families, and drive economic activity in New Mexico communities. The credits can and do make working families’ lives a little easier.
In his January 14 column, Winthrop Quigley called Medicaid an essential part of a social safety net but took issue with the notion that the federal funding is good for the state’s economy. He claimed that Medicaid cannot help people out of poverty. I disagree on both counts.
Our state's Permanent Fund has grown to $15 billion while child well-being has plummeted to 49th in the nation. But a lawmakers thinks that’s not dire?