Bill Jordan spoke at the Second Annual People's Rally. His comments are posted here. "Our years of austerity just so that the rich and well-connected can get tax cuts ― those days are over! It’s time for us to invest in what works. It’s time to invest in New Mexico."
New Mexico’s governor is responsible for expanding Medicaid here, and it’s had significant economic and health benefits for the state. So where is Governor Martinez on this issue? We don’t know because she hasn’t spoken up.
If you’re relocating a business that will need educated workers, would you set up shop in a state that’s made it more difficult to get a college degree? Or would you pick a state that makes educating their workforce a top priority?
State government has a very important job to do. It ensures that all children receive an education that will prepare them to be productive adults. It works to keep our streets safe and our infrastructure in good repair. It must respond to public health threats and keep an eye to future needs. When state government does its job well, it enables and strengthens the state’s economic growth and helps its people thrive.
With our schools, health care, courts, and infrastructure already cut down to the bone, and the state still short on money, there is no better time than now to evaluate every dollar spent on tax breaks to make sure they’re having the impact their proponents claimed. To be the New Mexico we wish to be, we simply can’t afford to do less.
If we’re going to be successful in fixing this thing before it crashes and burns, we need to look at the other failing pieces. Namely, that the state hasn’t been collecting enough money to cover all of our important expenses like education, health care, and public safety. We’ve been passing big tax cuts since 2003. Income tax cuts have been thrown at profitable corporations and the people earning the most money. These tax cuts were supposed to “create” jobs. They didn’t.
It's always gratifying when we can link a good outcome directly to a specific public policy--as we can in this case. We can also often predict a poor outcome when a bad decision is made. If we're smart, we'll use that knowledge to make better decisions. In this case, however, some lawmakers insisted on making a bad decision anyway.
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 policymakers act.
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.